Video Interview? Put yourself in First Place in 3 Steps

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African American female athlete crossing finish line in race Video interviews are taking overand for good reason. I recently wrote about an infographic from SparkHire detailing how video interviews are on the horizon. The data said:

Video interviews save hiring managers time. Managers can conduct 10 one-way video interviews in the time it takes for one phone screen.

Video interviews save approximately 67 percent of the travel costs associated with hiring. The infographic explained how the average roundtrip airfare for 2012 was $378 and the average hotel stay cost $173/night. Shifting to video helps save employers and potential employees time and money.

It’s clear to see why more and more employers are leaning toward video interviews. Now, because they’re not actually going into an office for an in-person interview, many people may not view a video interview as equivalent, but don’t make this interview mistake. Video interviews are equally as important as face-to-face interviews and should be viewed and treated as such.

Below are three simple, yet extremely important steps you don’t want to miss when preparing for your next video interview. If you ensure these three areas are up to par, you’ll be on your way to acing the interview, which could ultimately help you land the job:

1. Arrange the interview area. Many people forget that it’s important to set aside a proper environment when participating in a video interview. Carefully select the area where you set up your laptop or computer. Choose a space that will look professional on camera. Pick up any clutter or mess beforehand. Pay attention to things like what’s hanging on the wall behind your webcam because you don’t want the interviewer being distracted. Also, your environment will tell the interviewer a lot about you, whether good or bad. If they see your house (or interview area) is dirty and/or unkempt, this will affect the person’s first impression of you.

Also, you should be able to sit comfortably in this area; so, it’s a good idea to select an office area with a desk and computer chair. Body language plays an important role in any interview; you don’t want to put yourself in a situation where you will be physically uncomfortable.

2. Be sure to minimized distractions.You’ll want to make sure that you won’t be disturbed during your interview time. For this reason, you may want to set things up for a time when the pets and the kids can be taken care of by your spouse or a helpful friend. Barking dogs and screaming children are the last things you’ll want your potential new boss to hear during your interview. You may also want to consider closing the door to the room you choose and making sure other people know not to come in, knock, or disturb you in any way during your interview. Don’t forget to turn the ringer off your phone as well. Just how this would cause problems during a face-to-face interview, your phone should be on silent during a video interview as well.

3. Carefully choose your interview attire. The fact that you’ll be having your interview at home through your own computer is no reason to get lazy when it comes to your professional attire. Choose your interview outfit with as much care as you would were you attending a traditional interview. A suit and tie is always a good decision. Ladies can also choose a smart blouse and pant combination that includes understated jewelry. Hair should be clean and neat. Makeup should be worn, but kept natural looking.

You should also think about making sure a copy of your resume is handy in case you need to refer to it. Also make sure a notepad and nice pen is within easy reach. If you need to take any notes, you’ll look prepared and very professional. Actually, acing a web cam interview is all about being prepared, so you’re sure to do an excellent job with a little proper forethought beforehand.

By Shala Marks