Many people seeking jobs in the 21st-century have experienced the awkwardness of an invitation for an interview… a video interview, that is. After submitting general background information and answering a few short questions, you receive an email that congratulates you on moving on to the next step in the interview process. Really? That fast? I must be exactly what this company is looking for!
Then you realize that the next step requires you to complete a video interview… and suddenly, you’re not so enthused. Most of us don’t feel as confident selling ourselves onscreen as we do in person. Some video interviews don’t even have another human being on the other end; instead, you record your answers to scripted questions, with a time limit for each reply. However, video interviews can be just as easy — even easier — than face-to-face Q&As, as long as you know how to prepare for them.
Dress for Success
Just because the person watching your video stream can’t see your pajama pants doesn’t mean that you aren’t going to feel like an imposter. Dress for a real-life interview, all the way down to your shoes. You are more likely to feel professional and put-together, and that attitude will get noticed, even via webcam.
Allow Yourself Some Think-time
Video interviews make long pauses seem even longer than they are — even longer than gaps in phone conversation! After all, you’re in front of your computer, either staring at another person or at a recording of yourself, just watching the seconds tick by. There’s a natural urge to answer questions as quickly as you can. But rapid-fire response does not make the content of your comments any better; in fact, it probably makes you sound more awkward.
Take ten seconds of think-time to form a thorough response. The interviewer most certainly has more experience with these situations than you do, and expects you to take your time, just as you would in person. You may even want to keep a pen and paper by your side, in case you feel like taking a few notes while you think.
Do a Test Run
When it comes to technology, whatever can go wrong almost always does. The best strategy is to practice recording yourself using your webcam a few times before the interview begins. Try to do so in the same location you plan on interviewing in, and around the same time of day. You may notice that your computer speakers pick up tons of feedback, necessitating you locate and untangle a pair of headphones prior to the real deal. Or perhaps the lighting is so bad that you can’t make out the features on your own face. By doing a few practice runs, you’re ensuring technology is on your side, making for a stronger overall impression.
By keeping calm and embracing the inevitable awkwardness that is a video interview, you will soon learn that interviewing over the internet isn’t all that different than a face-to-face. You may even begin to feel more comfortable speaking with a potential employer from the comfort of your own home or recording a video interview at a time of your choosing. And if you’re looking for more insight on interviewing in the 21st-century, look no further. We’ll help you get hired.