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Video Interviewing 101

video interviewing

Video interviews are a virtually unavoidable part of the hiring process, particularly for executive and tech positions. Nearly all employers embraced video interviewing during the pandemic, and it’s safe to say that most of those employers have continued the practice. Our recruiters will tell you that Texas employers, in particular, will almost always tuck video interviewing into their recruiting processes.

Therefore, if you’re a job seeker who is still uncomfortable or awkward about video interviewing, it’s time to hone your skills. Many job seekers struggle to make a positive impression virtually, often due to technical glitches, inadequate preparation, or a lack of confidence. Acing this part of the process will make you a standout. So, before your next video interview, pay attention to this advice from our recruiters.

Preparation is Key

Just as you would meticulously prepare for an in-person interview, video interviewing demands equal attention to detail. Familiarize yourself with the video conferencing platform you’ll be using, whether it’s Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Google Meet. Practice using the platform beforehand to ensure you’re comfortable with its features and can navigate it seamlessly.

Tech Check, Tech Check, and Tech Check

A smooth and glitch-free video interview is crucial for establishing professionalism and confidence. It’s critically important if you’re applying for a remote or partly remote position because it shows you’re already set up for success. Test your internet connection, webcam, and microphone well in advance to ensure they’re functioning optimally. Consider using a wired Ethernet connection instead of Wi-Fi for a more stable connection. If possible, invest in a high-quality webcam and headset to enhance audio and video clarity.

Set the Stage for Success

Choose a quiet, well-lit location free from distractions for your interview. Avoid cluttered backgrounds and ensure your workspace is clean and organized. Position your webcam at eye level to create a natural, engaging visual connection. Use natural light if possible, or consider using a ring light or other artificial lighting to brighten your face.

Be Prompt but Not Early

We love this reminder from Interview Coach Sarah Johnston via Career Sidekick: Enter your Zoom meeting or interview 2-3 minutes before the scheduled time, but no sooner.  A good rule of thumb is to be 10 minutes early to an in-person interview, but with video interviewing, “the person interviewing you could be using the same virtual meeting room for all interviewees…Be prompt but not early,” Johnston says.

Dress to Impress

First impressions matter in video interviewing, as with any other format. Dress as professionally as you normally would (head-to-toe—you never know when you might need to leave your seat). And follow the same grooming routines as you would if you were leaving the house, please. “I recently interviewed a job candidate who appeared to have just stepped out of the shower,” one employer told us. “Wet hair dripping all over a worn-out t-shirt…honestly, I was confused about what I was seeing!”

Body Language and Etiquette

Maintain good posture throughout the interview. Sit up straight with your shoulders relaxed. Avoid fidgeting or making unnecessary movements, as these can distract the interviewer. Maintain eye contact with the camera and demonstrate active listening by nodding and smiling as appropriate. Also, learn the art of the “neutral expression,” which Indeed explains here.

Speak Clearly and Confidently

Project your voice clearly and enunciate your words distinctly. Speak at a moderate pace, avoiding talking too quickly or too slowly. And here’s a constructive tip: It’s OK to pause for a moment after each question to gather your thoughts before responding. Taking a moment to formulate your response before answering can help ensure your thoughts are organized and concise.

Ask Thoughtful Questions

Preparing insightful questions demonstrates genuine interest in the company and the job role. Ask about the company’s culture, vision for the future, and the specific challenges and opportunities associated with the position. We offer plenty of examples on our blog, including our favorite questions to ask and also questions to ask a startup and questions to ask about a telecommuting job.   

Follow Up and Express Gratitude

After video interviewing, send a thank-you note to the interviewer, reiterating your interest in the position and expressing your gratitude for their time. A well-crafted thanks can truly set you apart from other candidates. Read more about our tips on following up here.

Additional Tips from our recruiters:

  • Practice mock interviews with friends, family, or a recruiter to gain confidence and refine your communication skills.
  • Don’t forget that you still need to research the company and the position thoroughly to demonstrate your understanding of their needs and how your skills can contribute to their success, just as you would for an in-person interview.
  • Be yourself and let your personality shine through. Authenticity is vital to building a rapport with the interviewer, not being overly rehearsed or pretending to be someone you’re not.
  • Be patient and understanding if there are any technical glitches during the interview. Remain calm and professional, and don’t hesitate to ask for assistance. If the tech isn’t working, call or email another way to let the interviewer know.

Video interviewing provides an excellent opportunity to showcase your skills, experience, and personality. By following these expert tips and preparing diligently, you can make a great impression and increase your chances of landing your dream job.