Originally posted on Recruiter.com January 24, 2014.
Somewhere Between Vogue and a Robot: Video Interviewing Tips
Video interviews are becoming the norm, with 63 percent of HR managers conducting these types on interviews. Every job seeker knows the importance of preparing for a face-to-face interview, but how do you prepare for an interview when you can’t shake the interviewer’s hand or comment on the local weather? According to US News, Reuters, and Forbes, here are seven ways you can get ready for a video interview.
1. Work your people skills
Is there a difference between virtual interviews and traditional interviews? Not really. First similarity? The questions. Being prepared to answer interview questions is as simple as practice, practice, practice. Practice with a friend, in front of a mirror, record yourself. Afterward, get feedback and adjust accordingly.
Have solid answers ready for questions, such as:
- “Tell me about yourself.”
- “What are your strengths and weaknesses?”
- “Where do you want to be in five years?”
As simple as these questions may seem, they tend to be the hardest. The request “tell me about yourself” can be too broad making it difficult to give a concise answer. If interviews are to show your best, talking about your weaknesses is the worst. Lastly, if you haven’t given thought to what you want your not-so-distant future to look like, an interview is the last place to start thinking. Prepare ahead of time. Give thorough but brief answers. Try to keep your interview answers less than 2 minutes, thinking of them as elevator pitches.
2. Establishing the connection
We have all seen them: the awkward “selfies” where you wonder what the person is looking at. They are looking at the screen. Looking at the screen during an interview will have the same effect. Doing this during a video interview will lead to a disconnect between you and the interviewer. You want to make eye contact or camera contact, especially while answering questions. Keeping “camera contact” establishes or maintains the connection with the interviewer.
You might feel like you aced the interview but walk away feeling like you didn’t make that connection. That’s because in virtual or video interviewing, you are often looking in the wrong place. Most people look at:
- Their own face on the screen.
- The interviewer’s face on the screen.
- Down at the keyboard because the screen is nerve-racking.
Don’t do this, even if your interviewer does. I promise your appearance won’t change between words, so there is no need to look at the screen while you’re talking. Try sticking a picture of someone you feel confident talking to near the lens of your webcam. This will draw your eye upward and make it look like you are making solid eye contact on the other end of the camera!
3. Let’s (not) go striping
It is important to dress how you would for a face-to-face interview Business casual, at a minimum, keeps you at your best. Students in the business school at The King’s College in New York are required to wear business attire. The effect? They not only look more professional, they act more professional. As page 37 of their student handbook says, how they dress affects “the type of impression we seek to create.”
While the interviewer will only see the upper half of your body, this doesn’t mean you should wear pajama pants with your blazer and button up. In order to be mentally prepared for the interview, it is important to be physically dressed for it. Here are some dos and don’ts for your interview attire:
Video Interviewing Dos:
- Wear solid dark colors. Vibrant colors can be too bright on camera.
- Make sure hemline is no higher than the knee.
- Neutral make-up is a must.
- Tuck in your shirt.
- Cover tattoos with appropriate clothing.
Video Interviewing Don’ts:
Maren Hogan is the CEO and Chief Marketing Brain of Red Branch Media. She writes about whatever she darn well pleases, but lately it’s been taking the flavor of leadership style stuff. Maren is 5’6” and enjoys long walks on the beach.Maren Hogan is CEO of Red Branch and general Bad@$$