7 tips to help you ace a video job interview

Job interviews can be nerve-wracking, especially if you’re meeting the hiring manager for the first time via webcam in your living room.

With the ever changing way we are adapting to the COVID-1 9 pandemic, many companies are now using video interviews for their hiring process.

Here are seven tips to improve your video-interviewing skills to help you to land the job:

Double-check your audio, video, and internet connection

Always test your video and audio right before an interview to ensure everything is working properly. Just because it worked a month ago doesn’t mean it’s going to work today, and you don’t want to risk the headache or embarrassment of technology issues during a conversation with a potential employer.

A stable wireless connection is also essential, so be sure to choose a location where you know spotty connection won’t disrupt your video.

Pick a distraction-free background

You want the focus to be on your face and what you’re saying during the interview, so choosing a quiet and clear background that’s business-like and free of distractions is key.

Avoid windows and walls full of pictures, posters, or knickknacks. Clear all books and clutter off your desk — basically, you want to eliminate anything that could draw the interviewer’s attention away from you. If you can’t find a good backdrop at your office or at home, then just use a solid wall.

Make sure you’re in a well-lit room and the interviewer can see you clearly

Pay attention to the lighting. You want the interviewer to be able to see your face clearly, so try a test video beforehand to make sure lights aren’t casting any shadows on your face.

Angle and eye contact are critical

Where do you look during a video interview? It’s one of the most common questions people have, and it’s easy to get thrown off if you’re not used to video chatting. Although it may not feel natural at first, you want to speak to the camera, not the screen.

Always position your camera at eye-level, not above or below you.

Frame yourself from the chest up

Showing yourself from the waist or chest up is generally recommended for video interviews, so you don’t look like a floating head. You don’t want to be so close to the camera that the interviewer can count your nose hairs.

Dress for the job you want

While it may be tempting to do the interview in your comfy house pants with your nicest shirt, resist that urge. You want to dress exactly as if you were going for the interview in person. This can have a strong effect on your mindset, and if you’re too comfortable in the sweatpants you’re rocking out of frame, that will come through in your attitude and speech.

You always want to look your best for an interview, so prepare the same as you would for an in-person meeting. Your dress and level of formality should match the industry for which you’re interviewing; if the job is at a firm where workers wear suits every day, you should wear a suit for your video interview.

Keep makeup natural-looking, and avoid wearing too much jewellery, which can be distracting and catch light from the wrong angle.

Keep your body language open

Just as with an in-person interview, it’s important to be aware of your body language in order to leave a positive impression on the interviewer.

It’s fine to gesture while you speak, but be careful to keep your hand movements contained and within the video frame, and be aware that your gestures aren’t always going to translate over video the same way they would in person.

It’s also crucial to maintain a pleasant facial expression during the interview. You’re creating an image of yourself as soon as you turn on your camera.  You want the person to like you and hire you, so smile and don’t forget to let your personality shine through!