Live video interviews are becoming
increasingly common in the job search today. Whether these take place over
Skype, Zoom, or on a pre-recorded platform, don’t be surprised if you’re
invited to a live video interview, especially if you’re a remote candidate.
It lets the employer see how you interact on screen and kind of simulates
that live, in-person interview more than a phone interview will. I’ll give you my
top tips to having a successful video interview. I’ll focus on the Zoom
platform, though these tips apply for Skype or even for pre-recorded
interviews. I’m focusing on Zoom because it’s one of the fastest growing
platforms right now. I’m Jen with The Career Force. We help smart, career minded
professionals stand out in today’s job market. For more career advice and
insights, subscribe to the channel and check back in each week to see our
latest videos. Let’s first talk about how to get set up on Zoom, if you aren’t
already. Now if you’re already set up on Zoom or you know your interview is taking
place on a different platform, I’ll put a link in the description to where I start
talking about tips that apply to any video interview. That way you can skip
ahead if you don’t need the Zoom details. If you’re ready to get set up on Zoom
and you don’t already have this set up, how do you go about doing it? It’s
pretty simple. You can go to the website either on your phone or your computer,
download the app, and create a login and you’re pretty much good to go from there.
What you should expect when it comes time to do your interview is you’ll get
an invitation and likely this will come a day or two ahead of time from the
person you’re interviewing with. They’ll send you a link to login to for your
video interview. Be prepared – in some cases people can set things up so your
video turns on automatically when you join the call. So act like you’re going
to be on video from the start even if you maybe don’t end up automatically
being broadcast. You don’t want to go on assuming that you’ve got time to set
up because that’s not a safe assumption. That’s going to be determined by the
person that sets up the meeting. Now, let’s look
some tips that apply to any type of video interview: Zoom, Skype, or some other
platform altogether. When you’re preparing for a video interview, the
first – and probably already obvious – tip to keep in mind is the other person can
see you so your body language is going to matter a lot more than on the phone.
Sit up straight. Talk articulately. Don’t cross your arms and lean back.
These all are a bit off-putting to your interviewer and they convey a sense that
you’re closed off and may not be being truthful, whether or not that’s actually
the case. Be prepared to interact like you are interacting with someone in
person even if that’s just looking at a camera lens. Here’s another tip – prepare
as you would for any other interview. Whether your interview is in person, on the
phone, or over video, you need to be ready to talk about what you know about the
job, how your experiences fit with it. Research the company. Do some research on
different questions that are maybe common for that company or other
standard questions like “tell me about yourself” or “why should we hire you?”
These are questions everybody should be prepared to answer in an interview,
regardless of what the platform for the interview is. Next, consider your location.
Ideally you’ll pick a place at home that’s quiet, well-lit, and is a pretty neutral background. Don’t try to do your video
interview in a coffee shop where things are likely to be loud. There will be a
lot of distractions around. Pick a place that’s kind of like the backdrop
of this video. I’ve got a plain wall behind me. You can clearly see my face.
I’m looking at the camera talking to you. I’ve got a kind of neutral couch around
me. This is a perfect setting for a video interview. The only thing I might do
different is I’d probably move the camera a little bit closer to me if I was on a
call interviewing for a job. Next – check your technology and light setup. You’ll notice that you can see my face on the screen, it’s well lit. Before I
started recording this, I practiced a quick video to make sure that you would
be able to see me, that you’d be able to hear me, that my
app on the my phone would work to record things. Check all of these things
ahead of time. Can you hear yourself easily? Can you see yourself on screen
well? Is your internet connection reliable in the spot that you’re in? All
of these things are really disasters if you don’t take care of them ahead of
time. They might not seem like a big deal, but
they can mean not having an interview if you don’t have a connection or they can
also mean just coming across poorly. People don’t necessarily notice if all
of those different pieces are done well, but they notice when they’re not done
well. The idea is to minimize the distraction. You want to be about
yourself and the interviewer. You don’t want it to be about all of the things
that are around or them having to move closer, try to brighten their screen to
be able to see you during the call. Make sure you dress well for your interview.
So I think everybody thinks it’s a funny joke to have a business suit on top and
some sweatpants or raggedy shorts on the bottom during a video call, but don’t do
that. I know that it’s unlikely that anyone’s going to see the full length of
you, but be prepared in case something comes up. You want to look professional
head to toe. Be prepared to just come across how you would want someone to be
impressed with you if you’re were meeting with them in person.
Have you had video interviews before? I’m curious if you found them more difficult
or easier than phone interviews or in-person interviews. People are all over
the place. Some people think that they’re much better than a phone interview. Some
people are much more intimidated. Let me know in the comments what you think. My
last tip now is maintain composure. Just like any other interview, sometimes
you’re going to be asked questions that you don’t know an answer to and that’s okay.
What you don’t want to do is start looking around the room, hiding your face,
typing on your computer. You really want to still maintain that eye contact and
pause just for a moment gain your composure and then go into the answer to
the question as best you can. That’s totally
normal. People expect that when they’re interviewing potential candidates,
whether it’s in person, on the phone or over video. It’s okay to take a little
time. Just don’t forget that the other person can see you. I’ve definitely
had interviews where I’ve seen people roll their eyes, look away. I’ve seen them
distracted talking to somebody else in the room. That’s not the impression you
want to leave the interviewer. You want them to be thinking about you and the
connection that they made even if that means you need a moment before you
answer the question. Put these tips to use and you’ll ace your next video
interview. I mentioned pre-recorded interviews as well. All these same tips
apply. The only difference is that you’ll be hitting start and stop on a recording
on the computer rather than having someone talk to you live in real time.
With most pre-recorded video interviews, you have a question that’s written that
you get you probably have about 30 seconds to think about it and then you
have a certain length of time – a lot of companies take two minutes – for you to be
able to respond on video. Keep this in mind. You’ve got a little bit to think
about it, but you don’t have that long so be prepared to answer pretty quickly.
Light set up, technology, making sure your backgrounds clean, crisp – all of these
tips still apply even if it’s pre-recorded. If you need more tips on
how to land your next job, I’ve put together my cheat sheet to help you be a
huge success in this job search. You can get it at the link below. I’ll send you a
copy so you’ve got all the critical inside tips to landing your next job.
Thanks so much for watching!