4 tips to help you ace your video interview

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As companies look for ways to drive down the cost to hire candidates, video interviews save time and money for both the company and their candidates.

By Mike Dolch, senior recruiter, The Hiring Group

Video job interviews are quickly becoming widespread in today’s business world. As companies look for ways to drive down hiring costs, video interviews save time and money for both the company and its candidates.

If you’re applying for a job, it is highly likely your first step in the hiring process will be a video interview. Even if you’re a technology wiz with tons of experience communicating through video, it’s important for you to prepare as much as you would for an in-person interview. If you have limited experience with video interviews, you’ll want to practice so you don’t come across as anxious or uncomfortable.

Here are four tips to help you prepare for success.

Dress the part. Often in video interviews, simple details like dress code are overlooked. It is easy to fall into the trap that because it is a video interview, it is less formal than a face-to-face interview. You should dress professionally for the video interview just as you would for an in-person interview. Even though many people use video regularly, it should still be treated with professionalism.

Room setting and location. It is important to remember that your dress, the room you are in, and the lighting affect how your potential employer sees you. Be sure you are in a well-lit room with absolutely no other distractions in your viewable space. Sit in a place where you can clearly hear the interviewer and where he can hear you. Do not conduct a video interview in the middle of a coffee shop — there is too much activity going on around you and too many other people talking. It is easy for you and your interviewer to get distracted. Create an environment so you’re able to give the interviewer your full attention without interruptions. Don’t forget to put your phone on vibrate and move it out of sight so you’re not tempted to look at.

Preparation. Don’t just turn on the camera and go for it. It is imperative to prepare for the interview — make sure you test your microphone, camera, and internet connection to confirm all are working before the interview. Take time to prepare for questions you may be asked just as you would for an in-person interview. Always be aware that while you’re communicating via video, you need to make eye contact and speak clearly.

Keep it simple. Finally, keep it simple. Video interviews for highly technical positions can be challenging for both the interviewer and the candidate. The exchange of information and ideas via video can be difficult if you’re not face-to-face. The key to acing the video interview is to optimize your interview space for maximum focus and prepare yourself to deliver thoughtful, concise responses. Be authentic and let your interviewer see your personality. Give him an accurate depiction of your personality and skill set so he can get a good feel for what kind of fit you would be, even over video. Be yourself and answer the questions as simply and as effectively as you can.

In summary

Interviewing — whether in person or via video — can be stressful. If you have a video interview coming up, I hope you’ll take these bits of advice as you prepare. Like with any interview, you want to portray yourself in the most positive light possible. This means you need to come across neat, polished, well-prepared, and focused. Using these tips will help you take your video interview skills to the next level and hopefully land your dream job.

Mike Dolch is a senior recruiter at The Hiring Group, a technical staffing and recruiting services firms. 

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