How To Navigate a Video Job Interview

In some cases, potential candidates are asked to participate in a job interview over a video conference call. This handy guide can help you navigate how to set things up on your end and come across to the interviewer as professional and knowledgeable.

Here are some etiquette tips on how you can present yourself as a strong candidate during a video conference job interview.

Before the Interview:

  • Test your microphone and webcam. Most laptops have built-in microphones and webcams. If you’re unsure how to access them, search your settings. You can also preview your video and audio in most video chat programs
  • Check your angles. If you have to use a phone or tablet, prop them up in a stable manner—don’t hold the phone during the meeting. Keep the camera at eye level to find a professional and flattering angle
  • Fully charge your devices. Keep any chargers handy in case the interview goes long
  • Test the software. Ask your interviewer how the video call will be conducted and make sure to set up an account and download the software or app ahead of time. Use a professional username and doublecheck your settings
  • Set up your space. Find somewhere well-lit (try having a source of light in front of you, lighting from behind will leave you in shadows) and quiet. Clean your background. Have items you’ll need for the interview nearby, such as your resume, a copy of the job posting, a pen and paper, and a glass of water. Wherever you are, make sure you have a strong Internet connection
  • Remove distractions. Whether this means knick-knacks at your desk, the TV in the other room, or your phone ringing, be mindful of anything that could interrupt the interview
  • Dress for success. Dress like you would for an in-person job interview. You will not only look professional, but being in those clothes and hair and makeup (if applicable) will make you feel professional
  • Prepare! Google common interview questions for the position you’re being interviewed for and think about, and even jot down, some answers. Keep in mind that the interviewer can see you, so don’t read your answers from your paper
  • Do a dry run. If possible, ask a friend or family member to log in and provide feedback on your setup so you can make any adjustments prior to your video interview. Have them ask you a couple questions so you can get used to talking to someone over a webcam

During the Interview:

  • This is just like an in-person interview. Greet your interviewer, be attentive, and answer questions professionally, like you would in any job interview
  • Be engaged. Use facial expressions, hand gestures if appropriate, and nod
  • Maintain a comfortable level of eye contact. Usually, you would look at the person in an interview to maintain eye contact, however in a video, you look at the camera
  • Don’t fidget or be distracted. The video conference program you use will likely show you what you look like on webcam throughout the interview. Resist the urge to look at yourself, don’t mess with your hair, and try not to be distracted. Close other programs and disable notifications
  • As you would in an in-person interview, sit up straight and practice good posture

What Happens if I Have Technical Difficulties?

  • You’re not the first and definitely won’t be the last person to have technical difficulties during a video job interview. Prior to the interview, send the interviewer your phone number in case anything goes wrong. This way, they can reach you by phone and talk about next steps

After the Interview:

  • As with any interview, send your interviewer a note thanking them for the interview and indicate that you’re happy to follow-up on anything they require

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