Thanks to technological advances in the last couple of years, video interviews have become much more popular in the job seeking process. Nowadays, almost everyone owns a couple of devices with cameras on them. It would be hard to find a laptop or a phone that did not have video call capabilities. When both parties have busy schedules, video calls are the only practical way to get some face to face time. With the increase in popularity of video interviews as a halfway point between phone and in person interviews, it is important to be well prepared. We have put together these video interview tips and tricks to make your video interview stand out in quality.
Audio is just as important as video in these interviews. It is important to minimize the amount of background noise so your interviewer can hear you well. It is best to be in a private room away from other people and noises. You can also use headphones with an inline microphone. These will be higher quality than a laptop’s internal microphone. Also make sure to turn off any fans or AC in the room if you can.
Most video graininess that people complain about does not come from poor camera quality. Most of the time, this can be brought to an acceptable level by simply getting the right lighting. You want to be facing your main light source, and place the light source behind the camera. If you are taking the video interview from your laptop, you are going to want to place a lamp behind the laptop. If the sun is out, you can face a window and get incredible natural lighting. Make sure light sources in the background are turned off so they don’t mess with your image quality.
Ideally, you want the camera height to be at eye level. This is meant to emulate a real interview. You don’t want to speak to your interviewer from angles that are too high, too low, or indirect. You also want to keep eye contact with the camera, so that your interviewer feels like you’re looking at them when they’re talking. This is is also why camera angle is important. You want to place the camera in a position that it feels natural to have a conversation with. The ideal frame is similar to a portrait, showing you from the chest upwards.
One key difference with video interviews is that they take place wherever you take the call. If you’re taking the interview in your bedroom, you might want to make sure that the background is free of anything that might seem unprofessional. Any trash or dirty laundry should be cleaned up (or at least tucked away under the bed until after the interview). If you have roommates, make sure to let them know you will be having this interview so they don’t walk through the background or ask for your assistance.
One of the most frustrating parts of a video interview are technical difficulties. Prior to taking the interview, test your internet and make sure it is reliable and can handle a video call. If you are having internet problems, you might have to get creative and use your phone as a hotspot or for mobile data. Be careful, using your phone to stream video will use a lot of data.
There are many video call solutions out there. Some of the most popular that we include in our video interview Skype, Google Hangouts, Zoom, and FaceTime. If the platform your interviewer chooses is new to you, make sure to sign up and become familiar with the platform. You want to be comfortable in the software to avoid any technical difficulties when the interview comes around. Try out the software a couple hours before and enter a couple of test calls.
The nice part about a video interview is that you can prepare some notes and not have your interviewer find out. If write down some bullet points that you want to make sure to mention, you can have paper in front of you, but out of the camera frame. You can also just get a word document up on your screen and reference it during your interview. If you are discrete about it, your interviewer will never find out. You can even have these video interview tips pulled up on another screen or device to reference.
Using these video interview tips, you will be well on your way to doing great on your interview. Remember to treat it just like a normal interview. Prepare what you have to say, smile, and speak confidently. Video interviews can have technical difficulties from time to time, and sufficient preparation will significantly reduce the chance of those happening. These video interview tips should be paired with our career saving tips.