Great news – You’ve Been Shortlisted!
But now comes your next test – Whether it’s Skype, Zoom or Whatsapp, here are my best tips to prepare yourself for any video interview. Read on and increase your chances of winning that dream position.
Should you use your Phone or a Laptop?
This is your first decision and your phone may be the better option for ease of use. It’s going to be easier to check for updates and most modern phones will have a decent camera. However, if you are more familiar with a laptop that can work just fine too. Read through the options ahead and see which is the best fit for you.
A clear image is vital so make sure to clean your camera lens to remove any potential blurriness. In most cases, simply wiping the surface with a clean cloth will do the trick.
Next, check for any updates on whichever platform you are using. Make sure you are connected to the internet to get the latest version.
Do a Test Call
Do this in the same room where you are planning to do your interview. Have a friend call you and vice-verca. You want to get familiar with the settings and check your microphone and speakers are working well. Poor sound will leave a bad impression and is a bigger issue than poor video. Keep in mind if you are having issues with sound, try using earphones that have a built-in mic instead.
Usually home Wi-Fi signal is more reliable than mobile but you are the best person to judge. Just ensure you are have sufficient data so there’s zero risk of being cut off half way through your interview. If you can’t use your home, search for a workspaces you can rent that provides a space for private conference calls. Also make sure you have plenty of battery-life before you begin or simply plug in for guaranteed power.
Do not Disturb
It’s really important you can begin and end your interview without interruption so make sure your space is private. Also, tell anyone else who might be home not to interrupt and to keep things quiet. Your best space may be a home office, bedroom or even kitchen but ensuring privacy is so important.
You don’t want this to happen to you..
Location, location, location
As long as you have a good internet connection, the next biggest priority is finding a room or space that has good lighting. Ideally, having additional natural lighting is best so if your interview is in the day, you will want to setup a table and chair so that you are facing towards a window if possible. If your interview is at night, turn on as many lights as possible to ensure you and the environment are well lit. Just make sure there are no spooky shadows.
Whats behind you?
Position yourself in front of a clean, light surface that is also well lit. Remove any distracting items, laundry etc and if you are in a bedroom, make sure the bed is not visible either.
One significant advantage of a video interview is you can bring your own notes. Of course, its helpful to have a pen and paper ready in case you need to note down something specific from the interviewer but you can also prepare a few important details that may help you out. For example, dates, names, or a few shorthand phrases you have prepared to really impress.
Just be sure to keep it subtle and only glance away for a moment. You really don’t want it to be caught reading your notes. If on a laptop, you could even prepare a few short notes on your screen with real or digital post-its.
Ensure your phone or laptop is roughly level with your eye-line and that your posture is good with a straight back. If you need to raise things up, prop a box or a few books underneath. Then position yourself about arms-length away so that the interviewer can see your face and upper body clearly (to your shoulders is fine). But, at the same time, make sure you are not too far from the microphone to be heard clearly.
Lastly, ensure your device (especially phones) are on a flat surface and are not going to slide or fall forward or back.
Keep in mind most interviewers will use a laptop and will therefore be oriented in landscape mode. It’s therefore a good idea to also orient your video image the same.
Dress to impress
Even though you may be in your home environment, you should still be well-dressed for an interview. That means looking smart and well-groomed, just as if you were having the interview in person.
Ending your interview
Be sure to end with a smile as last impressions count too.
Usually, it is best to let the interviewer disconnect you, or you risk appearing to ‘hang up’ on them. Either way, just make sure you have fully disconnected and you have closed the app completely. The worse case scenario would be thinking your interview is over when actually you are still audible or visible!
Don’t wait until the last hour or even day before your interview to carry out these checks. You should do them at least a full day before your interview to test everything fully and find the best possible space for a successful video interview.