Video Interviewing Etiquette: How to Prepare for Online Job Interviews

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Nowadays, using video platforms has become a common practice. But, despite the wide adoption of video interviewing, (and despite what you might have seen at the other end of your video feed) an appropriate level of professionalism is still expected when you interview. At the core, video interviews are the same as in-person interviews and should be approached the same way, just with a few adjustments specific to the video medium.

Do you have a video interview lined up? Here are some video interview tips and considerations to ensure a professional and successful video interview.

1) Prepare as You Would for an In-Person Interview
Just because your interview is happening over a video platform, doesn’t mean it’s not a real interview. Take the time to prepare for your interview – that means doing your homework and researching the company and the role you’ve applied to and knowing what skills you can bring to that role.

If you have never used video interviewing platforms before, be sure to ask which one will be used to prepare properly. Then set up a mock interview with a friend or family member to familiarize yourself with the platform.

2) Test Your Tech
To avoid technical difficulties, test out your setup ahead of time using the same video platform, internet connection, and laptop you’ll be using for your interview. Also, remember to check…

The Audio Quality:
• Pay attention to how you sound and check to make sure you’re speaking clearly and at a reasonable pace.

The Set-Up of Your Shot:
• Camera Positioning – Make sure you check the framing of your shot, so you are centred and at eye-level. Frame yourself from the chest up so that your face is the focal point of the screen.
• Location – The background should be something simple and free of distractions – either a neutral wall or a room without clutter.
• Lighting – Make sure you’re in a well-lit room with your light source behind your laptop, not behind you.
• Glare – If you wear glasses, check for a glare that might distract your interviewer.

3) Check Your Posture & Dress for Success
Good posture conveys confidence and gives you more energy to help you communicate your excitement about the role. And since you will be on camera, you’ll also want to make sure you’re dressed comfortably, but also professionally – make sure you’re fully dressed from head to toe, and try to avoid wearing anything too bright and anything with too many patterns.

4) Maintain Eye Contact
Maintain eye contact during the interview by looking directly at the camera and at your interviewer. Avoid looking at your own image on the screen.

5) Avoid Too Much Movement
When speaking, you can use your hands to gesture but avoid being overly animated, as it may cause the video to lag during your video interview. Try to sit still and listen attentively with an occasional head nod to show you’re engaged in the conversation.

6) Plan for Minimal Interruptions—But Take Them in Stride If They Happen

Do whatever you can to cut down on the chances of being interrupted. Just like at an in-person interview, turn off your cell phone or any other electronic device that might make noise. However, if there’s a chance of you being interrupted by something outside of your control (like your neighbour mowing the lawn or the construction crew outside), mention it to your interviewer at the start of the interview (it also shows them you’re proactive).

Getting ready for any interview is nerve-wracking and it might be even harder for you to relax and ace a video interview, especially if you are not comfortable with cameras. However, you can control how you present yourself and take steps to put your best foot forward. Take advantage of the comfort level you feel being in your own home (as opposed to an unfamiliar office) and remember to breathe. By preparing, and mitigating technical, camera, and body-language-related factors, you can ensure a successful and smooth video interview.

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