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Video Interviews: 7 Tips For Making A Good First Impression

As the world becomes increasingly digitalized, employers are integrating new forms of technology into their interview process.  As a result, video interviews are more common than ever before.  Not only does this allow you to interview from the comfort of your own home, but it eliminates travelling, which saves you time and money.

While a video interview may seem simple, there are a lot of factors that tend to get overlooked by job seekers when preparing.  Unlike a traditional in-person interview, you’re in control of your environment, so it’s important to ensure that your surroundings allow you to make the best first impression by keeping the focus on the job and your qualifications.  Here are seven important steps to take when preparing for your video interview:

Confirm details

A miscommunication or lack of clarification on the exact interview details can have detrimental effects on the outcome of your interview.  For example, if you live in a different time zone than the company’s office, make sure the time zone in which the interview will take place is clearly stated, and schedule accordingly.  Additionally, make sure that you are clear on who will be initiating the video conference.  If the interviewer thinks that you are supposed to call them, and you thought the opposite, this simple faux pas could cost you the job.

Dress up

While it’s true that the interviewer might only see you from the waist up, that doesn’t mean you should wear pajama pants.  Research suggests that dressing up can boost confidence, resulting in a better performance.  This could mean subconsciously listening more carefully, answering questions more thoroughly, speaking more clearly, or asking more thoughtful questions.  Plus, you never know if you will have to stand up unexpectedly, and an unprofessional outfit may imply you aren’t taking the interview seriously.

Check your surroundings

Before your interview, turn on the camera to see what is in the background of the shot.  Remove anything that could be deemed as distracting, whether it’s messy clothes or an over-the-top picture.  To keep the focus on yourself, it’s best to find a place where there is a blank, white wall behind you.

Test your equipment

Our technology can fail us at the most crucial moment, so give yourself enough time before your interview to ensure everything is in working order.  First, check that your software is up to date.  Whether you are using Google Hangout or Skype, an outdated version could cause an unexpected problem for the call.  Then, make a test call to check that the webcam, audio, and internet connection are all performing well.  And lastly, make sure the computer has enough battery to handle an hour-long video call (or just make sure to plug it in).

Test the lighting

This issue can often get overlooked and cause a last-minute complication.  If the room is too dark or too bright, the interviewer will not be able to see your face.  Test the lighting on a different day around the same time as the interview to ascertain how the sun will affect the camera, and adjust accordingly.

Find a quiet place

Unwanted and uncontrollable noise will not go over well with your interviewer.  To limit these distractions, make sure that roommates or pets will not be bothersome during your interview.  Additionally, be mindful of any location where there might be noise that you can’t control.  If home isn’t an option for you, a library might be the best bet for a quiet space, as coffee shops can get noisy with loud machines and foot traffic.

Prepare a cheat sheet

The benefit of a video interview is that the hiring manager won’t be able to see what else is on your desk.  Therefore, don’t be afraid to have any documents that you may need within arm’s reach.  This includes a copy of your resume, as well as the job description, information about the company, and a list of questions you may want to ask.