Three Tips for Better Video Interviews

John Scott
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Video interviewing is on the rise. For hiring managers with heavy hiring demands, weeding through candidates via video conferencing increases efficiency and shortens the hiring process. But for you, the candidate, the idea of performing your interview in front of a camera can be quite intimidating. If you're asked to participate in a video interview, here are three things to consider as you prepare to sell yourself.

One of the most important tips to remember for a video interview is to dress appropriately. Many candidates make the mistake of dressing professionally from the torso up, with jeans or sweatpants on the bottom. This is risky; the interviewer may catch a glimpse of your casual clothes anytime you shift in your seat or stand up. In addition to this, dressing sharply from top-to-bottom will give you a sense of confidence and formality that you'll need during the interview. When choosing your outfit, consider the background you'll be sitting against. If it's a light color, dress in darker colors and wear lighter colors for a darker background. You want the emphasis on you.

Another important tip is to perform a mock interview or run-through a day or two before the actual interview. This will allow you to set up the camera in an appropriate place and practice your answers. Wear the clothes you intend to wear for the real interview so you'll know how they appear on camera. Remove any clutter from the background area; you want your background to be as plain and free of distractions as possible. Make any necessary adjustments to the lighting in the room so that you won't have to fuss with your equipment on the day of the video interview. Make sure the camera is high enough that it reveals you only from the shoulders up; the purpose of the interview is to highlight you and your qualifications, not the background or your body parts.

The last thing to remember is that you need to keep your answers short and to the point during your video interview. Without a person in front of them in their actual office, hiring managers can get bored easily, so it's important to answer all questions thoroughly without rambling on or adding unnecessary fluff. If asked to give a detailed answer, be sure to pause throughout to engage with the interviewer. Remember this is a video conversation, not just an audition.

"With advance planning and preparation, the video interview isn't very different from an in-person interview," says Kim Bishop, senior client partner at Korn-Ferry International, a talent management firm. With this in mind, remember that a video interview is judged just as heavily as a conventional one, if not more so, and it's important to prepare yourself thoroughly.


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