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How to prepare for and ace your next video job Interview

Job Video Interview

Since the start of the pandemic in 2020, video job interviews have become the most common form of talent selection utilised by most companies. Even as we begin to emerge from the pandemic, they still remain a popular part of most organization’s  hiring process. This is in part because they are cost-efficient and convenient.

As a candidate invited to take place in a video job interview, below are some steps you can take to help you prepare before and during your job interview.

Steps to Take Before Your Video Job Interview

Get formal training

If you are fortunate enough be working in a organisation that runs regular interview training sessions, consider asking your manager or HR department if you can attend. If not, consider hiring the services of a career coach if you think you require further assistance.

Rehearse thoroughly

Make sure you take some time out a day or two before your video job interview. Practice with family and friends to see how you look on a webcam. This will help boost your confidence and give you a good idea of what to expect on the day.

Dress up

Make sure you dress appropriately and in the same manner that you would if you were attending an in-person job interview. Remember that your appearance can affect the interviewers perception of you. This is further heightened by the fact that the interviewer only has what they see on screen to go on.

Create a backdrop

Some great backdrops that help you present yourself in a professional light for your video job interview. If possible, consider making use of aids such as bookcases and plants, which can help create an attractive and flattering professional setting. Make sure you remove any clutter and avoid sitting by a scuffed wall. If you are not confident about your backdrop, you can make use of  the virtual or blurred background  feature found on most online video platforms such as Teams and Zoom. If you are not sure how to use these features, practice using them as part your practice session with a family member or friend beforehand.   

Consider your lighting

The best type of lighting for video job interviews or online meetings in general is natural day light. If you have the ability to sit facing a window, this will ensure you have natural light shinning on your face. Do not back a window as you will appear quite dark in the video and it might be difficult for the interviewers to see your face.

Be mindful of your body language

Whilst you want to do your best to appear relaxed, in the same way that you would be mindful of your body language during an in person interview, the same rules apply during a video job interview. Its important therefor to remember to sit up straight. Try to angle your body slightly and look over your shoulder a little. It looks less stiff than facing directly toward the camera during the entire interview.

Steps to Take During Your Video Job Interview

Prepare for glitches

Ask the interviewer in advance what to do if you lose your connection. It will reinforce the message that you’re proactive.

Maintain good eye contact.

Make sure you maintain eye contact with the interviewer during the video job interview. If you are being interviewed by more that one person, make sure you look straight ahead towards the webcam as this will ensure you are maintaining good eye contact with all interviewers.

Try to minimize your note taking

Unlike an in person interview, at a video job interview, the interviewer is only able to see the upper part of your body. If you spend too much time note taking, the interviewer is left viewing just the top of your head.

You may want to record the session so you can avoid having to take extensive notes. If you decide to record the interview process, it is however essential that you ask for, and get permission from the interviewer beforehand. You should also  let them know if you plan on sharing a copy of the recording with any third party, such as your mentor of career coach. If so, the company may be interested to know who you plan on sharing it with and how long you intend retaining a copy of the interview recording. Remember, as they will also be on screen, it important to be sensitive to their level of comfort with any decision to retaining a recording of the interview.

Work on your closing

It’s easy to get so excited that you lose track of the ordinary things you would do at a traditional interview. Remember to thank your interviewer and ask about the next stages in the process.

These days you may be meeting your next boss online in the first instance. It’s natural to be a bit camera shy, but strategic preparation will help you feel more confident during the video job interview.

Yvonne Akinmodun is an Executive Career Coach. She is the found and CEO of Career Coaching Matters Academy. A site dedicated to helping people solve their career challenges. Do you have any questions about your career? Click here to book a FREE consultation.


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