Jumping on a Zoom for your next interview? You should always treat your video interviews like a regular in-person interview and prepare accordingly. In truth, the only difference between and video and in-person interview is the prep. Below are three DO’s and three DON’Ts of video interview prep.
Focus your prep on the individual company.
Prepare thought-provoking questions that highlight why you want to work with them specifically. Also learn more about the company’s industry as well and be prepared to talk about the space as a whole. Asking interesting questions in an interview can set you apart from other candidates and demonstrate your interest and experience in the industry.
Check your logistics.
Just as you would plan your route and print out your resume ahead of time, do the same with your video interview. Check your internet connectivity in advance, make sure you know how to use whichever program the interview will be held on (Highfive, Skype, etc.), and refresh your memory on how to turn on your sound. Taking these simple things for granted can cause you to be late for an interview and make a bad first impression. Also, don’t forget to turn off notifications for things like Facebook or Messenger to avoid awkward interruptions.
Arrive early and be enthusiastic.
When it comes to arriving early to video interviews, 5 minutes is a good rule of thumb. Make sure everything is working and ready to go so you’re ready to begin as soon as the hiring manager connects. Greeting your hiring manager early is a great way to show the company you are eager to be a part of their team. It’s important to make good eye contact, smile, and be enthusiastic when on a video interview. Although you aren’t meeting in person, it is still essential to build a positive rapport with your hiring manager.
Dress casually because you’re at home.
Just because you don’t have to leave your house doesn’t mean you don’t need to put on interview clothes. Wearing a nice shirt and tie is obligatory for a video interview. You are still presenting yourself to a hiring manager and need to keep in mind that most likely they will be interviewing you in their office. Ignore the computer screen between you and the company and present yourself accordingly.
Pick a location with a lot of distractions.
Make sure you know ahead of time where you plan to take your interview. Finding a seat where you can sit up professionally is best practice. If you’re laying back in your bed with your computer on your lap, you can appear unprofessional and unmotivated to a hiring manager. Also, avoid having complex patterns on your background or your shirt. These can be distracting on a small screen. Opt for a solid color background that you can easily stand out in front of.
Speak too quickly and go off topic.
Oftentimes, people have a tendency to speed up when speaking to a camera. Focus on speaking slowly and clearly so you can articulate all of your experience and questions to a hiring manager. Also, don’t feel the need to overcompensation with hand gestures just because you aren’t in the same room. Stay calm and pause often.