How to Prepare for and Succeed at Video Interviewing
J. Kent Staffing, along with many of the clients we work with and many employers across the U.S., has transitioned to video interviewing. With the current situation surrounding COVID-19, in-person interviews simply aren’t feasible or safe. So, job seekers must learn how to prepare for and succeed in video interviews.
While the substance of these interviews and the questions asked during them are typically the same as with in-person interviews, there are still key differences. Job seekers need to learn how to prepare for the changes and navigate this changed interview process. Here are some tips for succeeding in this process.
Prepare Your Surroundings
In a video interview, you need to carefully consider what the interviewer is going to see on their screen. What will appear behind you? At your desk? Will there be any unwelcome interruptions?
As with any interview, you’ll want to dress professionally. Just because they can’t see you in person doesn’t mean you can slack off on your presentation. Wear what you normally would for an interview, fix your hair, do everything you would normally do to make yourself presentable.
The big difference here is to also make your workspace presentable. There are multiple factors you should consider when deciding where to set up your interview, including:
- The lighting in the space. Natural lighting is the best, but strong fluorescent lights that make it easy to see you on camera work well too.
- What will appear behind you. There will most likely be a wall displaying behind you on the camera. Carefully consider which wall in your house to use based on what’s displayed on it. A video interview displaying a Rolling Stones poster is less professional than one displaying a calendar or clock.
- How well you’ll be displayed. Will you be sitting or standing? Is the height of your chair sufficient enough to give the interviewer a good view of you? Sitting is easier than standing, depending on how long the interview will be. But if you choose to stand, be sure your computer or phone is propped up at the right height to work.
- If any distractions or interruptions will occur. If you have a dog, be sure someone else can watch it and ensure it won’t bark. Or let it loose in the backyard. If you have children, be sure they won’t interrupt you either. It’s smart to interview in a secluded room and let everyone you live with, family or roommates, know you cannot be disturbed during that time.
Test Your Technology – In Advance
The most important preparation to take for a video interview is to test your technology. Ensure the lighting in the room works. Test the audio on your device to make sure both you and the interviewer can hear each other. Make sure your video quality is clear and that your software doesn’t have any glitches.
What to Focus on in the Interview
The difficulty of not being able to interview in-person is that you lose out on body language. While the interviewers can still see you, there’s a huge difference between what they notice in your demeanor and what you can see in theirs.
Due to this, it’s more important in video interviews to ask questions and to do your research beforehand. Ask questions specific to the company and the job. Show your interest through your knowledge of the company.
At this moment in time, it’s especially important to ask questions surrounding the current pandemic. Ask if the role will be remote until things calm down. Or ask how the company is handling the pandemic. Also, be sure to ask how they’ll perform training remotely. Express your interest in learning about what remote software they’re using and be sure to note your experience with that software or willingness to learn it.
At the end of your interview, be sure to thank the interviewer. Tell them how grateful you are to be considered for the position and how impressed you are with the company and team. Let them know that you’ll gladly speak with them or someone else at the company again. Express how excited you are about the opportunity.
The Most Important Thing to Remember
A video interview is still an interview. Prepare for it like you would prepare for a normal interview, with some added preparations. If you always wear the same lucky suit or dress for an interview, wear it for this one as well. Heavily research the company, the position pay rates, and the job duties specific to your state. Succeeding at video interviewing requires you to utilize the same tools you would for an in-person interview.
Adding these extra preparations will give you a better chance of success in your interview. Don’t be worried if the interview process takes longer than usual. If the company is working remotely, it can be more challenging to gather the team together to discuss your credentials or allow each of them to meet with you.
Good Luck in Your Job Search – and Stay Safe!
- Seaman, Andrew. “Special Edition – Job Interviews During a Pandemic.” Indeed, 12 March 2020.
We Can Help You Succeed
J. Kent Staffing can help you with your staffing needs or your job search. Reach out to us today to start the process.