April 30, 2015

4 Tips on Prepping for a Video Interview

In 2012, OfficeTeam asked 500 HR managers about their use of video technology in the interviewing process. Fifty-three percent of respondents said they use video “very often” in the interviewing process, and a further 10 percent said they use video “somewhat often.”

As video interviewing becomes more and more prevalent, interviewees must learn to adapt to this new method of interviewing. Here’s how job seekers can prep for their video interviews:

1. Dress Properly

Sweats and oversized tees are not viable wardrobe options — the interviewer can still see you, after all!

Look presentable on camera with reasonable grooming and business casual dress. Frank Bernieri, associate professor of psychology at Oregon State University, says that dressing poorly for an interview is just as bad as picking your nose in an interview.

2. Make Sure You Have the Right Software

There is nothing more embarrassing than agreeing to a video interview with a potential employer only to find out at the last minute that you don’t have the software necessary to complete the interview.

As soon as the interview is scheduled, you should download and test the software you’ll need. Your interview will be more relaxed and far less stressful if you know how to manage the platform you’ll be using.

Once you eliminate technological stresses, you can better focus on the content of the conversation, rather than apologizing profusely to the interviewer every time your computer goofs.

3. Prepare for Glitches

Technology crashes, and glitches can happen at the worst possible times. The best way to deal with them is not to panic: just wait for the Internet to catch up with the video and move on with the questions. If you miss something the interviewer said because of a glitch or some lag time, politely ask if they could repeat themselves.

Some video services, such as Skype, come with built-in chat clients. This can come in handy in the event of serious glitches. You can notify your interviewer of the problems on your end and, if absolutely necessary, request a different time to chat.

Small Business Trends suggests checking your Internet connection at least 30 minutes before the interviewee calls. Shutting down other applications running on your computer can help increase your speed and avoid lag and glitching as well.

4. Take the Interview in the Right Environment

It’s vital to make sure that you take your video interview in a quiet, well-lit space. Dim lighting or overly bright lighting could alter your skin tone, changing the color to a greenish or pale white color.

Noise is also a factor. Try to take the interview in a quiet room, with little to no background noise. You may want to also ensure you have a good microphone that clearly picks up your voice while blocking out ambient sound. According to Extension and Experiment Station Communications, lavalier mics are some of the best mics for video interviewing. Internal mics on laptops work well, too, but they might pick up more ambient sound.

If you have children or pets at home, they could cause distractions. Children scream and holler, dogs bark at squirrels, and cats knock everything over. If possible, try to get a sitter to occupy your children while you are on the interview, and tuck your animals away in other rooms.

Don’t let your first video interview with a potential employer be a nightmare. Keep your eyes on the camera and remember, it’s just an interview — like any other.

Read more in Video Interview

Noelle Murphy is part of the content creation team at Red Branch Media, a full-service marketing and advertising agency that specializes in the HCM market. Noelle writes on all subjects recruiting- and HR-related, but specifically enjoys writing about wellness and workplace happiness.