As companies continue operating remotely, recruitment practices have adjusted to the new normal. A recent report by Jobvite, an applicant tracking system and recruiting software, found that eight in ten recruiters have incorporated videoconferencing as part of their interview process.
In-person interviews can be a nerve-racking experience. But video interviews bring new challenges, like practicing visual cues and managing technical difficulties. Here are a few tips to help make your next video interview a success.
1 Thoroughly read through the calendar invitation
As soon as you receive a calendar invitation from a recruiter, read through the entire thing. This includes double-checking that the date and time are accurate, as well as confirming that a videoconferencing link is provided.
Generally, you might find this link in the “location” field of the invitation or within the invitation notes. It’s always a good idea to meticulously read the notes for additional instructions, items to bring or send (like your résumé), or details about the people you’ll meet.
2 Ask for the recruiter’s phone number
If an unexpected emergency comes up for an in-person interview, having the recruiter or interviewer’s phone number lets you give them updates about your arrival status, immediately. Video interviews require the same level of communication, like when you’re experiencing a shoddy WiFi connection and can’t connect to the virtual meeting room.
If you don’t already have the recruiter’s phone number, make sure to ask for it beforehand.
3 Set up in a private and quiet location
Eliminating visual and auditory distractions during the interview assures that nothing pulls the interviewer’s attention away from you.
Choose a private space in your home or personal office that’s quiet and interruption-free. For example, if you’re taking the video interview from home, choose a locked bedroom instead of the living room or kitchen. Tidy the area that’s visible in the camera frame; be mindful of items in the background that aren’t appropriate for an interview—like clutter, empty bottles, or literally, your dirty laundry!
4 Test your camera and audio ahead of time
One of the biggest areas of stress when participating in a remote interview is technical problems. A poor connection, bad camera quality, or audio issues can make you feel flustered and eat into precious time with the interviewer.
Do a trial call with a friend to help you test the quality of your internet connection and clarity of your camera and in-device microphone. Specifically, ask the other person if they can clearly see your face in the frame and whether there’s anything in the background that’s an issue. It’s also helpful to test the sound quality by paying with the volume controls and experimenting with various distances from your device.
5 Stay visually engaged
Remember, a video call lends fewer bodily cues than an in-person interview. To convey that you’re engaged during the interview, mimic eye contact as much as possible.
You can achieve this by positioning the video window on your screen directly below the camera. This keeps your face naturally in line with the camera as if you’re facing the interviewer in real life. When speaking, direct your eyes at the camera instead of the video of your interviewer. Looking at the camera as you’re giving a response or asking a question makes it look like you’re keeping eye contact with the receiving end.
On a video call, any slight sound can trigger your microphone and mute or cut-off an interviewer who’s speaking. Although it might feel natural to say something as someone is talking, like “I see…”, nodding and smiling are alternative visual cues to communicate your attentiveness.
Ultimately, a successful video interview comes down to frequent communication. Interviewing remotely isn’t a hiring process that all candidates are used to, but these tips can help you feel a little more prepared and at ease.