This week three of my job search clients had face-to-face interviews scheduled that got redirected to video because of the Coronavirus outbreak. Expecting this to be a trend that may continue for weeks (or months) to come, I share some tips for job seekers unaccustomed to participating in video interviews to help improve their performance and ace the interview while staying germ free!
✅ Dress as you would for an in-person interview from head to toe. Avoid bright colors or busy patterns. Be cautious about wearing too much jewelry that could be distracting, produce glare, or make noise.
✅ Make sure your video profile picture and name are professionally appropriate as this is the first thing an interviewer will see as they connect online with you.
✅ Take the meeting in a quiet place where you are alone and will not be disturbed. Shut any windows to avoid street noise and make arrangement for pet/childcare in advance.
✅ Minimize the background behind you to avoid visual clutter that will distract the interviewer, demonstrate poor housekeeping skills, or give away too much personal information about you, like a wall full of family pictures.
✅ Make sure you are in a well-lit area without glare from a window. Test out a few lights in the area you will be taking the interview to make sure they provide the right effect or invest in inexpensive portable lighting that can be purchased on Amazon.
✅ Close all other programs on your computer and turn off your phone.
✅ Turn off computer notifications during this time to avoid audio distractions.
✅ Look at the camera, not the screen when you are speaking to the interviewer.
✅ Just as in a face-to-face interview, it is okay to have your resume and notes in front of you but try to limit relying on them too heavily as your eyes dropping to read your notes will seem more pronounced on video vs in person. Post a cheat sheet at eye level near your screen if you need to.
✅ Be aware of your body language which can be magnified on the screen. Relax your shoulders and sit up straight. Try not to fidget or move too much as it may cause you to appear blurry to the other person.
✅ Talk slowly and clearly to ensure your audience can hear you well. If you can’t hear them, mention it right away to avoid missing what they are saying and having to bring it up later once the interview is in full swing.
✅ Practice with all your equipment before the actual interview. Ask someone to be your “practice interviewer” to experience a more realistic simulation and work out any technical difficulties that may arise.
✅ Nod frequently and smile appropriately to indicate to the interviewer that you are engaged when you are listening.
✅ Same follow up/thank you note protocol applies as with in-person interviews.