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5 Tips for a Successful Video Interview

One of the many things that’s changed dramatically over the last several months is how Americans interview for jobs. Interviews conducted over video chat are the new norm, and this efficient trend is likely to continue even after in-person interactions fully resume. But if you’re new to video chatting, not used to interviewing (or both), it can feel like an intimidating experience. These tips will help you nail your next video interview.     young woman conducting a video interview

Prep Your Technology 

The last thing you want for your video interview is a glitchy connection or pixelated image. Be sure you have the internet speed to support the technology by testing it ahead of time (Fast.com is quick and easy) and supplementing it if you need to. Just before your interview, disconnect other internet connected devices, such as a digital assistant and smart appliances, so maximum signal strength is available. Also be sure your laptop or tablet is fully charged, and if you’re using wireless earbuds, don’t forget to charge those, too. Having your technology prepped and ready shows potential employers you care about small details and making a good first impression.

Create Your Space

Find a quiet, uncluttered spot where you can set up your screen at eye level — place it on a box or a stack of books if you need to. Review any artwork, books or photos that will be visible in the background and remove anything potentially controversial or overtly political. Use a ring light if you have one. If not, be sure you’re lit from the front so you’re clearly visible. Have a preview chat with a friend or family member so they can tell you how things look on their screen and allow you to adjust accordingly.

Dress to Impress

Video chatting from your home is comfortable, but that doesn’t mean your outfit should be. Dress for a video interview the same way you would dress for one taking place in person. If you’d normally wear a suit, wear it. If it’s a less formal work environment, ask your HR contact what the company dress code is and follow it. Go for solid colors rather busy prints, which can be distracting over video.

Minimize Noise and Distraction

Your kids and your pets are adorable, but your prospective new employer doesn’t need to meet them just yet. If you have small children, ask a friend or family member to keep an eye on them — in another room — during your interview. Occupy older kids with a movie or screen time. Put your pets in another room to avoid any barking or zoomies. Close the windows to block out any sounds of traffic and other ambient noise.

Remember the Basics

Although video interviews use newer technology, all the traditional rules of interviewing still apply. Log into the conference a few minutes early, make eye contact, answer questions thoroughly and honestly and don’t be afraid to show your personality. Make sure to research the company and the position you’re applying for, and prepare relevant questions for your interviewer(s). When it’s over, follow up with the same level of care and urgency you would use for in-person interviews.

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