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How to Prepare For a Video Job Interview

Job seekers usually meet face-to-face with hiring managers or business owners for interviews, but interviews are now more often virtual, requiring job seekers to use new technologies to show they are the best candidate for a job. To increase your success with a video/virtual job interview, carefully consider the following.

Traditional interview strategies. Old rules still apply for video/virtual interviews. Interviewees should still research the company, be on time, be professional and polite, dress appropriately in “business” attire, and maintain eye contact as much as possible by making sure to face the camera with your face clearly visible. Additionally, begin the interview with thanking the hiring manager or committee for their time, talking clearly throughout, and answering questions thoroughly. As for interview questions, the questions will likely be mostly the same as if the interview was in-person, so research and prepare for common interview questions. After the interview is over, send thank you notes to those who interviewed you, whether by email or snail mail.

Test out the technology. An important strategy, especially for those who are not tech-savvy, is to test out technology well before the actual interview. Find out what program will be used (likely Zoom or Microsoft Teams), and then have friends or colleagues help you test out the programs by holding virtual meetings. Learn how to turn your microphone and the video camera on and off. If your computer does not have a functioning camera, seriously consider purchasing a webcam; costs for these devices have dropped in recent years. Make sure your head, shoulders, and chest are visible so that you can be seen clearly during interviews. Lastly, make sure you have a strong Internet connection and that no one else in your household uses the Internet during your interview (plan that ahead of time). Making a plan is essential as additional computers using the Internet could cause reception errors or slow video/audio speeds, and you can fix this ahead of time. Contact your Internet service provider for those with slow Internet connections and see if a faster connection is available. If a faster connection is too costly, consider doing the interview near your Wi-Fi router to ensure a stronger connection or doing the interview at a friend’s or family member’s house if they have a better Internet connection. The key is to have a fast Internet that is dependable to lower the risk of transmission disruption during the interview.

Plan for distractions. Multiple videos have been posted to YouTube showing professionals interrupted by pets, children, and other distractions during virtual meetings. While most of us understand when such gaffes occur, do you really want a pet entering the room and attacking the camera during a job interview? Speak with family and other household members well in advance of a virtual meeting, and then remind them the day before so you can lessen the likelihood that someone will disrupt your video job interview.

Don’t interview at your current employer. Do not attend a job interview using your office at your current employer. Doing so could reflect poorly on your candidacy, if not, destroy your chances of getting hired at all. If an interviewer sees you using your office at your current job, the interviewers may assume you would do the same thing at the new company or organization. Your boss or co-workers may interrupt your interview. Situations like this will likely lead to the interviewers considering you unprofessional and not a good choice for the position. Interview outside of your office is the best bet.

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