Genuine engagement and effective means of connecting are critical in establishing yourself as the right fit. So are body language and visibility. Here are 7 tips to up your game for video job interviews and make a great impression.
#1 TECHNOLOGICAL CONNECTIONS
It’s not too difficult to look technologically challenged if you begin the interview unfamiliar with the various platforms out there. Take the time to inquire about what platform will be used and what login information is required for you to connect. Download anything you need ahead of time and go through the login process to make sure you can connect without a problem.
Glitches happen more often than we would like, starting with spotty internet connections. Make sure your connection is strong and that you are positioned close enough to the router at home to avoid issues. And if you use earbuds with a microphone feature, make sure it is anchored to so you avoid muffling your voice.
#2 SETTING THE RIGHT BACKGROUNDS
You want to keep the background as simple as possible. Video interviews can inadvertently telegraph a lot about your personal life that you may want to keep private. Eliminate things that take the interviewer’s attention off of you. It goes without say that a shot from the comfort of your bed is forbidden. Cluttered bookshelves or unkempt piles of papers can give the impression of disorganization.
Zoom offers virtual backgrounds options that are suitable for interviews. Remember that you will naturally blend in with the background so wear clothing that will contrast yet not compete with it.
#3 PREPARING YOUR ENVIRONMENT
Minimize outside noise. There is nothing more distracting during an interview than barking dogs, leaf blowers or chatter. Your space should be quiet and private, Close windows and doors as necessary. Eliminate the chances for interruptions. Create an environment that allows you to put your best foot forward. And if you cannot be at home, a private room in a library would be a better choice than a coffee shop.
Phones should be set to silent mode.
Have a notepad and pen close by to write down the names of the people on the call.
Have your bottle of water within reach.
#4 BE CAMERA READY
How you look, including your clothing and hair, should respectful as always. Avoid wearing colors that are either too loud or that blend too much into your background. You don’t want to clash, but at the same time you don’t want to fade into your chair and become literally just a talking head!
Your camera image should be clear and bright. Position yourself so that the sun or other lighting is not directly behind you. This causes the camera to darken your entire screen and make it hard to see your face clearly. Enhance the space with lighting or a ring light, or you can add overhead lighting to brighten your picture.
Be comfortable. While it might be more common to sit straight up during an interview, some body language experts believe that leaning in slightly toward the camera gives a warmer impression and indicates a willingness to engage on all levels.
#5 HAVE AN EFFECTIVE INTRODUCTION
Bring bits of your personality to the table with your introduction.
Include 2 or 3 fun facts you want the interviewer to know about you that align your personality with the job or the company. For example someone who is innately handy (great at figuring things our without directions) would be a great fit for a position that requires analysis. Help the interviewer connect the dots by likening your talents to it with why/how it makes sense.
#6 SET THE STAGE
Do your best to simulate an in person situation.
Be open to initiating small talk while waiting for the interview to begin. Make it conversational. Research some icebreaker ideas that will allow you to showcase a little bit of your personality.
Look directly into the camera, and not at the computer screen when answering questions. You want to be speaking directly to the interviewer and not appear to be looking down or far off which can be awkward. Direct eye contact into the camera engages you immediately and keeps you connected.
Smile during the interview. All of your facial expressions are more scrutinized on video than in person. And a smile makes you more genuine, just as it would in person.
Wait your turn to speak without interrupting.
Be expressive. Use hand gestures as you would normally, and otherwise keep them on your lap.
Allow for pauses in the conversation without feeling like you have to fill the space with conversation.
#7 LAST BUT NOT LEAST
Replace your end-of-interview handshake with a thank you that mentions each person’s name individually. This helps to further validate your connection with them in a more personal way.
It is always a better idea to keep your impressions private so before you say anything out loud about the call be sure you are COMPLETELY disconnected.
So there you have it! Feel free to reach out if you need guidance or coaching before your next virtual interview.button