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5 Ways to Ace Your Video Interview

Close-up Of Businessman Looking At Video Conference On Digital Tablet

Employers often choose electronic rather than face-to-face interviews, especially for the preliminary stages of the hiring process. You may experience a phone interview and / or a video interview. A video interview may be a recorded interview or a live video interview.

In either case, prepare as thoroughly and extensively as for a face-to-face interview. Don’t underestimate the value of this type of interview to move you toward a position with the company. Research the company and position just as you would for an in-person interview.

The differences you will encounter in this type of interview are not inherent in the interview itself but in the technology used. You may not be able to practice with the same technology the employer is using, but you CAN use Skype or Google Hangouts to practice.

Here are five hints that will help you stand out as a candidate:

1. Wear your interview outfit. Dress as professionally as you would if you were going to an in-person interview. Don’t cut corners because it’s “only” a video interview. Even if the interviewer never sees your Spidey pajama bottoms, you will act just a bit differently wearing them.

2. Look into the camera. You’re used to looking at people when you’re talking with them, but during your video interview, you will need to look at the web cam. Practice talking with someone while you look at the camera. It will feel awkward, but you’ll get used to it. Raise your computer so you don’t have to look down to see the camera. Make sure your light source is in front of you.

3. Control your visual environment. Place your computer on a desk, table, or counter. Now, turn around so that you are facing the back of your computer. That is what your interviewer will see. If it is cluttered, simplify or find another background.

4. Make sure you have quiet. Kennel the dog. Put the cat in the bedroom. Get a sitter for the kids. Turn off the phone you won’t be using. Silence other sources of noise for the time of the interview.

5. Gather your resources. Print your resume, cover letter, reference page, your research about the company and position, and any other information you have been working with. Have them in front of you during the interview. It helps to have a glass of water handy, too.

Recording a video interview

You can also record a video interview on Skype in order to audit your behavior. Check for these things:

  • Is your background attractive?
  • Is the sound easy to hear and understand?
  • Is your face well lit?
  • Do you look at the web cam?
  • Do you make distracting movements or sounds?

The key to video interviewing is familiarity. Even if you have video conversations regularly, they are probably not formal situations such as an interview, so practice until you look and sound professional.