How to have a successful video conference interview

  • interviews
  • September 12, 2016

In today’s fast-paced business environment, companies are looking to maximize both their time and money to find candidates quickly and efficiently. Enter the video conference. No matter what platform is used, there are some key things you need to do before you login for that interview. 

Consider how you want to be portrayed during the interview. Unless you’re interviewing to be a Starbucks barista, don’t go there to conduct your interview. Try to mirror the setting that the interviewer will be in. Find a quiet room with as much natural light as possible and keep the background behind you simple. A bookcase or table with a lamp is ideal. You want your interviewer focusing on what you’re saying and not the crazy piece of modern art behind you. Put your pets in a different area, and make sure people around you know that you’re not available during your interview time. 

Prep you

Just because this is a video conference doesn’t mean you should dress like you’re FaceTiming your best friend. Dress professionally from head to toe or in attire that is standard for your industry. Don’t just dress from the waist up for the interview and then have shorts or jeans on bottom. What if you drop something or have to adjust the camera or microphone and your interviewer gets a glimpse of your running shorts you’re sporting with a jacket and tie on top? Remember, if you dress professionally, you’ll conduct a more professional interview. 

Prep the tech

Make sure you have all the correct and compatible software that you’ll need for the interview. You don’t want to waste anyone’s time while you try to establish a Wi-Fi connection or troubleshoot any problems.  Mount the camera so that it looks like you are speaking directly to your interviewer. Invest in quality equipment. A good camera and microphone will pay dividends if they make you look and sound more professional. Close out all other applications and turn off any notifications that could pop up during the interview. 

Do a test run

Ok, you’re almost there. You’ve gotten the ideal setting, you’re wearing your lucky interview outfit and your computer is ready to roll. Now you need to do a test run. Get a friend to conduct a mock interview complete with some tough questions to see how the interview looks and sounds. Have your friend provide honest feedback so you can fix anything that could be a distraction. Record what your friend sees and hears so you can look too and adjust any visual or audio problems. 

Remember, one of the main disadvantages of video conferencing is that you have to limit your big, fast gestures. You don’t want the screen to freeze or glitch while it tries to catch up with the sweeping hand gesture you thought you needed to make your point. Try to be somewhere between a robot and an actor on Broadway. 

Ready, set, go!

If you follow these simple steps, you’re well on the way to a successful video conference interview. Maximize the technology platform as much as possible to increase the illusion of being face to face. After your interview is over, make sure to log off. Don’t let your interviewers last impression be something you thought he or she couldn’t hear. Good luck and happy video conferencing!

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