For those of you who would like for video interviewing to go away, or if you have convinced yourself that it’s just a phase in the world of recruiting, I have some bad news for you – it isn’t going away anytime soon. The benefits to recruiters and companies who use them outweighs your detest for this seemingly evil new way of conducting interviews.
Remember when you were little and you had to go to the doctor knowing you were going to get a shot and you worked yourself up to the point of hysteria at the thought of that tiny needle going into your skin? Video interviews are somewhat like that. The lead up is way worse than the experience itself. Especially if you follow some simple tips that will lessen your anxiety and help prepare you so that you nail that interview. Unlike the nurse who stuck you with that needle, I promise this won’t hurt.
Treat Your Video Interview Like an In-Person Interview
I have seen people’s video interviews and wondered to myself if they realized they were actually on camera. Recruiters and hiring managers treat video interviews exactly like an in-person interview. You will be assessed by how you present yourself – the way you dress, look, and conduct yourself. Additionally, since you will most likely be at home for your interview, you will also be assessed on your surroundings on some level. You’ll want to make sure your surroundings are tidy, somewhat sterile and with minimal distractions. A common area of the house, preferably with a wall as the backdrop, is optimal – avoid bedrooms, bathrooms and kitchens.
Practice Talking to a Video Recorder or Webcam
I’m not sure what it is about a video camera in front of us that causes instant anxiety. Years ago, when I started vlogging, I remember each time the camera turned on and I had to talk I instantly became nervous and stumbled on my words resulting in me having to start over multiple times. However, the more I did it, the more relaxed I became. After a while, it became second nature, and I was completely comfortable in front of the camera. As with anything, practice does help. The more you do it, the better you get and the higher your comfort level becomes.
Prepare for Your Interview
Listen, we all know interviews can be nerve-racking – camera or no camera. Preparing is essential to ensuring a successful interview. The better you feel about how you’ll respond, the more comfortable you will be – especially with the added element of doing it in front of a camera. There are tons of articles and advice out there for preparing for an interview – including some great advice right here on this site! One of my favorite quotes comes from my favorite quarterback, Russell Wilson (Go Hawks!). He said, “The separation is in the preparation.” Do you want to stand out from the competition? Prepare!
Be Aware of Your Posture
Take a moment and drop your shoulders forward and curve your back so that you’re slumped over. How confident do you feel? Not very, I can imagine. Now sit up straight, pull your shoulders back and hold your head up high. Now, how do you feel? Pretty darn confident, right? This is exactly how the person on the other side of the camera is going to perceive you. Make sure you are aware of your posture throughout the interview so that you exude confidence. This goes a long way in making an impression.
Camera Placement and Lighting
Before you start your video interview, you will want to make sure you have the camera placed so the video only shows you from the chest up. This will put the focus on you and what you’re saying, as well as minimize the viewers from seeing any fidgeting that may be going on with your hands or feet. One of the pluses of interviewing on camera as opposed to in-person is being able to control certain aspects of what the interviewer sees. Additionally, you’ll want to make sure the lighting is good. Natural light works best, but you can also strategically place lamps so that you can see your face clearly.
Make Eye Contact With The Camera
The type of video platform the company you’re interviewing with uses will impact your actual experience. Some are set up so you’re able to see yourself in a subset window. Some platforms don’t show yourself, which leaves you to wonder where to look. The answer is simple – look directly into the camera. By looking into the camera, you give the appearance of looking the interviewer directly in their eyes.
If you follow just one tip, this is the one. Smiling is contagious, shows warmth, social awareness and confidence. Plus, you have a really good reason to smile – you’re going to nail your interview and land the job because you’re prepared!