How to Ace a Video Interview

As if you didn't already know it, a lot of people are applying for the same jobs as you. As competition becomes stiff and more companies are embracing technology, video interviews are taking the place of many first round in-person interviews. Recent studies show that between 50 and 70 percent of employers now conduct video interviews as some phase during the hiring process. While it may be second nature to you to use video communication software like Skype or Facetime, it's a different ballgame when you're using it to land a job. Read on for a few tips on how you should approach your next (or first!) video interview...

Mistakes People Make When Being Interviewed via Video

  • They don't finish their look. Even though it might seem silly to dress up to talk to a computer, you need to dress the same you would if you were interviewing in person.
  • They take the call in a distracting environment. We've all been on conference calls where someone is obviously sitting at the dog park or coffee shop. Don't risk your chances by taking the call in a room with poor lighting or distracting noise.
  • They interview at work. Yes, technically you can take a video call from anywhere, but be smart about it. If you're at work constantly worried about someone hearing you or knocking on your door, it will probably negatively impact your presence.
video interview
video interview

How You Should Prepare for a Video Interview

Even though it's a virtual interview, you need to present yourself how you would in person, down to the shoes you're wearing. This will have an incredible impact on your confidence and demeanor. Fifteen minutes prior to the call, shut down all other internet browsers and silence or turn off your cell phone to prepare for the video call. Test your camera to make sure you're properly framed in the screen. And finally, be prepared to take the call at a clean desk or table with a notepad readily available to take notes - just as you would in person.

Rocking the Interview

  • Choose a location where your background is neutral and won't be distracting.
  • Take the call on a computer, not your cell phone.
  • Make sure you are maintaining as much eye contact as possible with your interviewer by looking into your webcam. (This may mean propping up your computer with books to achieve the proper angle or moving your desktop closer to you so that you are the focus of the call, not your entire room.)
  • Remember that your body language does as much of the talking as your words, so if possible use the screen-in-screen function so that you can check in every so often on how you appear.

What was your experience like interviewing via video? Do you prefer it to in-person interviews?