Acing your video interview


This is a truly unique time and an adjustment for all of us. It certainly makes me grateful for a lot of things I take for granted. When it comes to work, I’m especially grateful for the tech that keeps me connected to our clients. My phone, email, video conferencing apps and wifi — all make it possible to communicate, collaborate and prep.

I’m also thankful that companies are still interviewing and hiring. Every day I’m helping people prep and practice for their interview loops — all via video. While the interview questions are the same, the techniques are slightly different for video.

I’d like to share the top tips that have helped our clients ace their video interviews.

Tip 1: Talk to the recruiter

Ask the recruiter what video app they use (e.g., Google Hangouts, Zoom, Skype). If you have an existing account, make sure your handle is a professional one. Ask what to do in case of a technical issue. Check to see if all the interviewers will have your phone number in case they need to call instead.

Tip 2: Set up a good location

Select a spot that has good lighting, strong wifi connection and neutral background (definitely not cluttered). Place your computer at a height that is flattering for you and has you centered in the frame. Pick a chair with a straight back to help with posture. This is a good time to do a practice run with a friend to test the app, check audio and see how you look.

Tip 3: Select an outfit

Wear the same outfit you would for a face-to-face interview, including shoes! You’ll perform better when you’re in a full outfit — not to mention saving face if your feet show up within eyeshot. Avoid bright colors and busy patterns.

Tip 4: Remove distractions

Get a sitter to take your kids and pets out for a walk or to another friend’s house. Shut down all other windows and applications (especially ones with notifications) before you log on. Make sure you have a full battery — or even better, plug your computer into an outlet. Put your phone on silent. And don’t run any software updates the day before or day of the interview.

Tip 5: Minimize stuff

Just like a face-to-face interview, you won’t have notes to rely on. You can have your resume handy if you need to refer to it. Otherwise, just have a notepad and pen in case you want to jot a few notes (but not a lot), a glass of water and maybe a post-it with a few key reminders like “look at the camera” and “smile!”

Tip 6: Be confident and breathe!

Make sure there’s nothing in your teeth (or nose). Dial in a few minutes before the call starts, but before you do, take a few deep breaths and set an intention to be fully present. Take a beat before you answer a question (accounting for a delay). Ask for a break if you need to get more water or go to the bathroom. And stay upbeat — if you have time in between interviews, get up and walk around.

Bonus: Go above and beyond

Do a dry-run by recording a mock interview with a few questions. Watch it to see if you are making good eye contact, using hand gestures (if that’s natural for you), have good posture, are smiling and are answering the questions in a clear and succinct way.

If you’re looking for other effective job search tips and strategies, then watch our webinar. We share how to get the interviews and offers you want.

Or you can book a session with one of our job strategists to talk about how we can help you land your dream job with speed, ease and success. We’re excited to talk to you!