Survive Your First Video Interview

That's not a valid work email account. Please enter your work email (e.g.
Please enter your work email

Businessman covers eyes before steping off cliffDear Candidate,

You’re about to embark on your first-ever video interview. It’s a little daunting I’m sure, but there are ways to make sure you not only ace your first digital screening but get invited back for another screen-to-screen.

1.) Plan. Prepare. Focus. Treat this interview like it’s a real one. Because it is. That means giving yourself plenty of time to prep, researching the company and the position. Keep your notes and resume handy and make sure you have all your dates lined up.

2.) Advance Notice. If your hiring manager or recruiter request information ahead of time, make sure that you get it to them well in advance of the interview so they have time to look it over.

3.) Check your Tech. Not only will you need to ensure that your microphone and webcam are working (try a test with a friend) but you’ll also want to see if you need to make use of mobile options (many video interviewing providers now have this option). Having trouble? Contact the tech support team of the interactive interviewing platform being used. They’ll set you straight.

4.) Timing is everything. Give yourself plenty of time. Just because you’re using advanced technology doesn’t mean that everything will move smoothly. To be sure, plan for an hour before and 20 minutes after your video interview slot. Even if you are simply answering pre-recorded questions (often called a video screen).

5.) Dress it up. Just because you aren’t in an office, doesn’t mean you can forgo pants. While it’s true that no one can see below the desk, as it were, you still want to make sure you’re in an interview state of mind, so keep it classy and professional when it comes to dressing up, even if you’re doing the interview from your bedroom.

6.) Speaking of surroundings. Don’t take the interview just anywhere. Coffee shops and loud areas are a no-no in general. Even if you’re in a quiet public place, chances are you’ll play down your energy level and look self-conscious. Not the best look. Respond to your interview questions (or the live interview) in a quiet, private location. If it’s an option, move your computer to an internal room so sounds like trains, car horns, barking dogs or any other noise won’t be picked up by your microphone.

7.) Background. Keep it clean and streamlined. Sure you love your collegiate pennant and that Blues Brothers movie poster, but they shouldn’t really be part of the background when you take your interview. Make sure that your interviewers can focus on YOU during your interview.

8.) Sit still! Fidgeting, moving around and giving in to nervous tics makes you look…well, nervous. So don’t do it.

9.) Try to enjoy yourself. Its easy to forget that a video interview is supposed to be a barometer of a match between you and your ideal company, so show your qualifications and your personality. Tough to do when you’re thinking about all that can potentially go wrong, but necessary nonetheless.

By Maren Hogan