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Video Interview Tips to Help You Land Your Next Jobs

It's always exciting to be called up for a job interview. It means you're one step away from landing a new job. Fortunately, thanks to technology, you shouldn't worry about driving to your potential employer's office or getting stuck in traffic on your way to the interview.

This is because video interviews are becoming increasingly popular in the hiring process. In this article, you’ll learn how to do a video interview for a job. 

Pre-Interview Preparation Checklist For A Successful Video Interview 

Before you attend a video interview for your dream job, ensure you have the following:

A stable internet connection: Test your internet speed at least 30 minutes before the interview. You'll need an internet speed of at least 1 Megabytes per second (Mbps) for is great for a video call. Google has a free tool you can use to test your internet speed. Just type 'internet speed test' into the search engine and click on the 'Run Speed Test button.' 

Computer or smartphone: Test your computer or smartphone to check if the video and microphone work. To do this, you can video call your friends or family and ask them if they can see and hear you. 

Microphone and camera: You might need an external microphone or camera if the built-in versions on your computer or smartphone don't work. 

Video calling application: Some interviewers will require you to download a video calling application, while some might send you a direct link to the interview. Before beginning the interview, make sure you understand what platform to use. 

Good lighting: If possible, find a well-lit room to conduct the interview. You can also record yourself before the interview and play the video to check if the lighting is perfect.

Noise cancellation: Avoid noisy areas or places that can potentially cause distractions during the interview. For best results, let your friends or family know that you'll be attending a video interview at a specific time.

Choose an ideal background: Many video conferencing apps such as Zoom, Google Meet (formerly Google Hangouts), and Skype allow you to choose a pre-set background for the interview. Alternatively, you can set up your own background at home ahead of the interview. While at it, ensure that the background doesn't seem cluttered. If possible, opt for a simple, clean environment, preferably with natural light.

How to Stand Out in a Virtual Interview 

Now that you have everything set up, let's discuss the simple things you can do during a virtual interview to impress a potential employer. Just because you're attending a virtual interview doesn't mean the interview process will differ from an in-person one. In fact, given that video interviews occur virtually, interviewers will most likely pay more attention to you, watching your every move, body language, speech, and more. So let's dive into the details. 

Pick the Right Dress Code

It's important to dress up for a virtual interview, just like you would for an in-person interview. Don't show up for the interview in your pajamas or tank top just because the interview is virtual. Instead, choose a nice dress-up shirt, blouse, or any other formal outfit. 

It's also advisable to avoid outfits with large writings. If possible, opt for plain colors that are not too bright. 

Show Up on Time

You must be punctual for a virtual interview, just like you would when attending a face-to-face interview. Consider setting up an alarm to go off at least an hour before the interview to avoid being late. This gives you more than enough time to test everything well in advance.

Practice Body Language

Your body language says a lot about you. During a virtual interview, the interviewers will most likely consider your posture, focus, body movements, etc. Here are some tips to help you win the body language test:

  • Avoid moving back and forth during the interview - this is not the right time to rock your chair 

  • Sit upright - don't lean too forward or too backward

  • Look into the webcam when speaking to maintain eye contact and then look into your screen when listening

  • Use hand gestures when speaking - you don't want to appear too rigid 

  • Use nonverbal cues such as facial expressions whenever appropriate

Show Interest in the Job 

Interviewers love to see candidates who seem interested in the job offer. Writing notes during the interview is one of the most common ways to show interest. But this doesn't mean you should write an entire essay throughout the interview. Instead, write down a quick point in less than three seconds. You can then refer to the notes when it's your turn to speak. 

For best results, here are some examples of common interview questions to expect from a recruiter. The guide also includes some follow up questions you may ask the potential employer.

Do Not Interrupt Other Speakers

During a virtual interview, it's always advisable to pause for two seconds before speaking after the previous speaker. This ensures that you don't interrupt them as they talk. Also, pausing before speaking allows you to check whether the other speaker has stopped speaking or your internet connection is lagging. 

The live video will most likely pause for a few seasons when your internet connection lags. As a result, you might unintentionally interrupt the speaker, thinking they're done speaking. This explains the importance of pausing for not more than three seconds before speaking.

Prepare for the Unexpected

Technology can disappoint you when you least expect it. The last thing you want is to lose a precious employment opportunity because of technical difficulties. Here are some quick tips to prepare for the unexpected:

  • Inform your family or friends well in advance that you'll be attending a virtual interview on a particular day and time

  • Have someone watch your kids throughout the interview or if your kids are old enough, let them know that you'll be attending an online interview on a particular day and time

  • Switch off your phone 5 minutes before the interview

  • Turn off your TV, radio, dishwasher, microwave, or any other noisy system during the interview

Treat the Virtual Interview Like a Conversation

Just because you're attending a virtual interview doesn't mean it should sound scripted. On the contrary, instead of answering one question and moving on to the next, relax, breathe in, and approach it like a conversation.

This tactic demonstrates good communication skills. Remember, most jobs prefer candidates with effective communication skills. 

Treating the interview like a conversation also helps build your confidence throughout the interview. As a result, you won't behave or sound like you're reading from a script. Instead, it makes the interview sound more natural. 

If you struggle with pre-interview anxiety, you're not alone. Here are some quick tips to help you calm down before and during a job interview:

Practice the STOP method 

In this context, STOP stands for:

  • Stop what you're doing and pay attention to your thoughts

  • Take deep breaths to calm your nerves

  • Observe your environment, including your body, mind, and emotions, and why you feel that way

  • Proceed to incorporate your observations in your actions

The STOP method reminds you that you have power over what you feel. For instance, if you feel nervous and anxious before and during a job interview, you can control such feelings. So every time you feel that way, STOP and pause for a moment, remind yourself that you have power over your emotions, and then resume the interview.

This entire process takes less than three seconds. For this reason, you can practice the STOP method in the middle of a conversation, and the other party won't notice it.

Have a Pep Talk

A pep talk can boost your confidence before a job interview. If possible, go to the bathroom, look into the mirror, and then remind yourself that you can conquer your fears and anxiety. Also, remind yourself how far you've come to landing the job interview.

The potential employer wants to interview you because they saw something special in you. Chances are, they reviewed several other applications before settling on yours. But even if they believe in you, it won't matter if you don't believe in yourself.

Relax a Few Minutes Before the Interview

This strategy works if you struggle with pre-interview anxiety. In that case, you don't want to head straight into the interview without pausing for a second to absorb everything. Instead, for best results, take a moment to find inner peace and calmness before the interview.

Consider listening to your favorite music, a motivational speech, or something along those lines. Alternatively, find that one thing you enjoy doing that makes you feel at ease. But as you do so, ensure that you keep track of time to avoid being late for your virtual interview. 

Stay Hydrated

Many people who struggle with pre-interview anxiety tend to develop dry lips during the interview, making it difficult to speak clearly and confidently. To prevent this, consider taking a sip of water, preferably from a glass, during the interview. This keeps you hydrated and also helps relax your nerves.

In fact, many interviewers offer job seekers water during in-person interviews to keep them calm and hydrated. This is because they understand that some people fail job interviews not because they don’t have the required certifications or skills, but because they struggle with anxiety.

Key Takeaways 

A virtual interview is like an in-person interview. For this reason, you need to approach it with the same seriousness just as you would do for an in-person interview. 

Always crosscheck the technical aspect of the virtual interview way before the interview. This includes testing your internet, microphone, webcam, lighting, background, etc. 

During the interview, maintain good posture, stay confident, pause between conversations, and resume talking. Most importantly, remember to treat the interview as a normal conversation.

Katy Boyles |
Katy is our Social Media Manager at Snagajob, where she loves talking to hourly workers and employers all day long. Her first hourly job was as a hostess.