Congratulations! You Have a Video Interview.
Congratulations on your new employment journey! If you’re here, we’ll assume you’re either searching for a new position or you have already scored an interview. Either way, this can be a very exciting time or it can feel a bit overwhelming and nerve wrecking. Below are some tips that will help you prepare for a successful video interview. Interestingly, number one is to be prepared.
It’s a job interview. Of course you will be prepared, right? It may be surprising the number of people who show up to an interview unprepared. So, let’s review what it means to be prepared.
a) If you have children, pets, or live in an environment that is noisy for any other reason (room mates, busy roads, construction sites), you need to consider relocating to a quiet space. Plan in advance to eliminate all noise. Distractions can make you appear less interested or less available than you really are, and may cause the interviewer to question whether or not you are a good fit.
b) Now that you have found a quiet area, check to make sure your internet connection is good and free of any issues. Avoid areas where you know the internet service is poor. The last thing you need is for the interviewer to be unable to hear you and for you to need to troubleshoot during the interview. If the position is remote, the interviewer will question your ability to get the job done with your current internet service provider, and may want to move on with a candidate who appears more qualified based on their technical equipment.
c) Have a way of taking notes. An old fashioned pen and paper will allow you to write any key points, recommendations given by the interviewer, or any next steps. It will also help you to look prepared and interested. You don’t want to have to fumble around for a piece of paper mid-interview. That is usually the time when the only pens you find are the ones that seem to have run out of ink. It happens every time.
Dress the part.
Even though it’s a video interview and you most likely didn’t need to leave the comfort of your own home, you should still dress as if you are walking into the establishment for which you are interviewing. A nicely ironed shirt and tie or a pressed blouse that isn’t too low will show the interviewer you cared about how you showed up. Before you even speak, your appearance is your first impression. Be sure to tend to your hair and check your teeth for leftover food from your last meal.
"Tell me about yourself.”
Know your story. It is highly probable that you will be asked to share something about yourself. Being prepared with what information you will share will save you from looking completely unprepared and also from fumbling over your words as you try to think of exactly what you’d like to share about yourself. When sharing, keep in mind that this is a job interview and that the interviewer would like to know about you as it relates to the position in some way. Be creative. Be selective. Be concise.
Do not overshare.
As you unwind in the interview, it is important to remember not to share personal information during this time. Everything you say at this point helps the interviewer to form an overall opinion of you. Keep in mind that it is their job to sort through the candidates to see which is most fit for the available position. Mentioning any issues related to childcare, fights with your significant other, or even hobbies that take up “too much of your time” may unnecessarily cause doubt in the mind of the interviewer.
Know the company.
If you have the luxury of multiple screens, it may be helpful to have the company’s website on one screen to use as a quick reference if you are asked any questions. However, it is best practice to have already researched the company. Know how many employees there are, how many locations and where they are located, and when the company was founded. Know the requirements of the open position, and know how you can meet the needs of the company.
Be open to listen.
Even though you are expected to know the company as much as possible, don’t be a know-it-all. You must be willing to listen and to learn. It is not necessary to express that you know everything when the interviewer is speaking. Doing so may cause you to appear to have a very strong personality, one that is not willing to learn. Listen more than you speak, but when you speak, be impactful.
Always use your manners. Be respectful. Thank the interviewer for their time and for considering you for the position. While this step seems simple and may even seem like common sense, there are those who are either so disgruntled due to tech issues or noisy backgrounds, or perhaps some other lack of preparation, that they either forget their manners or simply do not have any at all. You will definitely stand out amongst the applicants if you’re the one who is remembered for being polite, assuming you meet all other qualifications as well.
Have you ever noticed how many people take pictures or go about their daily lives without cracking a single smile? Times have been tough for many people lately, and frankly, for some there may not be much to smile about. However, a smile says a lot about a person. It says hello. It says I am here and I want to be here. It says I am in a great mood today. So spread your positive energy in your interview. Wow the interviewer with a smile. Oh, and don’t forget to sit up straight. Make sure that all of your body language is in alignment.
Interviewers almost always leave time in the end for any questions you may have. This is a great time to expand on any topics of which you may have interest; a time to briefly interview the interviewer. After all, you are both trying to see if you would be a good fit. Keep your questions professional and related to the company, the position, or some hyper-relevant topic. Try to have at least one or two questions as your questions will show that you are engaged, prepared, and interested in the position. Be careful not to ask unnecessary questions that may have been answered already. Do not ask a question that does not make sense just to have a question to ask. You will only regret it later when you replay the interview in your head. Feel free to elaborate on the responsibilities of the position, maybe ask what the expected timeframe is for making a decision on filling the position, or if it has not been discussed, make an inquiry about the work culture of the company. Each of these let the interviewer know that you are looking forward to hiring day.
Your work should not stop at the end of the interview. If you truly see yourself as a good fit for this position, go the extra mile and follow up with the interviewer. Send a thank you note. If time allows, a handwritten thank you note still has a wow factor. However, if there is an immediate need to fill the position there may not be time for snail mail to make it in time. An email will suffice. Thank the interviewer again for their time and consideration. Also, answer any questions you may have gotten stuck on during the interview, but keep it brief. This should not be a long letter. Three to five sentences is plenty. End your thank you letter by letting the interviewer know that you are looking forward to hearing from them in the future.
Hopefully, these ten tips will be helpful when you have your video interview. Best of luck to you!