Top 10 Tips For a Successful Video Interview

February 14, 2014 For Candidates Leave a comment

by Doug Coley

Like it or not, more and more companies are using live video interviews to screen job candidates. Employers tout convenience and savings of time and money as key reasons for embracing remote video interviewing technology. Video interviews also allow employers to consider a larger pool of candidates.

According to our client companies, online interviewing is far from a passing trend. We asked our clients and technology experts to help us compile a list of top 10 tips for a successful video interview. Here they are:

1. Use a Professional Email Address. This may seem obvious, but overlooking this important step will cause your professionalism to suffer.

2. Be Prepared. Of course, you’ll want to do your homework and learn as much as you can about the company and position you’re interviewing for. With a video interview, you’ll also want to familiarize yourself with the technology you’ll be using ahead of time.

3. Connection Is King. It can be pretty daunting to lose contact with the interviewer mid-call. Make sure your Internet connection is rock-solid. Connecting via an ethernet cable is always more reliable than a wireless connection.

4. Headphones and Lighting. Use headphones to avoid playback from speakers. Position task lights on either side of your computer/webcam.

5. Choose a Distraction-Free Setting. If you’ll be sitting at your desk during the interview, make sure the wall behind you is blank. Close your office windows and put the dog outside. A quiet, professional setting is imperative.

6. Dress For Success. Show up for your video interview just like you would for a face-to-face meeting. When you dress professionally, you’ll interview professionally. Dark, solid colors (with a contrasting tie or blouse) are best.

7. Make Eye Contact. Smile and look straight into the camera. Eye contact matters just as in a face-to-face interview.

8. Stay Focused. Be totally present for your video interview. Although you’re in front of your computer, resist the temptation to multi-task. Close any screens that may pop up and distract you during the interview.

9. Keep Your Answers Brief. Since body language and facial expressions are harder to read in a video interview, refrain from giving long answers. Instead, keep your answers brief and finish them with tie-downs like “Does that make sense?” or “Should I elaborate?” This will keep you from overdoing your answers.

10. Practice. Consider a “dry run” interview with a friend so you can test your technology and become comfortable with the idea of “being on camera” ahead of time.

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