How to Ace a Video Interview

You have applied for a job that looks oh so, perfect and you are asked to do a video interview.

You may think the idea of a video interview is unusual, but it is becoming more and more popular for both companies and candidates. Why?

Video interviews allow candidates to showcase their skill sets and personality, when and where it’s most comfortable for them. Don’t want to take time off from your current job? Video interviews can be completed in the evenings, early mornings or on the weekends.

Another benefit of video interviewing is that hiring managers can evaluate their top candidates faster, and again, that doesn’t have to be during working hours. Video interviews provide an opportunity for companies to make hiring decisions faster.

Here are five interview tips to help you show your best self during a video interview:

1. Technology Test (at least 24 hours in advance of when you plan on doing the interview) - Do a trial to make sure the technology you are planning to use for the interview, including the microphone and camera, work seamlessly.

Smart phone or tablet - If the company set up your interview through an app or certain type of software, download the app ahead of time. At GuideWell, we use HireVue technology. You will want to set up your account with the software and click on the link the company sent you to ensure you have everything you need.

Computer - Go to the website listed on the video interview invite and set up your account.

Test run - Check your microphone, camera and lighting in the room where you will be doing the interview.

2. Fully charge the device you plan to use. No matter which equipment you are using, make sure it’s fully charged on the day you plan to do your video interview. Pick a spot that has a strong Wi-Fi connection. Don’t forget to find a way to keep your device stationary—it would be a shame for the hiring manager to see blurry or shaky video.

3. Dress professionally- Dress as you would for an in-person interview . Even if the hiring manager will only see the top half of you, you will feel more confident if you are dressed to impress from head to toe.

4. Choose a location and time that is best for you.

Time: If you are at your best in the early morning, try to complete your video interview at that time.

Location: Ensure that you are free from the distractions of children, roommates or pets.

Here are some more helpful tips:

- Turn off ringer and vibrate modes

- If you are at home, let others in your household know what you are doing and let them know you will need the house to be free of other noises. Close the door and do a final check on your lighting and background. Ensure that your connections/power are strong.

- If you need to be in a public place, choose one that is quiet, free from people who can interrupt or walk behind you and show up in the background

5. Prepare and Practice. Just like you would do if you were to be going to a face-to-face interview, prepare yourself ahead of time by reviewing your resume and the job posting that you are interviewing for. Practice with someone who will give you constructive feedback on answers to common interview questions like: 

•Why are you interested in this role? Company? 

•Tell me about how you have handled a challenging customer, and what was the outcome. 

•What skill sets do you have that you believe will make you successful in this role?

Since video interviewing and particularly seeing yourself in the camera box of your device may be new to you, you may want to get more comfortable by practicing with the video options on your cell phone so you can see yourself answering the interview questions. Click here for a fun "how to" video.

About the Author

Susan Senn