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How to ace your video interview

Your next interview…

During a time where we possibly find ourselves deliberating more than usual on things which were trivial (or not requiring thought) and contemplating the way in which we present our ‘best self’ - my thinking is– be considered but also try not to overthink things.

Ensure you are prepared for your meeting as you would be for any interview.

The basics.

  • Confirmed appointment

  • Name, Surname and designation of the person with whom you will be meeting.

  • Time of appointment (ensuring alignment in case a different geo/time zone)

  • Information on both the role and company along with any additional research you have done on the role, hiring company, industry and individual(s) whom you would be working with or who may be interviewing you.

Bring your A-game

  • You should in your mind have a summary of yourself prepared so that you can comfortably talk freely or respond to any such questions with this in mind. (Please reach out if you’d like my Interview tool guide for further prep).

  • Be clear in your mind from the outset as to why you think this role and company are a good ‘fit ’for you and importantly what you believe you bring to the table from a skill or culture point of view.

  • You want to look like a decent, well put together and groomed version of yourself.

  • Please dress appropriately (and yes, although the person on the other side of the screen will see your ‘top half’, I really do recommend being fully dressed as you would be for this occasion if you were to meet in- person). Wearing the appropriate bottom half attire (including shoes) is important too! Honestly, this is about showing up for yourself and can positively influence your professional mindset.

  • To be calm -ensure you are ‘early’ – be set up and online ready about 5-7 minutes before the start time. Take a deep breath in as you are ‘joining’ the meeting, exhale and smile.

  • Be comfortable. Consider your posture and body language. – but be you.

How does this work?

  • There are however a few additional considerations to have addressed prior to your scheduled time when preparing for a video interview.

  • Familiarity of the platform for your Video call (please test it if you have not used it before or reach out to an informed friend or colleague- alternatively Google/YouTube- but be sure you understand how to do the basics)

  • Ensure you have the appropriate access – register/download/sign in may be required alternatively just make sure you understand how to access/click thru to meeting

  • Contact information including an email address or telephone number in case there are any technical difficulties with the provided platform/meeting invite

  • Check your camera (video) and audio are working.

  • Speak clearly when testing your audio and continue to do so in your conversation.

  • Turn off any alerts or updates (so not to distract you during the interview or disrupt your discussion) for the time of your meeting and a 30-minute buffer on either side of the scheduled time).

Your set up.

  • Where possible, a stable internet connection is key as well as a charged battery.

  • If you’re using a tablet or smartphone- set it up somewhere stable so you do not need to hold the device- ensure the screen is in close proximity for you to be seen/to access any controls.

  • Do consider where you will be sitting – if possible, in your own room/space where you will be uninterrupted for this meeting.

  • Ideally a wall or when in a room where there may be things visible around/behind you please make sure things are tidy. Some of the platforms have such features now too in addition to the virtual backgrounds (blur your background) which can be most useful (and sometimes fun too!).

  • Decent lighting is key (so that you can be seen and are not disappearing into the background or a silhouette)

  • Relatively quiet and uncluttered space around you (if possible) – do remember there are a few apps in terms of cancelling/silencing out background noise (you can also use earphones/a headset)

Check yourself.

Video is a tricky medium as we are often more self-critical than we would be in a live ‘face-to-face’ (in person) interview as we would not always aware of how we are coming across physically. In-person there would usually be no ‘mirror’(the equivalent self-view we sometimes see on video) where we can critique how we look, our posture, gestures and appearance yet we need to be aware of these things and bring the best version of ourselves.

So online, my suggestion here is to ‘test’ with your camera ‘’on’’ to assess your self-view but to turn this “’off” (or minimise) during your interview. This will ensure you are not distracted or overly self-aware but rather looking at your interviewer (and/or panel) and that you remain appropriately engaged.

Apart from this, have the conversation just as you would in person.

Remember that even the most – seasoned remote working teams and individuals are human! Things may go wrong, technology may fail, a doorbell may ring - life happens – don’t get flustered or unsettled just acknowledge, resolve and continue.

This is a different time of engagement for the world and really, this is just a conversation between your best professional-self and another professional allowing each of you to consider whether there is a future in working together.

Enjoy the chat. Best of luck.

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