No matter what, this pandemic will change the way organizations conduct business. One of the long term ramifications – for better or worse – is that people are getting used to conducting business utilizing video services like Zoom, Skype, and Webex.
In addition to the traditional interview preparation, candidates need to prepare for a video interview. Here are a couple tips to help.
Tip #1 – Lighting
Lighting is the key to great video and will make you clearer on your video stream and allows “virtual backgrounds” to work better. Make sure there is more light in front of you than behind you. If your back is to a window or light fixture, your image will be in the dark. Consider placing a lamp directly behind your computer screen and webcam or purchasing a light to clip onto your screen.
Tip #2 – Eliminate Background Noise
Any background noise such as “dings” from your phone, pets, spouses, a land line, etc. will cut into and distract from your video. Just because it’s ok to have your dog on your lap during a company video call doesn’t mean you should have your dog on your lap during an interview. Silence notifications and treat this as if you’re meeting your interviewer in their conference room.
Tip #3 – Check Your Headroom
In the world of video, the space above the top of your head to the top of the video is called “headroom”. Too much headroom can be distracting. Once your video is set up, put 2-3 finger-widths of space at the top of your head so your appearance lines up your eyes to an appealing level.
Tip #4 – Dress For the Job You Want
This is no time to be sloppy even though it may be accepted in other video chat situations. Dress as though you have an in-person interview. Have your portfolio, job description, and resume ready to take notes as you would in-person. Wear bold colors that will “pull you forward” visually in the frame and make sure you’re remembered. While black is slimming, it’s easily forgettable on camera.
Tip #5 – Check Your Background
Check to see what appears behind you on the screen. It’s best to keep it simple especially if it’s a lot of clutter. Hang a sheet on the wall if necessary. You do not want anything to distract the viewer from all the reasons why you’re the best candidate.
Tip #6 – Look Directly Into Your Camera For “Eye Contact”
This is probably the hardest thing for people to do. When you look into the camera the viewer feels like you are looking at them. If you look at them on the computer screen, your eyes will be diverted. It does take practice, but it is important to maintain that eye contact.