article by: Julie Gearie, CEO GWG Partners.
Although the technology has been around for ages, I’ve noticed an increase in companies choosing to use video as part of their interview process. So, I thought it was time to give you the inside scoop on how to ace your next video interview.
Prior to interview:
Be confident with technology
Setting up and testing your technology well in advance (not an hour beforehand) will help you feel confident when the big day arrives. 95% of our clients use Skype for video interviews but there are other platforms you may come across like Facetime, Meetup and Google Hangouts. Download the software (if you don’t already have it) and set up your account as soon as you can. Where possible, use a laptop or desktop device as video conferencing software is usually far more reliable on a computer rather than a tablet or iPhone. I recently interviewed a guy using his iPhone. He had to stop several times to give his arm a rest….!
Lock down your social accounts and use appropriate profile images
This might seem obvious but you would be surprised how many inappropriate images we see on professional’s social media profiles. If you decide to include an image when you set up your account for the video interview or if you already have an image on your account make sure it’s appropriate for a prospective employer to see.
Set up your interview environment
I would suggest sitting in front of a blank wall where there is good natural light. Remove any distractions such as ornaments or family photos that could divert the interviewer’s attention away from you.
Turn off your phone and close any other programs like your email or Facebook. Make sure you lock the door or secure any pets prior to starting the interview. The last thing you want is your kids, pet or house mate to crash the interview or worse still your husband to walk past in his undies!
What to wear
What you wear is important in a video interview as some clothing can be distracting. Don’t choose bright colours or busy patterns like pinstripes or polka dots. White is a no-no as its too bright and will affect the cameras lighting. You are best to dress in soft solid colours and avoid any heavy jewellery or accessories. I’m always impressed by candidates who make the effort to dress professionally in a suit, even if they are sitting at their dining table.
During the interview:
Body language and positioning
Body language is important in both face-to-face and video interviews. But rather than focusing on eye contact, remember to look at the camera during the video interview and not at the keyboard or papers near you. Position the interviewer’s window towards the top of the screen so you don’t have to look down or to the side. Also make sure you have a comfortable upright chair so you don’t slouch.
Don’t forget to smile
Another thing to be mindful of with video interviews is the dreaded RBF (resting bitch face!). Because you are removed from the interviewers it’s easy to look disinterested or displeased. So although you may feel silly it’s important to smile and look interested when the interviewers are asking a question or explaining something.
Calm your nerves with an icebreaker
It’s totally natural to be nervous in an interview. But one way to calm your nerves, especially if you haven’t done many video interviews is to let your interviewers know by saying something like “Hopefully this goes ok, I haven’t done a Skype interview before so please let me know if there’s any issues with the sound or audio”. This can act as a nice icebreaker and can often help to calm your nerves.
Wrap it up like a pro
Towards the end of the interview, if you’re interested in the role, make sure you check if there’s anything else the interviewers would like to ask that hasn’t been covered. You can also offer to email samples of your work that have been discussed in the interview or further examples. As a courtesy, thank the interviewers for their time and let them know that you would be happy to travel and meet them in person if you are successful in this round.
Good luck with your interview, go get em!