A Video Interview Isn’t Like a Day at The Office

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How to prepare for a video interview

A video interview is different than a face to face interview simply because the atmosphere is different. The feel of the interview is more relaxed because the interviewee is often at home, not surrounded by the office environment. There is no waiting room and there is no awkward goodbye at the door. Many companies are opting for the video interview due to the convenience, time and cost saved. If you have this type of interview, you need to understand how to prepare for a video interview before you turn on the computer. Failure to prepare and rehearse will likely lead to an unwanted outcome.
Take these simple steps to lower your anxiety and rise the likelihood of success!

1. Prepare

Use your video conferencing software with a friend at least a week before the interview is scheduled. You will be able to find any flaws in your system before you meet with your potential new boss. Make sure the height and distance is right and ask your friend to work with you while you get the screen just right.

2. Consider the Background

Look behind you. Is the background professional? You want a neutral background free of clutter. Remove any pictures or wall hangings behind you. Anything that cannot be moved needs to be neat and look professional.

3. Interruptions

Turn off the phone and choose a room that can be closed off from the rest of the house. Close the windows to keep background noise to a minimum. Ask someone to babysit the pets and the children.

4. Check the Lighting

Make sure the lighting is appropriate. You don’t want to look too dark or washed out. Close curtains, add lighting behind the computer or use your software settings to adjust the lighting.

5. Check the Sound

You should do this with your friend in the initial check, but check it again before the interview. Make sure it is still set to an appropriate level. Adjust the microphone level and make sure it’s placed at a reasonable distance from your mouth.

6. Dress to Impress

Wear clothes that are appropriate for an interview. You are at home but you are still being seen; don’t skip out on this part of the process. Wear the full interview outfit all the way to the shoes. Even though the company might not see your shoes, it will make you feel more confident. Keep a few things in mind, however: white will make you look washed out over a computer connection and stripes will distract if they come across the connection in a strange way. Opt for solid grays or blues.

7. Look Directly at the Camera

Position the camera so it appears that you are looking at the camera. This will give the impression that you are paying attention. This is the trade-off for not being able to make real eye contact. Don’t over prepare for the interview with notes around your screen because you will make yourself nervous and you will not maintain that simulated eye contact.

I cannot stress enough the importance of each of these steps. Every time I have had a candidate participate in a video interview for the first time they have all said afterwards “it wasn’t as easy as I expected,” or “I was more nervous than I thought I would be.” Some variation on that theme. So, while you may be a subject matter expert in your security niche, if you aren’t accustomed to video interviews make sure you prepare for this unique type of interview.

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