With the developing situation revolving around COVID-19, many workplaces are being disrupted. During this time of significant transition for many people, searching for jobs and performing well during interviews will become a priority across the country and around the world.
Here are some helpful tips to remember when you’re participating in an online video interview with a potential employer.
Before the interview…
Test your technology.
Are you using Skype? Microsoft Teams? Google Hangouts? Zoom?! There are many options to work with. Find out which one your interviewer prefers, and then use that technology to perform a test run with a friend. Make sure your video looks good, your audio sounds good, and your internet connection is stable.
Clean your space.
Make sure that your space is tidy, quiet, and has good lighting. As a general rule of thumb, your light source should come from overheard or behind the camera; lighting should never come from directly behind you, so don’t sit with your back against an open window otherwise it will give you a shadowy, distorted presence.
Print your resume.
Have your resume, the job description for the position you’ll be talking about, and a list of questions to ask your interviewer. Print these out to use as reference points during your conversation.
Look your best.
Just because you’re off-site doesn’t mean you can’t look your best! You definitely want to look just as professional for a video interview as you would for a face-to-face interview. This means dressing the part from your head to your toes.
Be sure to schedule your interview at a time you know your space will be quiet, such as your child’s nap time. Silence your cell phone and disable the notifications on your computer. Finally, do your best to eliminate background noise, such as a television, barking dogs, or loud traffic from outside.
During your interview…
Focus on your body language.
Make sure you have good posture and are not slouching over your desk. Sit on the front half of your chair to avoid the appearance of leaning back casually. Smile and nod when appropriate to indicate that you are listening and engaged.
Look at the camera.
It may be your instinct to look at the image of yourself or your interviewer, but looking straight into the camera is the equivalent of maintaining eye contact, which shows your interviewer that you are engaged.
Pro tip: Adjust the window in your browser so the images are as close to your camera as possible. This will ensure that your eyes are always looking at the camera.
Manage your time.
Video interviews are often shorter than in person, so it is important to answer questions very clearly and concisely without rambling. When it’s time to conclude the interview, wrap up by thanking the interviewers and asking about next steps.
After the interview…
Always follow up with a thank-you email to the interviewers. And don’t forget to convey your interest in the role and excitement about next steps!