Preparing for a video interview

Merri Beckfield
Client Success Manager

With the environment changing and amid the coronavirus pandemic, many businesses are moving their in-person interviews to video. This leaves job seekers wondering how to prepare themselves for virtual self-presentation. Below are some tips on how to successfully present yourself during a video interview.

1. Dress as if you are interviewing in person.
Even though video won’t likely show your full body, being completely dressed in your interview attire will help you feel more confident in yourself. It will also leave a good impression and show that you are serious about the position.

2. Make sure you have a strong internet connection.
Test the connection and video quality by doing a video conference with a friend ahead of time. If there are others in your home, let them know when your interview will be so they can plan to sign off. Less overall internet use frees up more bandwidth for your purposes, so it will likely provide a smoother connection.

3. Test your technology.
To make a good first impression, confirm that your camera and audio are working properly. Position yourself so your head is at the top of the camera frame and your shoulders are at the bottom. Validate that your speakers and microphone are at a good volume and opt out of using headphones if possible.

4. Check your surroundings.
Having a distraction and clutter free background is important. Find a wall with pleasing aesthetics, like a painting on the wall, bookcase or shelf, or a cozy corner. Check that you are not in a dark spot or shadow. Sitting next to a window with natural light illuminating you will create a positive impression.

5. Ask questions and take notes.
Asking questions about the company and their culture is a great sign that you are truly interested in not only the position, but the company as well. Have specific questions ready to show you’ve done your research. Have a piece of paper and pencil ready to take notes. Taking notes on the computer increases your chances of something going wrong, like accidentally exiting the interview.

6. Be aware of your facial expressions and body language.
Make sure you smile during the interview. This will help you feel relaxed and engaged in the conversation. Try not to fidget, as it can be distracting to the interviewer.

7. Take a moment.
Before your interview, take a moment to gather your thoughts. Reflect on the top points you want to convey and take a few deep, calming breaths. Remember to speak clearly, slowly, and smile often.