Video conferencing is now commonly used by multinationals to conduct interviews and source the best talent from all over the world. The interviewers get the advantage of sitting in the interview remotely and the candidate gets the opportunity to impress a number of people without traveling.
The experience is, however, slightly different from an in-person interview. There are no firm handshakes to help you make a good impression and there is so much that can go wrong.
Here is a brief guide to help you prepare for an impressive video conference.
This is a basic requirement, but often neglected by many candidates. If you don’t do a trial run with your own equipment there is always a prevailing possibility of technical failure during the session. These glitches set the worst kind of impression and the interviewer would perceive it as lack of preparation.
The backdrop of your frame should be preferably plain. Distracting backgrounds with too much clutter should be avoided as they shift the interviewers focus away from you. The lighting should be adequate and placed above the camera to reduce the shadowing effect.
Your own appearance also counts just as much as it does for a face-to-face interview. Try to dress in the same way. Although most interviews do not require the applicant to walk around, but if you have to point to or grab something in the background, make sure you are dressed appropriately.
During the Interview
Make sure there is no distraction in your surroundings and the atmosphere is calm and quiet. Your phone should be on silent mode throughout the session and try not to text or take calls during the interview.
When it comes to your body language, don’t make a lot of gestures during the video interview. Rather, use physical cues subtly and at calculated moments. You don’t want the video to stutter while you are moving your hand in a sweeping motion (lag-time).
You should be sitting with your back straight and paying attention to the interviewer. Sit as though you were sitting in front of the interviewer.
Eye contact on video interviews is tricky. Instead of looking at the screen and into the interviewer’s eyes you would be looking into the camera. Positioning the camera at the top of the screen allows you to look at both the interviewer and the camera at the same time. Test this aspect during your trial run as well.
Don’t tap your pen or shuffle around with papers excessively. The microphone would pick those sounds and the voice clarity would be hampered.
The employers are looking for a presentable candidate who answers their questions with confidence. During the video interview, you have a distinct advantage of observing your body language in real-time and making sure you are not making amateur mistakes.
The best device to handle your video interviews is a desktop or a laptop, however, if you don’t have access to them then try using a holder for your tablets/phones. In case all you have is a phone, then make sure all the other elements are well considered such as your location, surroundings and choice of dress.
When using a phone/tablet, it is considered a good thing to apologize to the interviewer and briefly (professionally) explain why you are using a phone. This clears the air and the interview can proceed without any undue disadvantages to you.
In the end, remember that it’s just an interview and the questions they ask will probably be the same as they would have been in a face-to-face interview. Prepare well, stay confident and best of luck securing your dream job!