How to Prepare for a Video Interview2

Jaynine Howard | February 2018 | Video interviews are, in many ways, different from in-person interviews. While they may be more convenient for both you and the interviewer, video interviews also pose their own unique challenges. Below are some things to consider before you sit down for your next video interview:

1. Prepare Your Webcam
Set up your computer so that you have a blank wall behind you when sitting down. You do not want the interviewers to see a messy work area or your personal items.
Be sure to clean your webcam’s lens, too. The clarity and quality of your image matter.
Yesterday, I covered preparing for your video interview in the days leading up to the interview. Today, I’ll offer some advice on what to do the day of your video interview. Let’s dive in:

1. Put a Sign on Your Door: ‘Do Not Ring the Doorbell or Knock’
Reduce the risk of intrusive background noise by notifying others not to disrupt you. Be mindful of where you choose to set up for the interview. If you choose a room with a window facing the street, you may be disrupted by mail trucks, dogs, or kids playing.

2. Send Your Spouse, Children, Pets, or Roommates Out
Send the children to daycare or a sitter. Send the dog to a neighbor’s. Send your spouse or roommates out with strict instructions not to call, text, or return until the interview is over. Closed doors are not soundproof, and the interviewers will hear every shout and shush. Make sure your phone is silenced and out of eyesight. You do not want to appear more interested in your phone than the interview.

3. No Eating, Drinking, or Chewing Gum
You do not want to be smacking, slurping, belching, or chomping on gum during the interview. Even a sip of a drink can be annoying to the listener. (Heaven forbidden you spill your drink during the interview!)
That said, it’s okay to keep a bottle of water nearby – but not in view – in case you have an unforeseen coughing fit.

4. Set Up Your Computer the Same as You Did During Your Rehearsal
Following the action steps outlined in part one of this series to set up your webcam. Make sure you give yourself enough time to get everything settled ahead of the interview! Do a quick lighting check to ensure nothing has changed. Turn off any pop-up notifications your computer may have. You do not want Facebook or email notifications distracting you during your interview.

5. Talk Slowly, Clearly, and Professionally
Do not rush to answer questions. Speak clearly and enunciate. Use professional language and tone. Even the clearest microphone won’t reproduce exactly how you sound in real life, so you have to be extra attentive to your language during a video interview.
Jaynine Howard is a military veteran whose work as a career strategist and reinvention specialist has been recognized by professional organizations throughout the nation.

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