|Comments and Suggestions
|Video interviews are just as important as in-person interviews
A video interview (sometimes called a virtual, digital, or videoconference
interview) is a job interview that is conducted using technology to
provide the audio and visual connection between the interviewer(s) and
the applicant. Its purpose and importance are identical to an in-person
If you do well in a video interview, your chances of advancing to
the next level in the recruitment process will be greatly enhanced.
Plan and prepare for video interviews accordingly.
|Think about your overall job search goal
Just as you would for an in-person interview, you should enter the
video interview with a goal in mind. The obvious goal, of course, it
to get hired, but to do so, you must convince the interviewer that you
have the right stuff to do the job.
Think about your background and how it fits with the job. Are there
unique skills or experience that you possess? Can you differentiate
yourself in a positive way from other applicants? If so, part of your
goal should be to ensure the interviewer is keenly aware of your unique
|Prepare for the interview with the same care you would use for an
The same effort you put into preparing for an in-person interview
should be put into preparing for a video interview. While there are
some unique considerations, most of the prep work is identical for either
type of interview.
If possible, find out the name(s) and position(s) of the interviewer(s).
It is always valuable to know the kinds of people you will be talking
with and it can help you prepare answers to the kinds of questions they
are likely to ask.
|Be sure you provide any requested materials (resumes, cover letters,
etc.) well in advance
When scheduling your for a video interview, you may be asked to provide
updated copies of resumes, cover letters, and the like. You may also
be asked for information to verify your email address, primary and backup
phone numbers or other information that will help facilitate the video
Prompt reply to such requests is important. Keep in mind that humorous
or questionable email addresses and the like may be fine for communicating
with your friends, but they may not be very well received by potential
|Don’t hesitate to ask for advice or help related to the process
or equipment being used
During an in-person interview, it is usually pretty easy to judge
whether you are speaking loud enough or if the interviewer understands
your responses. It is more difficult to make such judgments during a
If there is any doubt, be sure you ask the interviewer if he or she
can see you okay or if your speaking volume is adequate. Likewise, if
you aren’t receiving clear video or audio from the interviewer, let
them know that as well.
|Dress the same as you would for an in-person interview
Taking a video interview from your home in a suit coat and tie on
top, but ragged jeans on the bottom might sound like fun, but it can
backfire. Don’t assume you will remain seated throughout the video interview.
It is best to avoid clothes with narrow stripes because they may
look odd on video. Also, lighter clothes look better against a dark
background and darker clothes look better against a light background.
Dress professionally based on expectations for the kind of job you are
|Make sure your microphone is at a proper distance
Microphone placement is important for both volume and voice quality.
If the microphone is too far away, you may sound muffled or like you
are in a tunnel. If it is too close, you may sound too “breathy” and
risk having minor throat clearing sound exceptionally loud.
Don’t hesitate to ask the interviewer about voice quality and volume.
You don’t want the interviewer to strain trying to see or hear you.
|Look at the camera; not the screen
Even though it is through a camera lens, you want to make good eye
contact with the interviewer. Having good eye contact will make you
appear more sincere and credible.
When you look at the camera, you come across as though you are looking
directly at the interviewer. When you look away from the camera, it
appears as though you are looking away from the interviewer. It may
take some practice or a conscious effort, but be sure to maintain good
If taking a video interview from your home and you have picture-in-picture
capability on your personal computer (you can see your own picture and
the interviewer), an occasional glance at your picture can help you
adjust from an awkward position or bad lighting. However; it is important
to look at your own picture sparingly so it doesn’t appear you are staring
at it or avoiding eye contact with the interviewer.
If you need to look at your video picture or anything else during
the interview, try to place those things as close to the camera as possible.
That way, when you glance at them, your eyes don’t stray too much from
|Expect questions to be very similar to those of an in-person interview
Generally, a video interview will follow that same pattern as an
in-person interview. You should expect interview questions to be very
similar, if not identical, to those of any other interview. The Job
Search eBook and Interview Trainer provide a substantial amount of information
that will help you anticipate and practice for the types of questions
you will be asked.
Because video makes it more difficult to observe how the interviewer
is reacting to your answers, pay close attention to the video monitor
so you are better able to pick up on subtle clues.
|Prepare questions for the interviewer
As is the case in an in-person interview, you should always prepare
questions for the interviewer. Having some questions about the organization,
the job the environment in which you will work or the next steps I n
the process shows you are interested in the job.
It can also be helpful to ask the interviewer a question that relates
to their perception of your fit for the job. If they mention a concern,
it gives you an opportunity to add some additional information that
will help overcome that concern.
|Appear natural and relaxed
Even though a video interview may seem new and challenging, in reality
it is still an interview. As in any other interview, you want to come
across as comfortable, confident and credible. If you start by making
a positive first impression, the rest of the interview will be easier.
Appearing relaxed greatly helps in creating a positive impression
and nothing will make you more relaxed than good preparation. Take advantage
of the many tools and practice questions available, including some well-rehearsed
stories about your past successes and accomplishments.
|Pay attention to the audio and video presence of the interviewer
The interviewer will often give subtle clues about how they are feeling
about your responses. In a video interview environment, these clues
are a little more difficult to identify than they are when participating
in an in-person interview.
Observing the interviewer’s video presence can be a challenge since
you want to look at the camera as much as possible. If you have the
ability to do so, position the video monitor as close to the camera
as possible so your eyes don’t have to stray too far from the camera’s
|Your Non-verbal clues (body language) are important
Non-verbal clues (body language) will be a big part of what the interviewer
evaluates. As is the case for in-person interviews, avoid fidgeting
or displaying nervous or defensive body language signs.
If you can, record some practice video interview sessions and evaluate
how well you come across. There are few tools that can help you more
than your own observations.
|Setting the stage
If using your home computer and a web cam, be sure you have good
lighting and avoid unflattering or distracting shadows. Be sure what
shows up in the background is appropriate and “politically correct.
Also be sure you have taken steps to avoid being interrupted by people,
pets, noises, etc.
The background doesn’t need to be stark, but it shouldn’t be the
focus of the interviewer’s attention either. It helps if there is a
fair amount of distance between you and what is behind you. Ideally,
have the camera focus on you and have what is behind you slightly out
|Don’t get thrown off by mistakes or distractions
Don’t target an “Academy Award” winning performance. Perfection in
a video interview isn’t expected. If you make a mistake, treat it like
you would during the course of an in-person interview and then keep
You want to appear as natural and “real” as you can be. This will
help you come across as confident and credible.
|Avoid using notes or other aids
The time for reading notes and other aids is before the video interview
starts. Once it starts, you risk damaging your credibility if you are
perceived as having to reference notes in order to answer the interviewer’s
Reading notes would also require you to shift your attention away
from the camera, thereby causing the perceived loss of eye contact.
With proper interview preparation, notes will not be necessary for a
|Use video to your advantage
Having a positive attitude about a video interview can help you a
lot. If you come across as confident, poised and informed, video could
become your best friend.
Take advantage of the knowledge and tools available to help you be
successful during an interview. The more you know and practice, the
more confident you will become. That confidence will be obvious to the
interviewer and will help you move on to the next step in the recruitment
|Facial expressions, hair styles and the like will stand out
The field of view for a video interview is relatively narrow when
compared to the field of view for an in-person interview. Because of
this, the interviewer will be more focused on your face and upper torso.
Be sure to smile where appropriate and avoid frowns. Be cautious
about gaudy jewelry, stand-out hair styles, body art, funky clothing
and the like. Think about what an appropriate professional style might
be for the job you are applying for and mimic that style.
|Close the interview on a positive note
You don’t want to leave the interviewer wondering how you feel about
the open position or if you had a positive experience. If you are enthusiastic
about the job, say so. If you enjoyed your conversation with the interviewer,
say so. You get the message.
Once the video interview is over, use some of the tools provided
on this website to critique the interview, make changes to your resume
or cover letter, etc. Also, don’t forget to follow up with a thank-you