Getting Ready for a Video Interview? Here’s What You Need to Know

By Sean Gordon

There’s nothing more stressful than preparing for an interview. From making sure that you’ve brushed up on the company, wearing the right outfit and even just arriving on time, there are a whole bunch of variables to consider when preparing for your big moment. It’s important to be prepared.

But with so much about how companies change how they interview applicants, how do you approach those changes as the applicant? These days, a bunch of companies conduct video interviews that save time and money. But with these new methods comes new obstacles. These obstacles are certainly not insurmountable, but it’s wise to come in prepared.

Here, we have a few ideas for you to get prepared to log in and snag the job from the comfort of your own home via video interview:

What to Wear

“Dress for the job you want.” This is a common phrase that people toss around, pretending that it’s some weighted, lofty concept. In all honesty, it boils down to common sense: you want to dress to impress, especially when you’re in a video interview. You obviously want to look professional, but there are a couple of things about video interviews you may want to consider. First off, never wear white. While it may look nice and clean in a face-to-face interaction, you have to be careful with white on video. More than likely, the camera you will be using will be attached to your computer, which means it won’t necessarily be of the highest quality. This will likely result in your face getting washed out by the overwhelming light being reflected off of your shirt, so it’s best to wear a darker, solid color for video interviews.

Also, make sure you’re fully dressed. What exactly does this mean? Wear. Pants. Yes, you’re at home, and you should feel comfortable at your own home. But an online video interview is not the place to let your lower end breathe. It’s not professional, and it’s definitely not a good look. Plus, interviewers have been known to ask video applicants to stand to make sure they are appropriately dressed for the occasion. Treat this moment like any other important moment, where you would usually be fully clothed. Don’t get caught with your pants down, literally.

Where to Set Up

Set up in a quiet, clean room. Your goal here is to look for a distraction-free environment. This means getting rid of pets, children, girlfriend, boyfriend, wife, husband, best friend, siblings, parents and grandparents to not only give you the room and space to think about your answers, but also allow your interviewers focus on you and you alone. Inviting distractions into this environment is a recipe for disaster, and could result in you not getting the job.

Ideally, you will have a white backdrop; a wall with nothing hanging on it. Clear the clutter from your desk, dust your surroundings and minimize any distracting elements around you. If you get distracted, you risk looking uninterested and unprofessional. Even worse, if the interviewee gets distracted by something you can control on your end, they are no longer on you. Either way, it’s an avoidable problem that you can take care of.

Know Your Technology

One of the huge benefits about technology is we can use it to do anything. But that also be a drawback, if we don’t know how to wield it. Take some time a day or two beforehand to make sure you that your camera and microphone are set up properly, and if you’re using a software like Skype, keep it open and stay logged in. Make sure that you won’t pull any power chords that might result in power failure, and set any alerts and message noise to silent. There’s no reason to not be prepared with your own technology, so set aside time to familiarize yourself with it if you haven’t already.

Some companies may bring you in to their facility and have you interview with someone that is offsite. Which means you will likely be using their technology. Be responsible with their stuff, and if you have any questions, don’t be afraid to ask. It’s better to address that you don’t understand before the interview starts, rather than in the middle of it.

Present Yourself Well

While it’s important to familiarize yourself with the company before a face-to-face interview, it might be even more so when you are doing a video interview. Usually, the purpose of a video interview is to weed out the competition for an employer to find their applicant more efficiently. If your responses don’t sound confident, you will more than likely seal your own fate. It’s harder to make a good impression over video, so you have to impress the employer with how you answer their questions. As long as you make a lasting impression here, you will get a better chance to get in the door for a face-to-face interview later.

Keep your posture straight, use a good amount of lighting and keep the camera at your eye level. If you prepare in the right way, you will make a good lasting impression that might even get you the job. This is your opportunity, so go out there and make the best of it.

Need more tips on how the video interview process works? vidREACH is here to help.

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