Acing Online Video Interview

It is becoming increasingly common for companies to conduct online video interviews either before or instead of an in-person interview. While largely the same rules apply to both types of interviews, there are certain differences. This type of interview can require more preparation ahead of time, given the technological component, and it has the potential to throw you off if you’re not used to using video.

Companies who interview by video generally interview many candidates for the same position. This can either be due to the status of the individual position or because they are hiring multiple people for the same type of job. Some companies hire employees who then work from home, so coming into a physical office may not be necessary or even feasible. If the position itself requires technological knowledge, having a handle on it during the interview can show the hiring manager first hand that you are skilled in this area.

Preparing for an Online Interview

When you get ready for your online interview, you’ll want to prepare as you would for a regular interview, while also taking the technology into account. For this reason, the preparation process may be a little longer than it would be if you were meeting in person.

  • Pick out your wardrobe ahead of time; choose an entire outfit down to the shoes, even though you will only be seen from the waist up.

  • Test the program you will be using, including testing both the audio and video.

  • Choose the hardware you will use. This can be a computer or a tablet, etc.

  • Pick a location for your interview. It should be an area that is well lit and that provides a neutral background.

  • Run through potential interview questions just like you would for any other type of interview.

  • Do a mock up on the software you will be using, if possible. The mockup should be performed with a friend or family member acting as the interviewer.

    The more you can prepare for the interview ahead of time, the less nervous you will be during the actual meeting. Additionally, you’ll be less likely to run into problems or unexpected setbacks. You can go into the interview confidently, knowing that you’ve done everything you can to prepare in advance.

    Acing the Online Interview

    While preparing is important, there are also things you’ll want to do right before, and during, the online interview. The most important of these is to leave enough time right before the interview that you can do everything on the list. Schedule a little more time than you think you’ll need, as preparations always take a bit longer than one thinks they will. The worst thing you can do in an online interview is to not show up on time.

  • Take your device to the location you plan to conduct the interview.

  • Wear a color that resonates well through the camera.

  • Shut out all distractions, literally, by closing any doors you can or asking others to move to a different room.

  • Turn off all devices or applications that you aren’t using.

  • Test all the equipment again, even if you did it during your earlier preparations.

  • Speak to someone, or to yourself, before the interview starts in order to warm up your voice.

  • During the interview, keep eye contact with the person asking the questions by looking directly into the camera.

  • Smile often, and nod to show that you have heard the other person.

  • Pause for a few seconds before answering in case there is any time lag.

  • Keep good posture and try to remain as professional as possible.

    An online interview is very similar to an in-person interview. You want to conduct yourself in the same manner, ask the same questions you would in an in-person interview, and research the company so you can answer questions as knowledgably as possible. You’ll want to be sure to get the interviewer’s contact information before leaving the interview so that you can send a follow up thank you note or email. Be sure to ask what the next steps are, in terms of whom you’ll be hearing from an the approximate number of days someone will get back to you by.

    Acing an online video interview can be easy if you know what to expect and how to prepare. Once you’ve had your first online interviews, the rest will come easier. As society moves into an ever-increasing technological era, these types of interviews may become the norm.

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