Video Interview Tips and Red Flags To Avoid for Job Seekers
Posted at h in Tips & Advice
In today’s corporate America, companies are focused on becoming more efficient and streamlined. If the COVID-19 situation has taught management anything, it’s the opportunity to be more effective remotely. One significant change is the transition from in-person to video interviewing. Some sort of remote interviewing is now used in 63% of companies as part of their standard recruitment process. That number increased to 86% of companies that are hiring during the coronavirus pandemic. With video becoming the new “norm,” why not learn to master the art of video interviewing? In this article, we will give you eight useful tips on how to be successful in video interviews, so you make a great virtual first impression. We will also give you some red flags that internal recruiters look out for.
1- Dress Like You’re Meeting In Person
Some might think this is nonsense, but what you wear directly affects your mindset. Part of your preparation should involve picking out a professional outfit for your video interview. If you wake up and prepare as if you will be meeting your interviewer in person, your mindset will be more acclimated to the situation. Studies have proven that what you wear affects your abstract thinking and gives people a broader perspective. Your outfit includes not only your clothes, but your accessories, and hairstyle. Rule of thumb: If you wouldn’t wear it to the office, don’t wear it for a video interview.
**Extra tip: Wear solid colors if possible. Sometimes stripes or patterns cause the camera to shift out of focus and might distract the interviewer.
2- Test Your Internet Connection and Computer
Do not make the mistake of taking your internet and computer setup for granted. We asked a few of our internal recruiters about the biggest mistakes candidates make on a video interview, and they unanimously answered, “a bad internet connection.” In today’s world, time is a precious commodity. Spending the first ten minutes of a video interview trying to fix a broken connection is not ideal for either party. Along with testing your connection, make sure you have the necessary apps or software needed for the interviewer’s platform (e.g., Zoom, Google Video, Skype, Go-to-Meeting, etc.). Test out the platform and make sure you can sign on correctly. We advise everyone to do a test run the night before to ensure everything is working smoothly.
3- Check Your Surroundings
A video interview is the first impression you give your potential employer. The focus should be on you and not your surroundings. During the test run, we recommended double-checking what is behind you and visible on your screen. The interviewer should focus on what you are saying and not be distracted by the TV playing or something else in the background. Try and have a plain wall or stationary background behind you. Consider using a virtual background if you can’t find an appropriate backdrop. Also, make sure to consider the lighting conditions for wherever you decide to take the video interview. Try sitting next to a window or close to a lamp, so your face is visible and illuminated.
4- Remain Professional and Minimize Distractions
During a video interview, it can be hard to minimize distractions but try your hardest. Silence your phones, turn off computer notifications, close any other browser tabs, put the dogs in another room, and let roommates or anyone else around you know to not disturb you. Make sure you are completely focused on your interview and the questions being asked.
Extra tip: Cover the small box that shows your image if you have a problem concentrating on the interviewer.
5- Research and Prepare
Companies and interviewers are gauging your interest in the position. Be prepared with questions that you have memorized to show you have researched the company. Do that research on the organization, its industry, its products, and its accolades, so you’re prepared to discuss them during your interview. Memorizing your questions will minimize the chance of distractions and make the conversation more genuine.
For an in-person interview, we advise showing up ten minutes before the meeting. For video interviews, be ready ten minutes beforehand, but only sign onto the platform one minute before you start. Normally these programs will notify the interviewer when you enter the virtual room. If you enter early, this could cause the interviewer to rush and join the meeting unexpectedly. Also, they could be using their video platform for another meeting. If you sign in too early, you could disrupt their previous meeting.
7- Body Language
Body language can convey a lot about your personality. Sit up straight and avoid touching your laptop. Keep your hands on your lap and avoid moving around frequently. Even if you might be, you don’t want to seem nervous or anxious. You want to convey a confident and professional demeanor. Try and look at the camera when speaking and not on the screen. That is how you virtually “look someone in the eye.” This might feel uncomfortable at first, and it takes practice to get used to it.
8- Be Yourself
We understand that video interviews can be uncomfortable, but try your best to relax. Forget about everything else and just let your personality do the talking. You were invited to this interview because you are qualified and possess suitable skills, now let them get to know you. Be confident; you got this!
Red Flag’s to Avoid
After surveying various internal recruiters, we compiled a list of what they would consider the biggest red flags on a video interview. Try and learn from these to avoid making the same mistakes:
Messy background or living space.
Looking away from the screen or blatantly not paying attention.
Loud background and not being able to hear.
Internet service that goes in and out, making it impossible to conduct an appropriate interview.
Unprofessional attire or demeanor (in their words “looks like they just rolled out of bed”).
Unusual Zoom background.
Candidates saying their camera is not working the day of the interview.
Robotic answers or looking like they are reading from a script.
Showing up late for the video interview.
Rushing to get off video and being arrogant.