6 Unbeatable Video Interview Tips!

February 21st, 2013 | Articles, Interviewing | 2 Comments »


Video conference interviews have their own set of rules and traps awaiting first time users. So, if you are new to the tech powered interview process, follow these 6 tips to come out on top!

Gone are the days when a face-to-face interview automatically guaranteed that your interviewer occupied the same room, city, or state as you; the advent of accessible teleconferencing tools (Skype, iChat, Jitsi, etc.) has extended us beyond that. Now, job seekers anywhere can connect with employers and make their case without ever crossing their threshold into the outside world. With this convenience comes a whole new etiquette that any job seeker looking to survive beyond pixel to pixel introductions needs to acknowledge.

Rule #1) Appear professional: Just because you aren’t meeting in person doesn’t mean you should neglect your appearance. You should still aim to impress your interviewer with the proper attire and grooming.

Plus, your surroundings & decor should reflect your professional attitude. In this case, less is more and provides for a far better introduction. So, find a clean, spartan space far from your mountains of laundry, your katana collection, and your display case of creepy porcelain clowns. Anything that can jeopardize your first impression should be kept out of sight.

Rule #2) Find a quiet space: Even after you’ve stashed away any personal effects, a noisy environment can still do you in. So, make it explicitly clear to any family members or roommates that you shouldn’t be interrupted during your interview. For that beloved pet (cat, dog, or sugar glider) that loves to get into cheeky hijinx at inopportune moments, your actions will speaker louder than words, so shut them away in another room to guarantee your interviewer your undivided attention.

Rule #3) Make direct eye contact: The expectation in video conferencing, as with any face to face interview, is that you make eye contact or, in this case, the illusion of eye contact. Instinctively, you may try to meet the interviewer’s eyes on the screen but you’ll be better served looking into the web camera’s lens. That way, you won’t seem oddly fixated on interviewer’s right shoulder or neck.

Furthermore, some video conference services like Skype, iChat, and others show you an image of yourself for framing purposes. If that’s going to give you a neurotic or narcissistic distraction, minimize or cover up the image: a piece of paper or sticky note will do in a pinch.

Rule #4) Avoid distractions: Close any window or program that can interfere with your video conference. A barrage of beeps from email and Facebook notifications can easily break the concentration of you and your interviewer.

Rule #5) Use reliable equipment: Avoid technical difficulties at all costs. Have your computer, tablet, or phone plugged into a reliable power source – video conference apps are gluttons for battery life – and only use a device you explicitly trust.

If your laptop or iPad regularly threatens to swan dive at a moment’s notice, don’t give that device the chance to sabotage your efforts – use an alternative or borrow one if need be. If your microphone and speakers are weak, invest in a quality microphone headset. Plus, make sure you test all your equipment before your actual interview.

Rule #6) Make yourself picture perfect: Position yourself in the frame so that only a tiny margin exists between it and the top of your head as excessive headroom & extreme close ups can be disorienting.

Your lighting is equally important. Avoid sitting in front of any windows or overpowering light sources that cause your image to melt into the white light of the background. Face a diffused light source and keep no more than 6 feet away: that way, you’ll be more than an ominous head in the darkness.

by James Walsh

2 Responses to “6 Unbeatable Video Interview Tips!”

  1. Lisa Honan says:

    That’s an interesting article, especially rule 6, as we find that even experienced users forget to position the camera well. We have a network of professional video conference facilities which a candidate can hire for the video conference interview – http://www.eyenetwork.com/video-conferencing-facility/

  2. zeina says:

    Skype interviews can be a blessing to busy hiring managers. They offer you more time and better flexibility with options for post-interview decision making.