5 Video Interview Tips to Help You Get The Job

Woman taking notes during video call

Video Interviews are Practically Unavoidable

We’ve previously discussed how the COVID-19 pandemic has led to employees feeling more confident in finding new jobs, but the pandemic has permanently changed the job interview process. With the increase of remote work and the necessity of social distancing, video interviews are becoming more and more common. Especially for the early stages of the interview process. Video interviews are about 6x faster than phone interviews. So, how should candidates prepare for video interviews? Do you need better lighting? And most importantly, do you need to put on real pants? Check out our 5 tips to prepare for virtual job interviews.

Dress for the Job

Yes, that includes real pants. For a virtual interview it is best to dress the same way you would for an in-person interview at the same company. While doing an interview from your own home may feel like a more casual occasion, you’re still trying to advance your professional career. You only have 7 seconds to make a first impression and all the details matter.Plus, getting out of your t-shirt and sweatpants and into more professional clothing will help you feel sharper and more on top of your game.

Find Good Lighting

Good, natural lighting can go a long way towards making you look your best on camera. No one likes talking to a dark and blurry pixelated video so try to find the best-lit sitting area that you can, especially if you are using an outdated or basic webcam. It’s best to sit with your computer between you and your light source so that your face is lit up from the front. If your video is backlit, aka your light source is behind you and facing into the camera, this can cause video conferencing software to go haywire with the image. For more video call lighting tips, check out this video from The Verge. 

How to Improve Your Video Calls in 5 Minutes

Use Headphones

A quality pair of noise canceling headphones can be incredibly helpful to keeping you focused during a video interview. We often cannot control the noise levels outside so neighbors mowing the lawn or dogs barking or thunderstorms or any number of things can happen during an interview to take you out of the conversation. Headphones that drown out the noise and emphasize the voices on the other end of the call are a great tool.

Check out some headphone recommendations from CNET.

Be (just a little) Early

The standard advice for in-person interviews is to arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled interview time. You definitely don’t need to join a video call that early; however, take that time to make sure you have as few distractions as possible when the interview starts. Close any unnecessary tabs or applications you might have open. Make sure you won’t have to restart your computer for updates. Silence your phone and if you live with other people or pets, try to be in an area where they won’t be a distraction. Be fully prepared to log onto your call about 3-5 minutes early.

Look at the Camera (Not Yourself)

We’ve all done it on a video call before. Looking at the little image of yourself in the corner of the screen to check yourself out is hard to avoid. But it gets noticed by the other people on a video call, so resist the urge. If the software you’re using has the option to hide that video from your view, hide it. Looking at the camera while you’re talking helps the other person on a video call feel more connected to you. It can be awkward if you’re staring off into the corner while you speak, so try to get your webcam to eye level if possible and remember to look at it while you talk.

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Meet the Author
De'Vion Hinton
Digital Specialist - The Americas