If you read part one on video interviewing, we tackled a Q&A session with Montage, my company’s global partner for video interviewing. This blog gets into a few more specifics about how to succeed during your video interview. Remember, this video interview request coming from a potential employer might be the on-demand kind, where you respond to questions on your own time using a laptop or any sort of mobile device with a camera. Or, the video interview request may be for a live video interview where you have a specific time to meet with a recruiter, hiring manager or many people at once. In both cases, you have to prepare so you can show off your personality and bring your resume to life. There are certain tips and tricks to help you succeed on screen. These include both environmental things and general preparatory things.
Getting Your Environment Right
When you are on camera there are a few basic rules:
- Dress appropriately. It’s an interview. Dress for the role. Avoid bold stripes or zig-zags as they confuse the camera and become distracting.
- Light appropriately. When you have bright light coming from behind you, the camera picks up your face completely in shadows. Again, it’s distracting and it doesn’t allow the person to fully see you. They need to see your face, your expressions and your excitement so get the light in front of you, not behind you.
- Declutter. With technology today, you can get on camera in advance and test out places in your house. You want a decluttered, plain background. A plain wall is fine. Be mindful what the other person can see in the background. If they see a mess, guess what they will conclude about you as a potential employee?
- Audio and video strength: Do the interview from a place with the strongest, most reliable Internet connectivity. Wire in if you can. If on WiFi, then make sure no one else in the house is hogging the bandwidth by playing games or streaming movies. This is important! Take all that WiFi strength for yourself. Test it out ahead of time. And minimize the background noise so your audio can come through loud and clear.
Read more on this topic courtesy of Montage, our video interviewing partner, who frequently posts content to help candidates succeed when video interviewing.
Preparing for Your Interview
In the video interviewing space, an interview is an interview. It’s just like meeting someone face to face across a desk or conference room table. When preparing responses for your on-demand video interview, obviously there is no one else there with you. So, you need to take great care to engage. Be brief and to the point. There is no small talk or chit-chat. You will see the questions they want answered and one by one you will answer them. Don’t worry, for the most part, you have all the chances you want to re-record until you are satisfied. Be professional, thorough, and direct. The recruiter on the other end just wants to see what makes you tick so they can move ahead and meet you in person or over video. Show off your personality and enthusiasm to really pop on screen.
When doing the live video interview, the same advice applies. Now you are in the video interview space with one or a few others. Get used to treating this virtual space as you would a conference room. Your communication and questions and answers will be pretty much the same as any interview you have encountered. Prep by knowing who is interviewing you and details about the company and the open role. Be prepared to share your experiences and prove your fit for the job. Ask smart questions to show them your interest and business expertise. Send a thank you note later. If the technology environment makes you nervous then spend some time on it ahead of time. Montage and other vendors like them provide support and technical checks. Take full advantage of those services so you can focus on the interview without any worry about the technology. That is what the employer expects of you. It shows flexibility and tech-savviness, essential characteristics for all new hires.
Ultimately, the success of the video interview is up to you. The technology won’t make or break it. Your personality, skills and experience will make the difference. Take the time to prepare yourself.