Do you remember your last interview? Did you practice a firm handshake or take a breath mint?
For decades, face-to-face interviews were the norm. But ever since the Coronavirus pandemic turned everything upside down, face-to-face interviews are often avoided. Instead, video interviews have become much more common.
When participating in an in-person interview, there is a lot you need to consider. But now that many companies are conducting remote interviews, what are the best ways you can sell yourself?
Here are five tips to keep in mind when preparing for your next video interview.
The technical performance of your video equipment sends an immediate signal to your prospective employer. If your camera quality is so poor that your interviewer can barely make out where your face ends and the wall behind you begins, it will not reflect well on you. It’s time to invest in a quality web camera. Fortunately, most modern phones and computers have quality cameras that facilitate video calls. Also, consider investing in headphones with a built-in microphone so you can block out external noise and communicate clearly.
In the past, the interview location was often chosen for you. Now, you have some measure of control as to where you set up. The location itself is not what matters per se, but rather, what the environment offers. You need a stable internet connection, so free public Wi-Fi shouldn’t be your first option. Second, you don’t want a lot of background noise, so pick somewhere quiet. And third, you don’t want messy surroundings. Be sure to test everything out beforehand to troubleshoot any potential problems.
Think body language doesn’t matter during a video call? Think again. While video calls effectively cut out most of your body, they also heighten the focus on your face. With that in mind, you need to master how you control your body from the shoulders up. Even the simplest modifications to facial expressions can improve your delivery. For example, habit will cause you to look at your interviewer on the screen, but that will inadvertently divert your gaze when viewed from their end. Instead, look into the camera to maintain eye contact. Also, be sure to lean forward and nod your head occasionally to communicate understanding and interest.
With only your face on the screen, and very few other external stimuli or distractions, your interviewer will be hyper focused on your answers. Good answers are important in every interview, but having well-prepared answers are even more important for video calls. Review common interview questions and prepare what you would say. That does not mean you should have canned answers like a politician at the primaries. But practice answers that are direct, responsive, and not too wordy.
Even remote interviewers will try and gauge if you’re a good fit for the culture. Do a little research beforehand to uncover what personalities or attributes your potential employer is looking for. Then find ways to bring that energy to the interview and convey the right emotions throughout the video call.
Dress appropriately for the camera. If you have the urge to wear your favorite basketball shorts with your collared shirt, resist that urge. You may not think the camera will see your legs, but if you need to get up for any reason, it will be awkward. Also, wear solid colors rather than stripes or patterns because solids look better on screen.
If you are looking for work, many industries are still hiring. See which jobs are available at CyberCoders.com.