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Preparing for Video Interviews

Video interviews are becoming the new normal, whether they are live interviews conducted via Skype or taped interviews. With a video interview, the interviewer can get a better feel of a candidate than they would with a phone interview. Taped interviews let the employer review your application at their own leisure, cutting out the problem of scheduling entirely.

Here are some things to keep in mind for when you’re asked to have a video interview:

  1. It’s perfectly okay to let the interviewer know if this is your first video interview. It can be a great way to ease into the interview, and the interviewer will probably factor that into any nervous tendencies that you might exhibit, like fidgeting or losing eye contact.
  2. Look into the webcam, not at the image of yourself. I know it’s tempting to check and make sure your hair still looks good, but you want to be making eye contact with your interviewer.  If you have to, place a sticky note over the image of yourself to minimize temptation.
  3. Try to have an uncluttered background that won’t showcase too many of your personal items in the room. You want to keep the focus on you.  If you can crop your video feed so that it centers on your face and shoulders, do that to make your presentation stronger.
  4. Do some practice runs before the actual interview. Make sure your mic picks up your voice and that there aren’t any technological issues on your end. Fiddle with the settings on your video feed to modify your image. You can edit out some of the shine and even out the color if necessary.
  5. If this is a taped interview that you are sending to the interviewer, shoot several takes. You have the opportunity to make your video as close to perfect as you can get. Memorize your responses to questions, because just like with a Skype interview, you want to maintain eye contact as much as possible.
  6. Minimize or close all other programs that you don’t need for the duration of your interview, so that nothing accidentally makes extra background noise. Don’t forget to silence your cell phone, just in case.

As with all interviews, preparation is essential. With the added potential complication of technology, it’s important to make sure you have several practice runs with friends to work out any kinks and to listen to any advice regarding your performance.

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