10 Tips for Video Interviews

April 30, 2020

2020 has brought us into a whole new world of interviewing. With working from home being the new normal, recruiters are adjusting to new methods when interviewing candidates. Gone are the days of going to an office for an interview, at least for now. The world has now shifted to video calls for everything from interviews to talk shows, from proms to weddings.

So how can you prepare for a video interview? Our Talent Acquisition Team at NextGen is here with 10 tips to rock your video interview:

1. Remember – It is a Real Interview!

Although it may feel casual to be sitting on your couch while talking to recruiters and hiring managers, it is important to remember that this is still an interview. If you wouldn’t do something at an in-person interview, you shouldn’t do it during a video interview either.

2. Prepare

All the standard interview tips still apply, and at the top of that list is to prepare. Make sure that you do your research on the company, have questions ready to ask, and take time to understand the job description. Be ready to show the interviewer how your dynamic skillset makes you the perfect match for this role.

3. Dress to Impress

You wouldn’t wear pajamas to an in-person interview, so please don’t wear them to your video interview! Remember that the interviewer can still see you, so dress professionally. Getting dressed can better prepare you for the upcoming day and helps you to get into the mindset of being ready to work.

4. Make Eye Contact

We are used to making eye contact at interviews, so switching from looking at someone’s face to looking at a little round camera can feel counterintuitive. When looking at the screen, it can seem like you are looking down or unengaged. By looking directly into the camera, you are making “eye contact” with the other participants and creating that connection.

5. Save the Snacks

Your interviewers don’t want to know what’s on the menu for dinner or see what you’re snacking on. Having a glass of water is perfectly fine, just be sure to have that nearby before the interview starts and make sure its outside of the camera’s view. If you need a sip during the interview, try to time that to when someone else is speaking or asking a question.

6. Find the Perfect Spot

Test out different places around your house to determine where lighting and connectivity will be the best. Once you have your spot, set up a stable location to place your phone or laptop. Don’t move around during the call, as it creates unnecessary distractions.

7. Watch the Camera Angle

Take some photos or turn on your video to look at the angle from your set up. You want to try to frame your video from the shoulders up and at a forward-facing angle. This will translate better to the interviewers and prevent any awkward camera angles. Lighting and angles can make all the difference when looking your best for a video call!

8. Minimize Distractions

While some things may be out of your control, like construction noises or someone accidentally walking through your video, it’s important to try to minimize distractions. Be sure to let any roommates know that you have a call, put your pets in a different room, and make sure that your background isn’t cluttered. Don’t bring your dirty laundry to the interview, quite literally!

9. Keep Your Cool

If an unforeseen distraction does occur, do keep your cool. We understand that this is a bizarre time and that your kids may be home – even Chris Hemsworth had his son sneak into his interview! Just apologize for the distraction and move forward from it, don’t let it throw you off. Chances are, we have the same things going on at our “office” too.

10. Do a Test Call

Before jumping into the interview, have a test call to be sure that your camera and microphone are working, and that your internet connection is strong. If you have a recruiter facilitating the process, they would more than likely be happy to run a test call before meeting with the hiring manager. You can also reach out to a friend or family member to run the test call ahead of time.

At the end of the day, we are all adjusting to the ever-changing landscape of the world today. Although some things are out of our control, preparing and bringing your best self to a video interview can make the difference in getting an offer or not. Prepare for the interview, highlight your skills and personality, and don’t forget to send a follow up thank you afterward. We are all in this together, and we want to see you succeed! Good luck!

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