Top 10 Video Interview Tips For 2020

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By Mike Simpson

The popularity of video interviews is skyrocketing. When the unemployment rate hits 3.5%, as in February 2020, it pushes organizations to broaden their search for candidates. Thanks to it, companies can interview professionals all over the country. No plane ticket required!

Once COVID-19 began to rock the nation, interest in video interviews soared. After all, when the government starts screaming about the need for social distancing, the idea of ​​meeting a near-stranger for an in-person interview is significantly less appealing.

But while the technology is not new, many people have never experienced this kind of maintenance before. Learning more about what is involved in the process and finding great video interview tips becomes a priority. If you want to make sure you’re ready for a video interview, here’s what you need to know.

What is a video interview?

A video interview is an approach that allows recruiters and candidates to meet face to face without being in the same room. Through the use of video conferencing software, webcams, speakers and microphones, they can mimic a traditional interview experience.

Why are video interviews used?

There are many situations where video interviews are useful. For example, companies can use them to interview candidates who live in other parts of the state, country, or planet. It can also allow hiring managers who travel for their work to meet candidates no matter where they are.

Today, video interviews are more often replacing face-to-face meetings. Concerns about the coronavirus and some mandatory shelter-in-place orders mean people are no longer meeting the way they once did. With a video interview, a hiring manager can shortlist candidates even in these uncertain times.

How do video interviews work?

Video interviews are based on specific technologies. In addition to an Internet-enabled computer, tablet or smartphone, each participant needs a webcam, speakers (or headphones), and one microphone. It allows them to see, hear and talk to each other.

In addition, web conferencing or video calling software is required to establish the connection. Some of the more popular solutions include:

    • Zoom
    • Go to a meeting
    • Meet me
    • Skype

Common video interview mistakes

If you are not familiar with video interviews, it is easy to make mistakes. There are certain missteps that can hurt your chances of getting a job.

When it comes to video maintenance tips, the most important thing is to avoid any missteps that could be holding you back. With that in mind, here are three common video interview mistakes:

1. Do not check the lighting

A video interview is meant to replace a face-to-face meeting. If the hiring manager doesn’t see you well, that’s a problem.

Besides, some lighting angles are less than flattering. While we all want to be judged purely on our abilities, it doesn’t help put your best foot (or face) forward.

Before starting a video interview, open the camera and see if there are any lighting issues. If so, make adjustments. You may need to change positions in the room, bring table lamps, or open or close curtains to get things just right. While it might take a while, it’s worth it.

2. Overlooking what is in the background

When you participate in a video interview, you want to come across as the accomplished professional. But just one inappropriate element in the background can derail this goal.

Before your meeting, turn on your camera and see which part of your room appears in the frame. Then carefully examine each item. Is this something you want the hiring manager to see? Otherwise, take it out of the frame.

Plus, choose a space you can control, such as a room with a lockable door. That way you don’t end up like BBC Dad, Professor Robert Kelly.

MIKE’S TIP: When looking at your background, you need to broaden your definition of “inappropriate.” An article does not have to be risky or rude to qualify. For example, Anything with political leanings, religious preferences, or identifying you as a member of a protected group may be best removed. You want to limit the potential for controversy and bias, so if something is too revealing or potentially contentious, take it out of the box.

3. Thinking You Can Google Your Way To Success

For a video interview, you will use a computer, tablet or smartphone to log in. This means powerful technology is at your fingertips. If you’re stumped with a question, you might be tempted to jump online and search for an answer.

Likewise, you might think that you can get a head start by writing down answers to various regular or behavioral interview questions. Then you can just read them when there is one.

Of course, this may seem like a guaranteed path to success, but it is not. In most cases, you will get caught.

Why?

Because the hiring manager can see you and will likely notice when your attention keeps flashing on the screen or your hands suddenly click keys.

Even if you try to be stealthy and mute your mic or fake a video feed problem to get that extra moment, it will look suspicious even if you only do it once. Recruiters are not models. They have seen these tips before.

Resist the temptation and don’t try to use a computer or other device to gain an advantage. If you prepare properly for your interview, you will be fine. The use of subterfuge is simply not necessary, and it could actually cause you to lose a job if you get caught.

Top 10 Video Interview Tips

Here are our top 10 video interview tips that can help you excel.

1. Dress like it’s a face-to-face interview

While it’s fun to see ads from people interviewing in pajama bottoms, it’s not a smart move. The way you dress has an impact on your mood, for example. On the other hand, you never know if you will need to get up unexpectedly. Stay safe by dressing as you would if you met in person.

2. Don’t forget to look at the camera

Eye contact for a video interview is tricky. If you look at the hiring manager’s eyes on the screen, to him it looks like you are looking down. Make eye contact by regularly moving your gaze between the screen and the camera. This way you make the connection, without accidentally looking at them.

3. Slow down when talking

While many speakers, microphones, and headphones provide exceptional sound quality, you can never predict exactly how you will fare. When speaking during your video interview, slow down. Also make sure to pronounce your words.

4. Confirm the time zone

If you’re interviewing for a company in another region, check if the agreed meeting times are in your time zone or theirs. Otherwise, you might find yourself ridiculously sooner or later, or mistakenly believe that they have ghosted you.

5. Choose a professional username

Many people have long-standing Skype accounts. While “Tacos4Ever” might have been fun for you at some point, it isn’t going to impress a hiring manager. Make sure your username is professional. If you need to, create a brand new account for added security.

6. Pay attention to your colors

Bright colors and white don’t work well for video interviews. Wearing black can also be unsettling, giving your skin a vampire quality. When in doubt, focus on coordinating neutrals.

7. Watch your gestures

In a live interview, being a little lively is good. However, during a video interview it can be a bit distracting. Remember, the interviewer only sees what’s in the frame, so your arm movement can essentially take up the entire screen. It makes them look bigger than they are, so tone them down, just to be on the safe side.

8. Get online early

With most video interviews, you will be able to connect to the web conference before it officially begins. Ideally, you want to be in the virtual room before the recruiter, so log in about five before the start. That way they don’t wait for you.

IMPORTANT: Don’t log in TOO early. Many recruiters are new to video interviewing today and not all are experts. Some of them are known to use the same “virtual interview room” for all of their candidates. You don’t want to log in 15 minutes before the scheduled time and block the interview before your own! 5 minutes early is enough.

9. Pause before speaking

In some cases, video interviews have delays. It takes a while after one person has spoken for this to be passed on to the other participant. To make sure you don’t accidentally talk to the hiring manager, wait a second or two after they ask a question before responding. This way you can make sure they are finished before you start.

10. Make sure to log out

After your interview is complete, make sure you are completely logged out of the web conference before doing anything else. Otherwise, a post-interview remark or gesture could be broadcast to the interviewer.

Put it all together

Ultimately, a video interview is not unlike a traditional interview. It just requires a bit of technology and a few additional considerations. With the right preparation and the right know-how, you can excel. Just be sure to use the video interview tips above, and you will be good to go.

And as always, good luck!

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