In the world of technology, there have been some huge developments in the way we communicate – phone call, email, & now video chat. Humans have taken it upon themselves to integrate this technology into the hiring process – emailing resumes & cover letters, calling candidates to schedule interviews, and more recently, hosting job interviews via video conferencing.
According to this infographic from PGI, there has been a 49% increase in the use of video interviews, with 6 in 10 HR managers using video to interview job candidates. With the numbers only increasing, how can you be sure to wow hiring managers through the webcam lens?
10 Tips to Ace Your Video Interview
1. Understand your video interview software
Many employers are using platforms like Skype, Google Hangouts, and HireVue to interview their candidates. Make sure you have a firm understanding of the software and test your video and audio controls with a friend or family member before your interview. It would look poor to a hiring manager if the IT pro couldn’t figure out why his camera wasn’t connecting during their Skype interview. To avoid this, be sure to take the extra time to test beforehand.
2. Make sure your Internet connection is strong
There’s not much that could be more annoying than a poor Internet connection. While you’re trying to illustrate great points as to why you’re a strong candidate, your interviewer is only catching every other word as the Internet keeps cutting out on you. As mentioned above, testing is key. If your connection is poor and your provider isn’t being very helpful, ask a friend or neighbor if they’d be willing to let you use theirs.
3. Keep your username professional
Unfortunately, Skype usernames like “COD3RD00DKYL3” or “LiL_MiZZ_SQL_651” aren’t exactly helping you make a strong case as to why you should be the newest employee of Company XYZ. We advise creating usernames that include your first and last name, or if that’s taken, add your middle name or a skill. For example, “JaneSmithSQL” or “KylePTheCoder” sounds much better. Sorry D00D.
4. Dress to impress – even if they can’t see it!
Obviously, your webcam will not show your entire body. At most, it may show your body from the waist up; however, do not think that just means you can throw on a dressy shirt and call it a day. On the contrary, studies show that dressing for success will enhance confidence. Instead of just dressing your upper half, put on the full interview ensemble! You’ll feel as confident as you look! Plus, psychology studies show that first impressions are formed within 7 to 17 seconds of meeting someone, with 55% of someone’s opinion being influenced by physical appearance.
5. Find a quiet place with no room for interruptions
If you have children, pets, or roommates, it’s important to account for them and remove yourself from as much noise as possible. Ask your spouse or close friend to take the kids or dog to the park for an hour. Or maybe, politely text your roommates requesting they don’t come knocking or making a ruckus that morning while you’re interviewing. The less opportunity for interruption, the better. Oh, and please remember the golden rule: Silence your mobile phone!
6. Make sure the background is void of any “questionable” objects/wall hangings
After setting up the spot where you’ll be interviewing, be mindful of your background. Is there major clutter on the countertop behind you? Do you have any wall hangings that some may find “questionable” in taste? Of course, we know you don’t, but it’s always nice to double check to avoid insulting or tainting your impression on the interviewer.
7. Do not have multiple windows and programs open outside of the video conference platform
Distractions are bad. They’re almost as bad as trying to find that one Internet tab that’s open and playing music or random advertisements. You can eliminate both during your interview so long as you keep your Internet browser – and any other distracting programs & applications – closed.
8. Show attentiveness & confidence by head nodding and speaking clearly
As you would with a face-to-face interview, nod along when the interviewer is talking. It’s a sign of attentiveness and respect, something that the hiring manager is really going to take note of during your time with them. Because you’re not face-to-face, you should be even more careful about speaking clearly. Sometimes over webcam, low or mumbled speech can be even more garbled than it already is in person.
9. Do not stare at yourself! Maintain eye contact!
Admit it… While video chatting with friends or family members, it’s very easy for your eyes to stray over to the bottom left corner, where you see a small video thumbnail of yourself. Don’t worry, we all do it; however, a video interview is not the time. It’s important to look directly at the camera while speaking, as it simulates “eye-contact.” While the interviewer is talking, it is acceptable to look at them on the screen, but be mindful about transitioning back when it’s your turn to speak again.
10. Watch your posture & refrain from fidgeting. Body language is everything!
We all know body language is really important. During face-to-face meetings, 93% of people’s judgments of others are based on non-verbal signs. Although not face-to-face, it’s very easy for the hiring manager to notice your posture through the computer screen. Fidgeting is also very noticeable and apparent, even though most may not think so. The best way to solve this is to practice with a friend or family member beforehand or leave yourself a small sticky note on the top corner of your computer:
We hope these tips help make your next video interview a great success.
As always, Modis is here to help you with your next exceptional career opportunity with hundreds of job listings and 60+ branches around the US & Canada. If you have any additional video interview tips, resources, or questions, share them with us in the comments below. Happy interviewing!