girl having a video conferenceIf you’ve been on a job search recently, you are probably aware of how drastically different the process is becoming from what it once was. As more companies are becoming comfortable with technology, job seekers are being forced to learn how to set themselves apart from the sea of applicants in a virtual setting. Often times, applications are only accepted online and rarely accepted in person.

Even interviews are being conducted in a virtual setting. Many companies are utilizing platforms which allow for them to conduct the entire interview process online. The key to nailing a video interview is to do your homework beforehand. Once the interview starts it will be much like the traditional in-person interview. Here are some pointers to make sure your video interview goes as smoothly as possible:

1. Test the Connection

Probably one of the biggest mistakes you can make when it comes to a video interview is to wait until right before it is set to take place to test out the video platform. This might seem like the most obvious of tips but you would be surprised at how many times individuals fail to do this. Test your internet connection and try out whatever platform you are going to be interviewing on before the day of your interview. By doing so you will have plenty of time to fix any issues that may come up.

2. Eliminate Distractions

Shut out all distractions and have the interview in a clean room where you can concentrate. Clear your desk of any loose papers and trinkets so as to not distract the interviewer. The last thing you want is for them to see what a slob you really are. Along that line, make sure there is plenty of ambient light in the room.

Turn off your cell phone and any computer notifications on your screen. Having random notifications pop up can distract you from your interview even if the interviewer doesn’t know it is happening.

The microphone will pick up all of the noise in the room, so make sure to turn off the TV, radio, washing machine, or anything else that is going to make extra noise during your interview.

3. Dress for Success

You still have to dress nice. Just because your potential employer won’t be seeing you in person for the interview doesn’t mean that he or she won’t notice if you’re wearing a ratty t-shirt and your pajama bottoms. You never know when you might have to stand up and reveal what you are (or are not) wearing; so, keep it professional just like you would in any other interview.

4. Practice

Practice how loudly you should speak. You don’t want to give the impression that you are yelling, but you don’t want the interviewer to have a hard time hearing you either. Some platforms that employers are using have the ability to let the interviewee practice and record themselves so they can see what the potential employer will see.

5. Final Touches

Have a copy of your resume by you. That way you can reference it for any dates or other information you are asked about.

Look into the actual camera and not the screen. Otherwise the camera will focus on your forehead and the interviewer won’t be able to look you in the eye.

Use the picture-in-picture feature if it’s available to you. This will help to ensure that the angle of your webcam is set up correctly so the interviewer is looking at your face and not your chest.

Once the interview begins, the process will be much the same as any other interview. Expect the same type of questions you would in any other circumstance. One of the perks of video interviews is that you can have your notes in front of you without them being distracting to the interviewer. Just make sure you have practiced enough beforehand so you aren’t looking down the entire time.

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