How To Nail A Video Interview

With the on-going pandemic, we see many of our clients conducting their interviews on Zoom, Skype and other services.   

The video interview offers the best and worst combination of telephone and personal interviews.  

We suspect that even after the end of the pandemic,  the video interview is here to stay, for at least a couple of rounds in a process.

Here’s a few tips to nail your next video interview. 

1: Find a place where you can speak without being interrupted and with minimal environmental noise. 

Set your camera, phone, laptop or tablet on a stand where you will not need to fuss with it.  Make sure that it’s high enough to allow you to be “eye-to-eye” with your interviewer. If the camera is too low, the interviewer will be looking at your chin or up your nose, neither of which is likely to be your best presentation.  

The light should be behind your camera, not behind you, to avoid shadows and other odd views of your face. 

If the view behind you is unattractive or distracting,  use a virtual background.

Don’t forget to check the microphone to make sure that it is working properly.

2: The most common question we get is What do I wear? 

In the financial markets and the arts, a more casual style is usually fine. Whenever possible, check with whoever is setting up the meeting.  

Typically, for men, a dress shirt or a dress shirt with a blazer is adequate.  Please wear pants and not sweats or shorts. If you should need to get up, shorts are not a great look. 

For women, any top that you would wear to work will be fine and dark pants or even black jeans are fine as well. Wear makeup, especially lipstick to avoid looking washed out. For legal or corporate roles, err on the side of more formality and wear normal interview clothes.

3: Make sure that your phone, computer or tablet is fully charged before starting the video interview.  

Consider using fully charged wireless headphones if you have them. They will provide a clearer sound and hopefully help you avoid distractions in your own space.

4: For your personal presentation: Think in the same terms as an in-person interview.  Make eye contact. Smile. 

Make sure you answer the questions that you are asked and not the questions you want to answer. 

Avoid looking down or away from the screen because the interviewer cannot see what you are looking at and will just see the top or side of your head.

5: If you are interviewing with more than one person simultaneously, there can be times when everyone speaks at once. Always defer to the interviewers.  

If you have questions, address them to one person by name so that you don’t cause the other parties to speak over one another. 

 Be careful not to interrupt the interviewer.

6: At the end of the session, be sure to thank the interviewer, express your interest and ask about next steps.

7: Email your thank you note and any supporting information that might have been discussed.

Good luck!