Like it or not, if you’re interviewing for a job in a different market, you’re going to be sitting in front of your laptop instead of across a hiring manager’s desk. While some interviewees feel perfectly relaxed (especially people who grew up with Skype and SnapChat), others dread the very idea (camera-shy folks, we’re talking to you).
Video interviews can be a great way to connect with a potential employer but there are also potential pitfalls to be vary of. So if you’re asked to participate in a video interview, here are five things you must do to be camera-ready.
Create a professional environment Choose where you’re going to sit for the interview and scan the background to ensure it’s neat and appropriate. A neat bookshelf or a neutral wall with a piece of artwork in the background is ideal. Avoid having a window in the background as the glare can make it hard to see you.
Watch your posture Because your interviewer can’t read your body language as well via video, it’s important to get your posture right. A neutral stance in your chair, with both feet on the ground is most appropriate. Make sure you’re facing the camera, and not showing too much of the side angle. Don't forget to adjust your chair to make sure you’re not too low or high within the frame.
Non-verbal Cues Position your computer or web camera so that it’s at eye-level. Avoid looking at the person’s face on the screen and, instead, look into the camera lens. Focusing on the screen makes you look like you’re avoiding eye contact and can affect the interviewer's perception of you.
Don’t fidget We all have nervous fits or twitches, but in an interview, you really have to be extra careful. Try to limit animated hand movements, twirling your hair, touching your face, or tapping your fingers or feet. Sometimes, your nervous tic could be a verbal one — like saying “uh-huh” or “like” over and over again.
This is why it’s recommended to practice and record yourself to see what you’re doing and to become aware of anything that needs to be toned down.
Double check your device If you'll be using your own equipment, do a trial run a day or two before the interview. Set up your camera and any headset or microphone as if you were going to do the actual interview. If possible, use the same video technology that you'll be using during the actual interview. That way, you won't have any last minute installation issues or password problems. Good luck!