How to Ace a Video Interview
By Dan Moseson, CPDC Career Coach
You just got the email you’ve been dreading (or maybe hoping for!): your face-to-face interview has been moved to video because of COVID-19. What do you do?
The good news is that video interviews are already common and that the fundamentals of interviewing are the same for in-person and video interviews. Video interviews are like in-person interviews in most respects. Even with their similarities, there are still a few additional concerns you’ll need to prepare for in advance for a video interview.
Below, we’ve listed several general guidelines you can follow to prepare for and ace a video interview:
- Test your technology in advance. Remember, computers still break down. Arrange a virtual practice run with a Career Coach, friend, family member, or mentor before your interview to ensure that your webcam, microphone, and Internet connection are all working properly.
- Familiarize yourself with the video platform you will need to use ahead of time.
- Silence and keep your phone on-hand in case your computer’s technology breaks down.
- Dress exactly as you would for an in-person interview (we can help!). Wear your interview shoes – even if nobody sees them – to help you get “in the zone”.
- Set your scene. During your practice run, make sure your webcam is set up to present you well, and that you have good lighting and a clean, professional background. A bookshelf, a clean wall, or a generally neat space behind you will work fine.
- Practice presenting yourself on-screen. Practice looking into the camera, smiling, maintaining good posture and upbeat body language, and answering questions clearly and concisely (we can help!).
Remember: Most of the preparation for a video interview is the same as it would be for an in-person one. You still need to plan to make the strongest possible case for the fit between your skills and accomplishments and the requirements of the job and organization. This also requires prep work, including:
- Research the organization and reflect on your fit. The main work of preparing for interviews, whether in-person or online, involves researching and reflecting on yourself and your fit for the job.
- Closely review the job description and practice saying aloud how you will meet or exceed each of the main qualifications. Your past accomplishments, education, and training act as evidence of your ability to excel in the new role. Remember, employers want to know what you can do for them, so show them by talking about previous times when you’ve demonstrate your skills.
- Set up a mock interview appointment with a Career Coach or do a free video mock interview through StandOut! While our office in SSB 350 is temporarily closed, our services are still available virtually! We can help you fine-tune your approach and prepare for different types of questions. We can also provide you with resources to help you study up on your own.
If you take the steps we’ve listed above to get ready for a video interview, we’re confident you’ll shine. Good luck!