A compendious guide to ace your next video interview

The world has been contracting and the spread of technology across borders has intensified beyond comparison, because of globalization, making video interviews more common. be it for official meeting or a university admission. In fact, when the COVID-19 hit, many companies switched from in-person interviews to virtual mediums realising video interviews are just as rich with information as in-person. Take it as a boon, just a little preparation and you can use this as an opportunity to shine and impress your employers with your skills.

Be mindful of what is visible to the interviewer

While thousands of us are now working remotely and using Google Meet or other platforms for our meetings, we’ve become more accustomed to observing people in their home settings, and noticing their home décor, family members, and other aspects of their personal life in the background.

For an interview, it’s fine to be in your dining room or living room but make an effort to present whatever people see as neutral and professional as possible. You want to let yourself and your conversation and experience speak most powerfully about your qualifications and felicity for the job.  And you want to avoid the chance that your interviewer will be distracted by what’s behind you, or perhaps have a negative impression of any personal items (such as a messy room) in your home.

Show your authentic background (if it’s suitable)

Many people today use virtual backgrounds in their meetings (photos that they’ve selected to appear in the background) but for an interview, go the more authentic route and show the actual room where you’re speaking from, if it’s suitable. Often, virtual backgrounds create more distraction and a sense of artificiality than being effective for an interview.

Organize your sound and video equipment

Make sure that you have working Wi-Fi, a strong connection, and a quality headset or microphone so there are no tech issues during your call. Invest in quality equipment for audio and video work.

Also, test audio and video prior to the final call, and if the interviewer is using a platform that you haven’t used before, make sure to download the app in advance and give it a test run before the interview. Arrive early to the video meeting, and ensure the camera is at a proper angle, featuring your face and shoulders.

Exhibit positive body language and attitude

Demonstrate through your voice and body language that you’re interested, engaged, and professional in demeanor and language. Make sure you are not distracted (by loud sounds or interruptions in your home, etc.). If you know there will be significant interruptions or distractions during the scheduled time for the interview, see if you can change it to a time when those interruptions are at minimum, or try to shift to another location, if possible.

Engage the interviewer with eye contact and connection

Make sure you smile, come across as engaging and interested, and make strong eye contact. Try not to look away during your interview or look down at your notes too frequently. Your demeanor reveals a good deal about how your confidence level and about what the interviewer is sharing with you.

Mind the delay, pause 

Always take a small pause before responding to questions. Sometimes there is a delay with visual and audio responses, so a micro-pause before answering a question means there’s no uncomfortable lag or missing information. It is a good idea to check your volume controls and microphone efficiency before the interview.

As with every interview, be thoroughly prepared

Be fully prepared for your interview. Do your research in advance, understand clearly from what the hiring manager has shared in advance what they’re looking for in the role and be ready to talk about why you’re suitable for it. Have in front of you some bullet points that speak about how you can leverage your great talents and abilities and how you can potentially help the organization in achieving its organizational goals.

Appreciate in the end & follow up

Always end interviews with a thank you note to manifest a personal touch. Make sure you follow-up within 24 hours of appearing for the interview.

Remember, your interviewers are also people, and they know interviews are stressful. They also had to appear for an interview, or many interviews, to get to where they are. So, fasten your belt and good luck!