How to get better at video interviews to land your next job
How to get better at video interviews to land your next job
Times have changed in the work environment. With the enforcement of lockdowns across the globe due to the pandemic, both employers and job candidates are being forced to switch to online methods. Advancements in technology have now made it possible for employers to conduct interviews online. It is not only convenient, but also cost-effective. Nevertheless, online interviewing is difficult for most people because it is unfamiliar and many of us are steeping in unknown waters.
Most of us are not accustomed to online interviews. Video interviewing does not feel natural and many are struggling with this newer, now widespread method. How can you make sure you are a master at online interviews before the interview day? The answer is practice, as the saying goes: "practice makes perfect". A mock interview can help you to tackle difficult questions, practice your posture, manage your interview strategies, work on your communication skills, and much more. Level up your game with the tips we’ve put together below.
Types of Online Interviews
Before the interview, you will be notified about the type of interview that you will have to participate in. Interviews may happen over an online video call or a simple phone call. You might also get the option of sending in a video recording of yourself answering questions selected by the employer.
A video call is the most popular medium used for online interviews. Before setting up the video call, ensure that you have the necessary equipment required for the task. If you use a laptop, it may already include a built-in camera and microphone. If you are using a desktop computer, you might need an external webcam and microphone. Also, it is likely you’ll be asked to use one of several freely available video-calling services such as Zoom, Google Hangouts, or Skype. The employer will schedule a particular time at which the interview will take place.
Another form of online interview requires you to record a video of you answering pre-selected interview questions. The employer will send a list of questions with a deadline to send the recording back. Like video call interviews, you will require a device with video and audio recording capabilities. Use the equipment to film yourself as you answer all the questions one by one. Once done, you will have to upload the video and wait for a follow-up. This type of interview can be less stressful since you can prepare your answers in advance and record them at your convenience.
Regardless of whether the video interview is live or recorded, there are some fundamental activities that should be done before, during, and after the online interview to ensure your success.
Tips to Master an Online Interview in 2020
Through video interview practice, you will be able to put your skills to test and practice them until you are comfortable and confident. This mental and attitude shift will definitely increase your chances of success at landing a job. Here are a few things you can do to prepare yourself and do your best at the mock interviews:
Familiarize yourself with the technology
Do a test run of all the required software and hardware before the interview. Try using the video call feature with a family member or friend. Ensure that you have an internet connection with a speed appropriate for making lag-free video calls. The app or service that you are going to use should run smoothly on your device. Know your way around the menus and settings of the app. Make sure that your camera, webcam, microphone, speakers, and/or headphones are working fine. Finally, set up any user profiles or screen names needed so that you can be recognized easily.
To check your internet speed, open a google search and type: “internet speed test” then click the “Run Speed Test” to make sure you have at least 3 Mbps for a smooth video experience.
We all know that technology is often prone to glitches. Therefore, it may be a good idea to consult with your interviewer beforehand and inquire about their alternate plans in case there are technical issues during the interview.
Practice makes perfect - Mock interviews
After having thoroughly tested your equipment, you should work on perfecting your execution during your interview. This is when mock interviews can be very useful. You can try out different techniques through trial and error to avoid chances of making mistakes on the day of the interview.
Practice your listening skills to avoid misunderstanding any questions. Ensure that your voice is audible on the other side by practicing speaking loud enough and clearly. Be aware of any technical interference you might face in terms of network lag or device malfunction. The more practice you put in, the more confident you become. Pyxai offers a great mock interview tool to help you practice until it's perfect.
Select a good location
Find a part of your home that has minimal distractions or background noise. If you live with family members or roommates, let them know about your schedule so that they may help by being quiet and giving you some privacy. Make sure you lock away your pets too!
The best approach would be to go for a clean, solid background. The background should be tidy and organized. Another thing to keep in mind is lighting. Natural lighting is preferred, but artificial lighting can do a good job too. Having an organized, tidy, and clean environment around you will show the employer that you are serious about the job and it’s the first step to make a good first impression.
Keep additional materials handy
Keep a pen and notebook within reach near your computer. You can make a list of questions or topics to talk about during the interview. Print out a copy of your resume so that you can easily consult it during the call. Keep any additional documents or certifications that you feel might be required during the interview.
Groom your video interview attire and body language
It is important to dress professionally for your interviews, even if you are not meeting the person face to face. Research to get an idea of the company’s dress code. Worse case scenario, if dress codes aren’t available, then wear business casual. Pay attention to your body’s nonverbal cues. Your eyes will be the area of focus here, so always try to look into the camera lens instead of your interviewer’s image or your own on the screen. Active listening demonstrated by nodding and polite smiling will show that you are being attentive. Maintain good posture throughout the video call by sitting up straight with your shoulders and head slightly pointing up - do not slouch or slump during the interview.
Don’t be afraid to ask your interviewer questions
Even if you have a stable internet connection, slight drops may happen while the interviewer speaks. If you did not get something that they just said, don't be afraid to ask them to restate politely. If you do not want to ask them to repeat and you answer the questions with what you think you heard, then you may risk coming across as inattentive or lacking understanding. Also, don’t be shy about asking your own questions about the job or about the company when the time is appropriate. Interviewers typically save time at the end for your questions. Use this time to show your interest and your personality as well.
Don’t move your camera.
Moving your camera too much can disrupt your interview, just like background noise does. If you have a laptop, place it on a flat surface and sit in a comfortable position where you will not have to move around a lot. In case you have to interview using your mobile phone, make sure to prop it in a way that it will not shake.
A few extra tips
Follow general interview practices. Behave just as you would during a face-to-face with the interviewer in front of you in the same room.
Maintain eye contact. Look to the camera, not to the screen. It might be difficult at the beginning but with practice you will get used to it.
Sit up straight, shoulders back, and head up. A good posture always leaves the best impression.
Active listening is important by responding when required: don’t interrupt, showing that you understand the answer by paraphrasing, and offering the best possible answer.
Relax, you got this!
The best tip for interviews is to remain calm and composed. It is also very important to remember that with video interviews, as with life, there are things you can control and there are things you cannot control.
Focus on the things you can control like your performance, your environment, your appearance, and your hardware (ie: laptop or camera). Make sure to do the things you know you need to do, like practicing, studying, and testing equipment, to increase your confidence levels and feel at ease when the time comes to perform.
Plan for the things you cannot control, like poor internet connection during the online interview or a random interruption. Strategize how you will handle unexpected circumstances by brainstorming worse-case scenarios. If you have children and they need to be around, how would you manage an interruption? If you have an uncooperative, rowdy roommate, how would you manage an outburst during your interview? Planning out your reaction will make you appear cool and collected in a stressful situation, so use it as an opportunity so showcase coveted soft skills like adaptability, grit, and stress management. The interviewer will likely take notice of this!
If you dread an online interview - don’t worry, you have a lot of company as many people find it difficult as well. Nevertheless, with consistent video interview practice, you can get better at it. At Pyxai, we offer an expert-designed Mock Interview Tool to enhance your soft skills and practice those interview questions to help you focus and master the things you can control. Enroll today and let us help you ace that next online interview.
You will find that with all the preparation effort you put in, you will be ready for that dream job you are so anxiously looking for in no time.
Remember, Good luck is great, but GOOD practice is better!