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How to have a successful video interview

28 October 2020 | 5 min read
So, you’ve got yourself an interview.

Which means, along with a few nerves and a flurry of excitement, you’ll probably need to do the usual preparation and planning.

However.

If your interview is via a video call, it could be a new experience for you.

Here are our top tips to get ready for a successful video interview. And yes, they include wearing pants!

Get the basics right 

First things first. They’ll be no interview at all, let alone a job, unless you’re connected to the internet.

Sure, it might be an obvious thing to say. But running into connection issues the day of – or even worse – a few moments before an interview is the equivalent to showing up late in person or wearing your breakfast on a freshly ironed shirt.

If you can’t rely on your home internet connection, consider avoiding WiFi altogether. You could opt to use the mobile data from your tablet or phone.

Whether you’re planning on using a computer, laptop, tablet or phone, it’s best to have the camera steady and aimed at head height. You want the interviewer to feel like they’re sitting across from you. And if you’re camera is moving about or aimed at an odd angle, they could be distracted from the content of what you’re saying.

Also, don’t forget to charge your device!

If a patchy connection is like being late, then suddenly logging off from the interview is like falling asleep mid-interview. Not the best look in front of a potential employer.

Location, location, location! 

Once you know your internet won’t let you down, the next step is to pick an appropriate spot.

It goes without saying that noisy interruptions in an interview setting could be a recipe for disaster, so get yourself set up in a quiet place.

Try to avoid rooms that echo or distort your voice. Rooms like bathrooms or kitchens might not be suitable. If you follow that advice, that should rule out doing the interview in the bathtub!

Plain walls and corners are ideal backdrops as they allow the attention of the interviewer to remain on you. It should rule out the possibility of anyone walking in front or behind you too.

Plus, the camera will stay fixed on your face rather than focussing on something moving near you.

Dress the part 

You may be confined to the lens of a camera, but you should treat a video interview with the same respect you would if it were in person.

That means, dress as you would if the interviewer was physically sitting across from you. We’ve got plenty of tips for how to dress for success right here. But just in case you were wondering, definitely wear pants.

Just because you’re at home, shouldn’t mean you neglect clothing the bottom half of yourself. Even if you feel comfortable going pant-free in a serious discussion about your possible employment, don’t.

What happens if the camera moves? What if you need to stand up unexpectedly?

Dressing the part will help normalise the experience, set the tone and get you in the right frame of mind. After all, video interviews might be new to you. Give yourself the best possible opportunity at making that job yours.

Remove distractions 

If you’re at home, there’s a chance there might be other people there too.
So, kindly let your housemates, family members or children know you’ll be in an interview.

This interview is for you. You’ve earned it. The interviewer wants to meet and learn about you so don’t allow for preventable distractions – even if they’re lovable pets or curious kids.

Aside from disruptive people or animals, be sure to switch off or silence nearby technology. Incoming calls, text messages, emails and other notifications might put you off your game.

Finally, try to look into the camera. If you’ve followed our advice and you’re looking sharp, you might be tempted to check yourself out. But try to avoid your eyes being drawn to your own image. The camera is the closest thing to eye contact available and you want to seem engaged and attentive.

Good luck in your interview. And please, wear pants.

NOTE: THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS GENERAL ADVICE ONLY. READERS SHOULD SEEK A TRUSTED PROFESSIONAL’S ADVICE ON FINANCIAL MATTERS

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