Based on insights into who is really getting the job (plus exactly how they do it), this podcast is a new and simple approach to job interview preparation. Each episode is only five minutes long. This way, you can make progress even if you only have a couple of minutes. It contains one specific topic, gives you the relevant background and a clear and simple, step-by-step approach to help you prepare the perfect answers.
Visit www.InterviewPreparationSimplified.com for more information on how to prepare for an interview, to provide feedback or to make suggestions for upcoming episodes..
During this episode, I share a simple, four-step approach to help you ace your video interview. I cover how to set up the technical equipment, get more comfortable in front of the camera and what to do before and during the interview to impress the interviewer.
Hi and welcome to today’s episode, during which I share a simple, four-step approach to help you ace your video interview. Many candidates have told me they feel uncomfortable being interviewed remotely, often because it is unfamiliar and perceived as less personal. The good news is that you can do a couple of things to ease your nerves and get the edge over the other candidates. So, let me guide you on how to set up the technical equipment so you can best present yourself, get more comfortable in front of the camera, what to do before the interview to pave the way to success and how to make a great impression during the call.
Step 1: Get the technology ready
Many companies use Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, or alike to conduct remote interviews. Once you have installed the relevant software on your computer and logged in, start the video preview. Then, you should do three things to get the camera to capture you in the best possible way. First, find a spot in your home with good lighting; daylight is best but make sure the camera is not facing a window since this can cause glare. Second, adjust the camera’s height to eye level. Finally, find the right distance between you and the lens to get a tight head and shoulder shot with a bit of margin on the top. Once the picture looks good, navigate to the sound settings to test your microphone and speakers. Usually, there’s an option to record a short test sequence and play it on the speaker. If the audio doesn’t sound clear, try again using a headset. When everything is set up correctly, make a test call with a friend to ensure the connection works properly.
Step 2: Practice
Let’s face it – a video interview is different from an in-person interview. Therefore, practicing is crucial to get more comfortable in front of the camera and avoid common mistakes. One is constantly focusing on what appears on the monitor, such as the other person’s video capture, because it prevents you from connecting with them. Instead, look directly into the lens, even if that might feel awkward at first; but this way, the interviewer feels as if you are looking them in their eyes. Another common mistake is using scripted answers. While it might be tempting to take advantage of the fact that the interviewer doesn’t see what’s on your screen, they will notice if you read out prepared answers because it doesn’t sound natural. So, if you want to appear confident and genuine, practice by recording yourself answering some of the interview questions you expect to be asked while looking straight into the camera’s lens. Once you feel comfortable with that, ask a friend to conduct a mock interview with you using the same technical setup you’ll utilize during the actual interview. Or use the link in this episode’s description and book an interview simulation with me to practice and receive real-time feedback with tips and recommendations.
Step 3: Prepare a couple of things the day before the interview.
Having everything prepared ahead of time can help you feel more relaxed during the interview. In step 1, you learned where to place the camera; now it’s time to remove anything distracting from the background of your video image. Start the camera by entering the software’s video preview mode and ask yourself one simple question: “Is there anything visible on the video that I don’t want the interviewer to see or ask me about?” Tidying the room is common sense but also check, for example, if there are any private photographs visible that you want to remove. And if a pile of books is visible, you should feel comfortable talking about your favorite one since the interviewer might ask you about it as an icebreaker at the beginning of the call. Also, decide what you want to wear during the interview. If in doubt, choose the same clothes you would wear during an in-person interview. Then, print your resume and cover letter to have at hand if asked questions about them. And finally, jot down the dial-in number for the meeting, which usually is included in the invitation, so you’ve a backup plan in case of sudden network problems during the interview.
Step 4: Acing the interview.
Call in to the meeting at least 10 minutes before it starts so you’ve enough time to handle potential technical problems. Then, switch off notifications on your phone and computer to avoid unwanted distractions. During the interview, remind yourself to look into the lens and smile. And most importantly, focus on all the positive facts. You have been selected for this interview because your application convinced the hiring manager, and you have properly prepared and practiced for this meeting, which means you are most likely ahead of the other candidates. Now, what to do if things go wrong? In case someone enters the room during the call, stay calm, tell the interviewer that you are sorry for the disruption and need one second to handle the situation. Then, switch off the video and mic, and, once you have sorted things out, resume the call. And even though it does not often happen, if the connection is unstable and you cannot hear the interviewer properly, switching off the video might improve the audio quality. If that does not work, try calling in by phone instead. And make sure you explain what happened to the interviewer. No one will blame you for the technical issues.
These were the 4 steps to preparing for your video interview. Thanks for listening, and I hope this was helpful to you.