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Preparing for a Video Interview

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Preparing for a Video Interview

More employers are conducting interviews through video. Some may reserve a space for you at a private conference room at a Kinkos or other location, while some employers may ask you to interview from home via Skype. Either way, video interviews present challenges not encountered with in-person interviews. Below are a list of tips to help you prepare for your video interview:
YOUR APPEARANCE ON CAMERA
  • Look professional from head to toe. Don’t assume that a potential employer will not see what you’re wearing below your waist—for example, you may be asked to retrieve a document in another room.
  • Patterns and bright colors often look strange on video, so stick with dark, solid colors.
  • Adjust the camera so that you are in the middle of the screen. Remember that body language is essential to any interview, so make sure that your shoulders and hands are visible. However, an overly zoomed out perspective may show too much of your environment.
  • During the interview look into the camera in order to give the impression of eye contact. Be careful not to fixate on your own image, which will look odd from the interviewer’s perspective.
  • Check beforehand that room lighting is flattering and even.
  • Inevitably, a video interview will communicate less of your overall personality. Smiling enthusiastically throughout the interview will leave the best impression.
QUESTION PREPARATION
  • You should prepare just as thoroughly for a video interview as for an in-person interview. In fact, you may be under more scrutiny during video interviews, because employers often record them for future reference. 
  • Though you may decide to have notecards or your resume nearby, do not read straight from them. Memorize any important dates and figures beforehand.

IF YOUR VIDEO INTERVIEW IS FROM HOME…
TECHNOLOGY
  • Familiarize yourself with the software before your interview, perhaps by video chatting with a friend.
  • The first step in using Skype or other software for the first time will be creating a username. Make sure that your username is professional—a variation on your full name will do.
  • Consider using a headset to avoid playback and ensure excellent sound quality for you and your interviewer.  You may also want to use an Ethernet cable instead of a wireless connection to ensure a good internet speed—a slow connection can ruin a video interview.
YOUR ENVIRONMENT
  • Clean up the space around your computer, and anything else in plain view. If possible, place your computer so that you have a blank, white wall behind you.
  • To prevent interruption, alert everyone you live with that you will have an interview. Also make sure to close any other computer programs so that an email or chat alert does not interfere.
  • Make sure your environment is silent—close windows to protect from outside noises such as dogs or cars. Any pets should also be kept in another room.

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