The internet is a strange place.
Where else can you find pictures of cats, but also instructions on how to build rockets?
Or listen to an AI-generated audiobook of Charles Dickens while pretending to be an alien in a virtual reality game??
Or develop your career skills by reading free articles featuring advice for professionals???
But while the internet might be a strange place, it is quickly becoming the place where the majority of human interactions take place.
And if you’re a job seeker, you should expect that one of the most important interactions for any job application — the interview — will be taking place online, as well.
Video interviews are quickly becoming more commonplace everyday. So if you’re not up-to-speed on how to handle them, then you’d better learn quickly…
Good news: we’re here to help! In today’s article, we’ll explore six simple steps you can take to become a video virtuoso in no time! Let’s go!
1. Test your tools
Most often, the things that go wrong with technology can be easily avoided once you’re familiar with the tools.
Step 1 to getting a handle on video interviews is to test out your video setup. Not only will you become more comfortable with operating the hardware and software you need, but you can go into your interview with more confidence knowing that you don’t have to worry about the digital details.
Be sure to brush up on your specific tools by checking out a guide or two about the different controls and features available to you.
2. Secure your space
It’s important that the space you occupy for your video interview is free from distractions.
There are 3 types of distractions to avoid:
Distractions by you include things like forgetting to turn off an alarm that goes off mid-call. Or leaving clutter around your desk so you keep looking away instead of at the screen. Anything that distracts you which should be your responsibility to remove from the space.
Distractions by others include things like barking dogs, crying children, or people walking back and forth in the background. And while these aren’t necessarily caused by you, it is still your responsibility to avoid them. Talk to your family or roommates about when and where you need some privacy, or find a different place where others won’t disturb your interview.
Distractions to others. Does your background have a lot of loud or inappropriate art? Does your camera have a smudge on it? Is there a lot of glare coming from behind you? Things like these can actually distract your interviewers, which means they won’t be able to focus on what a good candidate you are!
3. Prepare your talking points
A good job seeker always has an idea of what they’re getting into whenever they apply for a job.
It’s important to research each company you consider, to see if they’d be a good fit for you and your career. But as you do your research, you may come up with some questions about the business or the specific position they’re hiring for.
Keep your questions written down and ready to go! You can also prep some talking points for when you’re being asked questions — like the details of some of your career highlights!
Not only will you feel more prepared and appear more prepared, your interviewer will feel that you’re more engaged in the conversation. Don’t forget to take notes when they answer your questions, too!
Pro Tip: Always post your talking points close to the camera so you don’t have to look away to glance at them.
4. Dress to impress
While a lot has changed about how interviews are conducted, nothing has really changed about what you should wear.
You can wear something that’s anywhere from business casual to formal attire, depending on the nature of the job you’re going for.
Just follow the age-old advice: “dress for the job you want”. Oh, and definitely wear pants even if you don’t think they’ll see them…it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
5. Practice makes perfect
Once you’ve covered all the steps up to now, it’s time to practice what you’ve learned!
You can try to practice solo, but we suggest borrowing a friend to pretend to be your interviewer. You can also always work with the staff at ReStart for help setting up your own mock interview!
Getting outside input will help you spot things you might otherwise not be aware of. Like whether your outfit looks bad on camera, or if your audio and video aren’t quite in sync.
It also helps you get more comfortable actually talking to someone on the other end of the video line, without the pressure of trying to impress them.
Practice until you feel ready to perform!
6. Focus forward
The final step takes place during your actual video interview.
While speaking to your interviewer(s), be sure to stay focused both physically and intellectually.
You should actually stay focused on them on screen, or (if they aren’t on video) then looking straight into the camera.
Your posture should be strong and you should avoid idle movements, like twirling a pen or curling your hair.
Also keep focused on the discussion, and moving forward with building a relationship with the employer. You can still exchange some small talk, but don’t lose sight of the big picture!
With these 6 simple steps, you’re off to a running start to become a video interview virtuoso!
For help with video interviews, or any other aspect of your job search, you can also reach out for 1-on-1 assistance from our team here at ReStart.