While phone interviews may be the norm, more companies are starting to use video interviews to screen applicants. If you are applying for a position requiring crisp presentation skills you will need to be well prepared for the video interview. Here are some tips that will help.
1. Evaluate your space. Make sure your workspace is uncluttered so that nothing detracts from your video presentation. Pay particular attention to the space behind you. Too many pictures on the wall or a cluttered bookcase can be a distraction.
2. Do a dry run. Ideally, do a practice video session the day before your interview at the same time of day as your scheduled interview. This will help you determine proper lighting for your video session. Do this with your coach or a good friend. Check all equipment to be sure it is working properly. You don’t want any mishaps on the day of your interview.
3. Be aware of lighting and angles. Lighting is important. Adjust lighting so that it is neither too bright nor too dark. The former can wash out your face and cause a distracting glare. Too little light and your face will appear obscure and difficult to see. It is best if the light comes from behind the camera. Angle the webcam so your head and shoulders are in the same frame. Place the interviewer’s window directly below the webcam so your eyes will naturally look in the direction of the interviewer’s window. Experiment ahead of time with your practice coach to get angles and lighting correct.
4. Eliminate potential interruptions. If kids and pets are in the house, arrange for someone to look after them. Close windows if there is a lot of street noise or barking dogs. You don’t want any outside distractions to detract from your video presentation.
5. Check your attire. Dress professionally as you would if you were going to meet with the interviewer in person. Avoid dressing from the ‘waist up’ only. When you dress professionally you will come across that way in your interview. Besides, if you have to suddenly get up for some reason your shorts or jeans will not project the type of image you had intended! Avoid patterns and plaids. Stick with solid colors if possible. Beware of white shirts and blouses as they can overpower the screen and your appearance.
6. Be aware of glasses. If possible avoid wearing them as they have the tendency to reflect. If you absolutely have to wear glasses try projecting light off to one side if you see any glare on the screen.
7. Don a little makeup. This applies to guys too! Light can reflect off the oils on your face. Try using a light, translucent powder.
There you go. Video interviews take a different type of planning than conventional face to face interviews. However if you practice ahead of time, making sure your equipment is functioning and your setting is adjusted, you will be ready to give it your best. Good luck. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.