Tips for Video Interviews that Everyone Can Use
July 30th 2018
Modern technology, long distances, and crowded schedules guarantee at some point you’ll find yourself having an interview over video. In preparation, you’ll probably focus on getting ready to answer questions about the role, the company, your past experience, and any other relevant information. However, it is important not to overlook the more basic, but equally important, aspects of any video interview: how to properly set up your camera and space. Take a look at these pointers below to ensure even before you have begun specific ‘question and answer’ prep, your interview is already set to start off on the right foot.
Always try to eliminate any slant in your camera, level positioning is best. An angled screen is awkward to look at and could quickly detract attention from you and what you are saying. Be sure any corrections are done before the interview begins, your interviewer will not want to wait and watch you make adjustments. On a similar vein, also check to see that your orientation is correct on another device. It would be unfortunate if you are perfectly level on your own camera, but your image comes up sideways or upside down on the interviewer’s.
Find a friend or use another of your own devices to test this. Good sound quality between you and the interviewer will help facilitate a smooth conversation; you won’t have to ask them to repeat questions or worry they might have misunderstood what you said. Checking on another device will also reveal if your microphone is on mute or broken.
You want the interviewer to be focused on you at all times. Minimizing background activity is always best. Try to avoid crowded, noisy areas with other people. Look for somewhere where you can be confident there will be no accidental intrusions in the frame or loud noises that could obstruct your voice. As for the visual appearance of a background, a pure white wall is always a good choice but will probably not help to differentiate you as a candidate. On the other hand, always be cautious if you decide to include something recognizable in the background, like a piece of artwork. You can never know if your interviewer detests Picasso or has strong opinions about whatever else you might choose to include. Find a middle-ground, a pleasant interior or wallpaper; this will be a great way to establish a memorable image of yourself without risking any kind of quick disapproval.
You are going to want a well-lit location. The interviewer has chosen the video option because they want to see your face. Be sure that you will have enough natural or artificial lighting available, and check the appearance on the camera you are to use. The room might seem fine to you in person, but sometimes the camera view can be quite different. Ergo, don’t trust your intuition, and make sure that is correct because it is the viewpoint your interviewer is going to have.
Don’t wait until the last minute to decide what you’re going to wear. Have an outfit prepared beforehand. The choice is largely up to your own discretion. A suit or nice dress are both viable options, but they are not guaranteed to be appropriate choices for every situation. Fortunately, your interviewer or company will probably be more than willing to let you know their typical dress code before the talk, so definitely reach out and ask.
Answering questions well is not the only component of a great video interview, keep these tips in mind to help maximize your chances of success as a candidate. Best wishes to your future video interview processes!