Acing a Video Interview

Nancy Anderson
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Video interviews offer a time- and cost-efficient way to reach a bigger pool of quality candidates. Since more recruiters are using virtual tools for first-round interviews, learning to communicate and make a good impression on camera can help you stand out. Video interviews don't have to be intimidating, but you shouldn't let the informal setting undermine your professional behavior. Distinguish yourself as a strong candidate with these smart tips to ace your next virtual interview.

Create a Favorable Environment

Control your environment to prevent sudden mishaps that could take away from an otherwise good video interview. Random noises or distractions in the background come across as unprofessional and make it hard for you to stay focused. Test out your camera view to make sure there's nothing messy or questionable behind you. Sitting in front of a blank wall or neat office space is your best option.

Whenever possible, pick a room with a door, so you can block out anything going on around you. Having a window in view could cause glare or lead to unexpected interruptions. If you're interviewing from home, arrange for other household members to go out for the day or sit quietly in another part of the house.

Dress for Success

Stick to normal interview etiquette, even if you're just sitting at your kitchen table. You want interviewers to easily picture you on the job, which is harder to accomplish when you're sporting pajamas or casual clothing. Dressing the part from head to toe helps you get in the right mindset and deliver your answers with poise.

Practice Common Interview Questions

Get as much information as possible about the format of your video interview. Some employers conduct a live interview, while others require you to submit a recording through a hiring portal. In either case, you're more likely to fidget, take long pauses or stumble over words if you try to answer questions off the cuff.

Prepare answers to common interview questions and practice them until you feel comfortable speaking without memory aids. At the same time, it's okay to keep a short list of talking points on hand during the interview, in case you lose your train of thought.

Do a Test Run on Camera

Maintaining a calm, conversational tone isn't always easy when you're stressed and worried about what an interviewer is thinking. For some people, any small mistake is enough to cause anxiety and derail the entire video interview. You never want to appear visibly upset on camera. Record a few practice runs to work out kinks with your equipment, watch out for nervous habits and come up with coping tactics to manage stress.

Pay attention to how fast you speak and distracting gestures or facial expressions. Breathing deeply and pausing briefly after hearing each question may help you collect your thoughts and avoid nervous rambling.

Don't forget to bring your smile and personality to a video interview. Speaking face to face is a great opportunity to win people over and show your compatibility with the company culture. Most recruiters use virtual interviews to decide whether you're worth meeting in person. Approaching the situation with a positive attitude improves your chances of connecting on a human level. What strategies do you use to sound natural and confident in video interviews?


Photo courtesy of nenetus at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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