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Foolproof Ways to Ace Your Video Interview

Video interviews and online communication are the norm nowadays, ever since the pandemic greatly diminished non-essential contact. Below are some helpful video interview tips to ensure that you impress your interviewer and ace that upcoming interview.

Check out Job Interview Success for more interview tips.

Tech

The most basic thing you need to secure for a video interview is your tech. This is basically a no-brainer since the video interview is virtually impossible without at least a laptop or smartphone. As such, you need to ensure to have everything you need, tech-wise.

  • Computer, laptop, tablet or phone
  • Headphones or earphones
  • Internet connection
  • Lighting and noise control

Below are the things you can do to test your tech to make sure that everything is in working order. 

  • Ask a friend or family member to video chat with you to see if you can hear and see them well and to test if they can hear and see you as well.
  • Set aside some time to explore and practice the application. Different interviewers may opt for different video call apps, so make sure to familiarize yourself with their chosen application so you can navigate through it smoothly (like how to mute and unmute yourself) during the actual interview.
  • Test your internet connection and have a backup such as mobile data for any connectivity issues. Test your backup internet connection for internet strength too.
  • Have a backup plan for power interruptions and test it as well.
  • Before the interview, turn off any notifications that can distract the interview process and close unrelated tabs on your computer.
  • Properly position the camera so that you are in the center of the frame. Make sure that you are a good distance from the camera so that you’re not too large or too tiny in the frame.

Location

Even if you’re taking the interview online through a video console, it is still no excuse for you to forego picking the right location. You need to meet several parameters to secure a good location for your video interview.

  • Choose a quiet location away from distractions such as pets, family members, or other people. If you’re working in a room, it could help to post a sign outside the door that says “do not disturb, interview ongoing” to let others know not to knock or create too much noise around the room.
  • Pick a neutral background. A blank wall will work just fine. Ensure that there is no visible clutter in the video frame such as laundry, used dishes, or other objects that are embarrassing and can distract the interviewer.
  • Pick the right lighting. Natural light is best, such as if there is a window behind your computer or phone and not behind you. If natural light is not available, such as if the location does not have a window or if the interview takes place in the evening, invest in a small ring light that you can attach near your camera to light up your face during the video call.

Attire

Because it is a video interview and the interviewer will be able to see you, it is best to invest in preparing a good outfit as well. You might feel that you needn’t worry so much about your pants or shoes because the only visible parts are your head and upper body. However, many video interview tips will tell you to dress professionally nonetheless.

Dressing professionally will help to put you “in the mood” for the interview and make you feel good and confident about yourself. Below are some video interview tips when it comes to outfit selection.

  • Avoid strong patterns and overly-bright colors that can strain your interviewer’s eyes and appear unprofessional.
  • Choose a solid color over a patterned tie.
  • Avoid glare from eyeglasses by adjusting the lighting (you can do this as you prepare your tech).
  • Wear a full outfit with matching pants or a skirt, just in case you need to stand up for any reason.
  • Test your outfit in front of the camera. For example, make sure that if you have a slightly lower-cut neckline that it won’t appear as if you’re wearing nothing on camera.

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Speech and body language

Eye contact, facial expression, tone of voice, choice of words, and hand gestures are all still important in a video interview. That is why you need to take care to practice positive body language in front of the camera. Here are some video interview tips regarding speech and body language.

  • Try to maintain “eye contact” by looking at the camera as you speak instead of staring at the screen or looking at your own picture. You can look back at the screen when the interviewer is talking.
  • Maintain a good posture with your back straight, your shoulders relaxed, and your hands resting on your lap or on the desk.
  • Speak clearly so that the microphone picks up your voice, but don’t shout.
  • Pause for a bit after the interviewer delivers the question before answering. This avoids any interruptions or overlapping of sounds since sometimes there are delays in digital connections.
  • Keep an upbeat and optimistic demeanor throughout the interview. This will affect your voice tone and body language. 
  • While the interviewer speaks, react with nods, smiles, or changes in facial expressions to convey that you are listening with your full attention.
  • Don’t be afraid to make use of hand gestures to further convey your message.
  • Don’t forget to thank your interviewer for their time at the end of the session.

Contingency

Sometimes, things just go wrong, and you cannot avoid it no matter how well you prepare yourself. The best thing to do is anticipate possible hiccups along the interview process and come up with solutions ahead of time.

  • Before the interview, ask for the interviewer’s phone number so that you can contact them in case there are interruptions to the video or audio.
  • If you experience technical difficulties, give your interviewer a call and ask if it is okay to continue the interview by phone or if you need to reschedule.
  • If there is a noise that interrupts the interview, apologize for the interruption, and wait for the noise to subside before continuing. For overly loud noises, mute your microphone.
  • If someone accidentally walks in or interrupts during the interview, excuse yourself, mute your microphone and disable the video momentarily to deal with the distraction. When you return, apologize for the interruption and proceed.

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