Use Your Face To Show Youre Engaged
Nonverbal communication is important in any conversation. But when it comes to a video interview, a lot of the avenues through which we usually give nonverbal cueseye contact, body language, and small murmurs of agreementare cut off. So we have to lean more heavily on what we have left, namely facial expressions.
If youre in the room with someone, you can usually tell if theyre listening to you intently even if their face is not moving much . But everybody can look like a statue over video interview, Turner says. You shouldnt be so static that your interviewer has to wonder if youre still connected.
Short vocalizations arent the way to solve this problem here since on many common video interview platforms, only one mic can be used at once, Eonnet says. So while two people can speak simultaneously in the same room or over the phone, on a video call, your yes, definitely! can mute the other persons microphone momentarily, breaking up the flow of conversation and possibly causing you to miss key information.
Instead of saying mm-hm or yeah, nod or smile when youd usually speak. That way your interviewer still gets the feedback they need without your mic accidentally overriding theirs.
Choose The Right Location
When it comes to video interviews and the abundance of wifi you can choose just about anywhere to connect! But dont just post up in your kitchen or head to the coffee shop down the road without first considering a few important factors: lighting, noise level, distraction level and proximity to a power outlet.
First things first: Make sure your location is well-lit, so that youre able to clearly communicate with your interviewer. For noise level, of course its the quieter, the better. But if you cant find a space with absolutely zero noise, make sure you have a pair of microphone-enabled headphones handy. As for distractions, consider everything from your roommates or family members schedules , to the background youre sitting in front of . Finally, make sure wherever you choose to take the video interview has easy access to a power outlet .
Start Off With A Digital Handshake
When you interview in person, theres a period where the interview has started, but it hasnt started. You and your interviewer are physically meeting, shaking hands, walking into the room, and sitting down. Even if youre not making small talk, theres still some time to settle in. For a video interview, this isnt always the case, so you need to focus on making an initial connection even more than usual, Eonnet says.
Try a digital handshake, she says. After you say hello, look right into the camera to forge a connection, do a small head nod as if to say yes!, and add a smile, which translates warmth and openness.
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Dont Forget To Follow Up
According to a 2017 Accountemps survey, only 27% of managers receive thank you notes from candidates, but 80% say theyre helpful when reviewing candidates. If youre planning on sending a note, its usually a good idea to do so within 24 hours of your interview and reach out to each person who participated, whether they did so in person or virtually. Theyll appreciate that you put time and effort into your interactions, regardless of the medium.Looking for more interviewing insights from a candidate perspective? Check out this blog post from Kasey Altman, SMB Account Executive at Greenhouse.
is Content Marketing Manager at Greenhouse. Marnie has been in the thought leadership content space for 10 years, previously at WeWork and Oracle. She has a masters in marketing from the University of Denver and a bachelors in English from Colorado State University.
Eliminate All Technical Hitches
Sorry, I just cant get the webcam working! the words an interviewer least wants to hear. Test your equipment in advance to avoid the kind of embarrassment that could throw you off balance. If possible, do a trial run with the exact application youll use in the interview if its a Skype interview, set up a Skype call with a friend. This is less easy to do if the call comes via the companys web conferencing software youll just have to make sure your camera and mic work in other applications and keep your fingers crossed.
A decent internet connection is also vital. Organise a backup location at a friends place in case your broadband has a bad day.
Want a practice run? Take Bright Network’s free video interview practice assessment.
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Warn Your Roommates/family Members
Everyone has things going on â be sure to pencil in your interview to the schedule of the entire household. It may not eliminate distractions, but a fair warning can help minimize background noise in your space.
If you forget to do this in advance, try putting a sign on your door or sending a text to let everyone know your interview is about to start.
Have Your Interview Answers Ready
If you receive the questions in advance, you have received a fabulous opportunity to be well-prepared. Its like being handed the keys to the kingdom. Script out your answers in advance, remembering to tell clear and concise stories that are examples of your accomplishments.
If you dont receive the questions in advance, which is unfortunately more likely, be prepared to answer the standard job interview questions.
Focus on the challenges you faced, the actions you took, and the results you attained.
During the interview, have a copy of the job description and your resume or application available to reference if necessary.
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Project A Confident Tone And Body Language
You never really know how you come across on-screen until you record yourself talking and watch the results. Yes, it can be painful. But it gives you a chance to practise and reveals any unfortunate habits.
If there are questions you know to expect, practise them specifically. Deliver your answer directly to the camera, watch the result, and adjust as necessary for next time.
Control Other Distractions You Might Have
Keep adults, children, and pets away.
You dont want a cat jumping on the back of your chair, your mom hollering at you, or your toddler screaming right when youre talking about how amazing and professional you are. Yes, were all human and we all have lives, but these distractions tend to diminish your credibility a smidge.
If theres a risk of vacuums, leaf-blowers, and jack-hammers try to plan ahead for these contingencies. And of course, if something really is unavoidable, you can:
And again, do not do your video interview in any public place . Youre just setting yourself up for distraction or disaster .
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Practice Practice Practice For Your Video Interview
In the weeks, days, hours leading up to your video interview, we recommend very concentrated practice to get comfortable both with your interview skills and the weirdness of interviewing on camera.
Interviewing is a skill , so the more you practice, the better youll get.
Practice with a friend, a counselor, a spouse, a boyfriend or girlfriend, a parent. If all else fails, even better, record yourself answering questions.
Having the visual feedback of a recording greatly increases your interview skills. You can record your answers on a webcam or phone to monitor how you look and sound on camera and adjust accordingly.
Lights Camera Interview The Dos And Donts Of Lighting
This is your chance to literally present yourself in the best light. Take time to find a well-lit area before your interview.
Setting up optimal lighting need not be complicated. The easiest lighting solution is near a sunny window with lots of natural light. Artificial light can work just as well, especially if your interview takes place after the sun has set.
An example of poor lighting
An example of good lighting
Recruiters wont be able to see you if the light source is behind you.
When participating in an online interview, you want whoevers evaluating you to see you clearly. You can achieve this by positioning the light source in front of you rather than behind you. Why? Because backlighting will make you look like a silhouette and interviewers wont be able to see your facial expressions.
Lighting can often be the difference between a pleasant interview and a situation where its difficult to focus on the candidate and what theyre saying. Its best to have the main light source pointed toward your face .
Biron Clark, founder of CareerSidekick.com and former recruiter
This camera is positioned incorrectly. Ideally, you want to be centered within the camera frame.
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Watch Your Body Language
What’s lost in a virtual interview is the natural building of rapport that can happen in-person.
That’s why it’s really important to maintain eye contact the entire time, which means looking directly into the camera and not at the screen. It may be tough, but putting a sticky note with an arrow pointing to the camera lens can help, Salemi suggested.
“You can still build rapport with the interviewer,” she said.
“Allow yourself to sit, pause, breathe, articulate your thoughts and speak while making eye contact.”
It’s also not lost on the interviewer if your eyes are elsewhere.
“People can tell when you’re looking around on your screen and around the room,” added Stoddard.
“The more focused you can be in the interview and the more engaged you can be, the better.”
Also, check the rest of your body language. That means sit up straight and not fidgeting.
Practice Good Body Language
Body language is just as important during video interviews as it is during in-person interviews. Maintain eye contact throughout the video interview by looking at the webcam when answering questions rather than at the interviewers face on the screen. This emulates face-to-face eye contact by aligning your eyes with the hiring managers eyes.
You should also practice good posture by sitting up straight in your chair. Keep your feet firmly on the ground and place your arms on your desk or table or in your lap.
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Use The Right Equipment
This is another factor that we didnât have to worry about when attending in-person job interviews. The quality of a video interview is really dependent on the equipment you use and how well you use it. Make sure you have a laptop, rather than a phone, ready.
- Test Your Wifi
Make sure that your internet connection is strong enough that it can handle a video call that lasts up to an hour. Some wifi connections deteriorate depending on the time of day or number of people using it at the same time. Tell your household members to disconnect for the duration of the video interview, and test out your connection at least a few days before the interview, so that you can call for repairs or find a different location if need be.
- Use an External Webcam
External webcams are a good fit for video interviews compared to inbuilt webcams in a laptop. They are easier to maneuver and adjust to find the right angle and position. Just be sure to connect your external webcam before the interview and test that itâs going to stay connected throughout.
- Wear a Headset
Our Training Software Big Interview
allows you to practice with your webcam, record, review, and even share recordings for feedback with a friend or mentor. This approach will allow you to see exactly how you come across via video conference and work on any weaknesses . Get Started
This practice will also serve you well in preparing for upcoming in-person interviews. Recording and analyzing performance on video is a proven technique for improving your skills its a tactic that has been used for decades by professional athletes, public speakers, and performing artists.
You could also arrange a Skype practice interview with a trusted friend or coach and ask for honest feedback. Make sure you choose someone with some knowledge of job interviews and what employers look for.
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Carefully Read Their Directions
One reason an employer might use this interview format is to see if you have the ability to follow directions. Prior to recording, make sure you understand exactly what you should include in your video and how to submit it.
For instance, many employers will give you a series of questions to answer within a specific time limit. Make sure you adhere to any time restraints, as employers are quite deliberate about them. Save your video in the format they specify, which may include specific instructions on how to name your video.
Choose Your Recording Space
Find a quiet space with good lighting. You want your face to be free from any shadows. Choose a spot with a clean-looking background, perhaps in front of a bookshelf or wall. Avoid recording in front of a window, as the lighting may be poor and the background may become distracting to the employer. You want to choose a space where their focus can be entirely on you.
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Interviewing Rules Still Apply
Dont forget to spend time preparing to answer the interview questions. Looking good on webcam is important, but your answers to the interview questions are even more important. Youll find tons of useful information on interview preparation on this blog and if you really want to ace the interview, spend some time on Big Interview reviewing the video curriculum and sample answers and preparing with the video practice interview tool.
For an even more in depth treatment of video interviews, check out our Ultimate Guide to Video Interviews.
Remember That There Are People On The Other Side
Once everything is in place, Doucette suggests propping your laptop up or sitting farther back from the camera to avoid giving your interviewer the under-chin view. Sit up, be attentive, and check your lighting.
And while you may not be traveling to the office for your interview, thats no excuse to not look your best, or at least your best from the waist up.
The whole point of the video interview is to see you, says Doucette. Be mindful of how you present yourself. Consider how you will not only sound but also look. I tender the same advice as for an on-site interview: Always wear a suit
Also, your mom says you should clean your roomno seriously, you do not want to turn on your video interview and have the pile of laundry crumpled up on the bed behind you. Just because theres no one actuallysitting in front of you, someone will be later so act as if.
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Effective Tips To Ace A Video Interview Easily
hereâs no doubt that video interviews are the future of job interviews. Developing technology has altered how we approach many situations in everyday life we now prefer to send a text message rather than a letter, research online instead of going to the library, and order groceries online rather than going to the store, we even order taxis online now.
With the COVID-19 pandemic bringing a new normal, even more services have moved online to make it as easy as possible to stay home and save lives.
So itâs no wonder that 60% of hiring managers and recruiters now choose to conduct a video or phone interview rather than meeting a candidate in-person. It has made the hiring process easier for both the company and the job seeker, saving on gas, time, and travel expenses. It has also opened up opportunities for long-distance candidates to meet virtually with an employer and land their dream job.
While an in-person interview may soon be a thing of the past, it doesnât make video interviews any easier or less nerve-wracking. So we have compiled some tips and tricks to guarantee that youâll ace your next job interview.
Set The Stage For A Distraction
Choose a location thats free from the distractions of children, roommates or pets. Hang a sign on the door asking mail carriers and package deliverers not to ring the doorbell.
Make sure the background is free from clutter and embarrassing items like laundry piles. Set up lighting thats bright but not glaring, illuminating your face from the front. Natural light is best.
Turn off email, text and social media alerts, software updates and other notifications that may pop up on the screen during the interview. Turn off programs that might interfere with the webcam, and close browser tabs.
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Prep For Optimal Eye Contact
Have you ever had a conversation with someone where they seemed to be looking over your shoulder or away from you entirely? Did you feel like you connected with that person? Probably not. So while actual eye contact isnt possible in a video interview, youll want to get as close as possible. Looking at someones face is usually enough to show that youre listening and engaged with what theyre saying.
To that end, make sure youve found a comfortable distance that allows you to look straight ahead rather than down at the camera. And place the window where your interviewer will appear on the same monitor as your camera and move it as close to the camera as possiblecentered is best. That way, when you look at them, as you naturally will during your conversation, youre also looking at the camera.