Posted By: Kristen Brownholtz

Telecommunications applications such as Skype, Zoom, FaceTime, and Google Hangouts are utilized frequently for job interviews as they allow for greater flexibility in meeting time, location, and scheduling for both the interviewer and interviewee. That convenience factor along with the saved time and money that in-person interviews typically require means that video interviews are becoming more and more mainstream by the day. If you've never experienced a video interview, however, preparing for one can be taxing simply because you're not sure what to expect. Here are some things to keep in mind in order to ace a video interview:

Address technical difficulties prior to the interview.

The sooner ahead of time this is squared away, the better. You'll want to make sure that you test out the functions of both the video and audio sources you'll be using prior to your scheduled interview time, whether that includes a webcam and microphone setup or a smartphone camera and headphones. Connection issues are a very common occurrence, but by ensuring that everything is working properly ahead of time, they are less likely to occur during your interview (at least on your end).

Prepare your visual setup for the interview.

It's important to make sure that you have a neat and neutral backdrop while you're on camera during your video interview. Choose an area with a good digital connection, minimal background noise, minimal clutter, and nothing busy going on behind you so that the interviewer is able to focus their attention solely on you. Another thing to make sure of is that your camera angle allows for a clear, face-forward view. If possible, a head-and-shoulders view of you with a blank wall behind you is the ideal setup for a video interview.

Dress professionally for the interview.

Video interviews are different from phone interviews in the fact that you have to "look the part" along with "sounding the part." While you may be tempted to opt for more casual attire due to not having to meet your interviewer in person, the way that you present yourself is still going to come into play here, perhaps even more so. Projecting a professional image in your phone interview is crucial as it is the first impression of you that your interviewer will go off of when determining whether or not they wish to move forward with your candidacy.

Maintain eye contact with your interviewer and smile.
Just as you would during an in-person interview, you'll want to show enthusiasm and professionalism in your physical demeanor as well as your verbiage. Keeping a paper with notes and talking points nearby (and out of your camera frame) is fine, but don't be looking down at it constantly. An occasional glance here and there is fine, but its purpose is primarily to give you a bit of extra confidence. Also, if you're interviewing using a webcam, do not check any sort of cellular device at any point, whether it's out of the frame or not.

Try to reel in any nervous energy.
It's normal to have some sort of fidgeting habit or nervous tic, but this is something you want to try to gain control of during your interview as they express that you feel intimidated, stressed, or nervous in the situation. Some very common nervous tics to watch out for are nail biting, knee bouncing, face touching, finger tapping, hair fixing, excessive blinking, and saying words like "uhhh" and "like" excessively. You may have a nervous tic that you aren't even aware of; a good way to identify this and put a stop to it ahead of time is by holding a mock interview with another person.

Hold a mock interview.

You've certainly heard "practice makes perfect" many a time throughout your life, and that's because the mantra rings true to this day. Hold a mock interview with a colleague, friend, family member, or significant other by having them pretend to be your interviewer. Doing a practice run like this can help bring to light areas in which you need to improve prior to your actual interviewer. It also gives you the opportunity to sharpen up your articulation skills and help you build confidence in your ability to verbally communicate with the interviewer why you are the right fit for the position.

A recent survey by OfficeTeam determined that nowadays 6 out of 10 companies are opting for video interviews rather than in-person interviews (an infographic breaking down the results, published by Josh Tolan of SparkHire, can be found here), so it's clear that being adequately prepared for a video interview could mean the difference between getting followed up with for a position and getting a door closed in your face. Ideally, keeping these things in mind will help you establish your on-camera confidence and comfort level while subsequently reducing your stress levels leading up to the big event. Best of luck with your video interview!

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