In today’s day and age, a video interview is almost as common as an in-person interview. Although the convenience is great, it can be tricky to navigate the nuances of an interview over technology. We asked Jamie Hichens, Glassdoor’s Senior Manager of Talent Acquisition, about the good and the bad of video interviewing (she’s seen it all!). Below, Hichens outlines her tips on how to ace a video interview. Good luck!
While many of us have a tendency to look up when we’re thinking or to look down when we’re unsure, eye contact can reveal a lot about a candidate. Don’t send the wrong signals. Look at the camera on your computer, not just your screen, and be sure not to dart your eyes around. As Hichens says, “act as if you are literally speaking with the person face-to-face as if they were across the table from you.”
Find commonalities as early in the conversation as you can
This is important for any kind of interview, but especially for a video interview. When interviewing remotely, there’s already a strong element of separation, so try to bridge that by identifying commonalities right away—it could be as simple as mentioning a shared connection on LinkedIn. This will help develop a nice rapport, which can be tricky to do over technology.
Be aware of your body language
Make sure you are centered on the screen and your posture is great. Keep your arms uncrossed, and don’t fidget! Hichens stresses one particularly important thing: “Don’t forget to smile! Look like you want to be in that interview!” Positive body language will help convey a message of interest and friendliness and will help the interviewer understand your physical presence, even though you’re not in the same place.
Check your setup
Just because it’s a Skype interview doesn’t mean you can take that interview from your bed. Prepare your interview area so it’s as professional as possible. Make sure you have a completely neutral background—the only thing your interviewer should see behind you is a blank wall. And here’s Hichen’s pro tip to create great lighting: “Put lights on either side of your computer and put white sheets of paper over the lights.” Other things to check before your interview: audio, camera angle, and computer battery.
Have your questions ready to go! Prepare specific questions that are tailored to each interviewer. When interviewing over video, you want to be extra sure you’re coming across as engaged and curious because engagement and curiosity is the best way to mitigate dead air!
You know it’s going well if…
Your interviewer offers you something. It’s a good sign if your interviewer invites you to email them with any further questions, or if they invite you to speak with them again. And take them up on it!