Nail your video interview!

A job interview via Skype, FaceTime or another online video call platform is more and more used and normal. Though it’s not a face to face meeting, it does not mean that it is less important and decisive.

My advice? Prepare it with care and attention. This can make THE difference: in your favor or against you. Here is how. . .

  • User name and account photo: ensure that they convey a professional image. Carefully select the picture / photo and use an appropriate user name. Ideal is “name.familyname”, while “ManchesterForEver” may not resonate with the recruiter, even if he is a fan of Manchester United Team.
  • Phone number: give yours and ask for the recruiter’s one prior to the video session. It may prove to be useful in case you need to contact your interlocutor in case of a last minute issue.
  • Connection: connect in advance to check that video and audio are clear and work well on your device. To do it, place a video call to a friend to test relevant settings. Starting your interview with a series of “Hello? Hello? Hello! Can you hear me?!” is not the best. Then, at the beginning of the call with the recruiter, you may ask her if she hears you well and volume is fine.
  • Location: ensure you are well placed. Background – i.e. what’s behind your shoulders – should be sober, neutral, neat, and it should not distract the other person’s attention. Light from in front of you is optimal and it should not be too strong. To prevent interferences, put your phone on silent mode, switch off noisy emails notifications, close the door of the room and ensure no background noise – such as the cat walking around or mewing – may bother or distract you.
  • Material: prepare paper & pen or your ipad to take notes, write down the interviewer’s name, the questions she asks. Also consider having a glass of water next to you. This has 2 advantages: to prevent to get a dry throat and start coughing after the first set of questions, and to gain few seconds to reflect and identify what to answer in case of an unexpected question.
  • Punctuality: connect few minutes in advance. Not only to ensure the connection works, but also to prevent your interlocutor to wait.
  • Look and posture: dress and prepare yourself as it was a face to face interview. Being at home – and not physically in the same room as the other party – does not mean you can wear the trousers of your pijamas. Just imagine you stand-up because you forgot to switch off the fix line phone!
  • Contact: to have eye contact with the recruiter, look at the camera and do not let your image on the screen or the one of the other person distract you. Consider minimising your image, so you can also better see your interlocutor. This is key because direct eye contact can influence your audience’s perception of your credibility, your comfort and ability to be in control.  Moreover, if you keep eye contact, your audience will be more likely to stay focused. In addition, unless requested by the other party, do not lower your eyes to read your notes. It’s true that reading your notes may give you confidence while talking, but you take the risk to look distracted, absent and not prepared. So it’s better to review your lines before the call starts.

And now, you just have to GIVE YOUR BEST and go for it!

And remember, your target objective is just one: get an invite to the face to face interview. There you’ll have the opportunity to better showcase your skills set and demonstrate how you fit the job.