On today’s episode we’re talking about how to rock your video interview. Right now is the time to prepare for video interviews because the great news is: companies are STILL HIRING! I’m hearing this from recruiters, women in Recruit the Employer, and others. If you are ready to take the bull by the horns and leverage your resources and time into the job search, I believe this can be one of the very best times to differentiate yourself from other people who are staying stuck.
For the companies who are hiring, there is a massive shift toward video interviews for everyone. Some companies were already doing this, but now almost every company has moved to it. So, how do you prepare well? I’m so glad you asked!
What We’re Talking About
- Mindset for video interviews
- How to prep for a video interview
- Environment for your interview
- Technology tips and best practices
Mindset for your video interview
Your mindset around work and life in general these days matters more than anything else. Truly, mindset is more important than ever! Confidence over content matters 10x more than ever before in interviews. In previous interview podcasts, you’ve heard me talk about confidence over content...and now it matters even more!
Because your mindset is so important, you need to pump yourself up before your video interview. Your confidence needs to be sky high! Some questions you can think through:
- What are the skills I have to offer?
- Why am I going to be a huge asset to them, specifically during this time?
- How am I going to be able to create community on our team?
- What are the soft skills I bring to the table that are absolutely necessary now more than ever?
- How am I going to show them I am the best person for the job?
Answer these...and then believe them!
What can often creep in during these times is a sense of desperation for a new job so we don’t get stuck. But this kind of fear is detrimental when entering an interview or a new season. Let’s kick that fear to the curb and operate out of a mindset of confidence, moving toward good things!
General Prep for your video interview
Preparing for an interview is critical. I have a great run down for you in my Interview Prep Guide, so start there for my collection of the very best interview tips and tricks I’ve learned over the years. Along with that, I want to give you specific advice for how to prepare for your video interview rather than an in-person interview.
First – you must dress to impress. This is not the time for a blazer on top and pajamas on the bottom, friend! Get dressed up ALL the way. Put on your “full armor” – from top to toes. Rock those heels or your cute little flats. You will look good and feel good in your video interview. It enormously impacts your confidence...and remember, I want you to have loads of confidence!
Next, please don’t login TOO early. Many of us are nervous before an interview, whether in-person or via video. When you show up too early to an in-person interview, it can be awkward because the interviewer may be in a meeting, on a call, or even in another interview. The same thing holds true for a video interview. Max, log-in 5 minutes before your interview time. You can do 10 minutes before if you’re really feeling the need to be early...but no more! 5 minutes should give you enough time to check any tech issues and prepare on your end. You don’t want to knock into someone else’s interview or another meeting.
As you interview, make sure you speak loudly. Articulate, put your shoulders back, and speak so that the interviewer can hear you. There’s nothing worse than having to ask someone repeatedly what they said.
Lastly, maintain your focus and gaze. My suggestion is to use the idea from yoga of maintaining a drishti gaze. Pick one spot, and focus on it. Don’t worry about who you’re looking at, if it’s exactly right, etc. Just pick a central spot and be focused and it will come across well.
Environment for Your Video Interview
Your environment for a video interview matters a lot. So, pick a spot that’s going to be quiet. Kid-free as much as possible...though people do have grace for this right now due to our crazy circumstances. Try to have as quiet a space as you can for interviewing. Coordinate with your spouse or significant other, roommates, and whomever else is in your home. And coordinate with the company if you have kids and are arranging time with your S.O. to watch them or scheduling after bedtime. Communicate that and a company will be understanding and usually very kind about it.
Try your best to have a solid background behind you. A bookcase also works. The person on the other side of your video interview doesn’t want to see a door, your kitchen, or a dirty space. If you’re in a tight one-bedroom, pick a corner. It should be clean, professional-ish, and you must feel comfortable in the space.
Lastly – get off ALL the apps and tabs. It will mess with your confidence and your focus if your phone is going off. When you’re in an in-person interview, there are no distractions. Treat this the same way. Create a distraction-free space on your computer and around you so that you can focus.
Technology for Your Video Interview
This is the thing that freaks everybody out a bit. But many of us are comfortable with this. To prepare, figure out what platform the company is using. If you know what it’s going to be, test it out ahead of time. But make sure you can test it at an off time when they’re not using that link. You don’t want to hop into someone else’s call or interview on accident!
Second thing: don’t use WiFi if you can help it. Video interviewing takes up more internet bandwidth. And wifi has less of a reliable bandwidth than old school hard-wired internet. So, if you can, I’d recommend getting an ethernet cord to connect your modem to your internet. This gives a much better connection for video interviews!
If you’re concerned about your video, audio, or lighting, we’ve got you covered in my Amazon shop. I recommend testing all of this with family and friends beforehand so you can see how it looks and what you may need to invest in. If you’re specifically concerned about video quality, grab a webcam to make sure it’s clear. After you test your audio, if you think you need an upgrade, I highly recommend Blue Yeti for all microphone needs.
You also want to check your lighting. And make sure you check it at the time of day your interview is set for. Lighting can be such a struggle to get right, and so distracting when it’s off. I recommend grabbing a Ring Light to avoid this issue. This puts you in the driver’s seat for lighting.
Ready to Rock Your Video Interview
Remember – you’ve got this! Get your mindset pumped up and confident. Prepare yourself as you would for a regular interview. Talk with your hands, body position like a normal person, and dress to impress from head to toe – no replicating of the Skype interview Halloween costume! Think about how you can create a quiet space where you can be calm and confident. And proactively test and prepare the technology pieces for your video interview.
The reality is – there may be tech snafus. But the truth also is that people will be understanding. We’re all in this together. You may get flustered when this happens and if so, take a deep breath, don’t swear (they may still be able to hear you!), and see how you can troubleshoot to fix it. Your easiest tools for hits are Google Hangouts and Zoom. And don’t hesitate to invest some money into better video, audio, or lighting so that you feel your most confident and you rock this video interview!
I hope this was helpful! I’d love to hear what your biggest takeaway was. Connect with me on LinkedIn and let me know!
Ring Light – smaller option
Ring Light – larger standing option
How to Rock Your Video Interview
March 31, 2020