The rise of remote work and digital communication has brought about a significant change in the recruitment landscape: the video interview. While the fundamentals of excelling in an interview remain constant, there are nuances unique to video interviews that demand attention. In this article, we will delve into the strategies to shine in a video interview.
Building Rapport through a Digital Screen
Establishing rapport in a video interview is pivotal. Begin by projecting warmth and enthusiasm right from the start. Greet the interviewer with a genuine smile and maintain eye contact by looking directly into the camera. While it’s tempting to watch your own video feed, keeping your gaze focused on the camera lens will create the illusion of eye contact for the other party.
Dressing the Part: How to Choose the Right Attire
Just as you would dress professionally for an in-person interview, the same rules apply to video interviews. Choose attire that aligns with the company culture while presenting yourself in a polished manner. Solid colours generally work best on camera, avoiding busy patterns that could distract the viewer.
Remember, dressing appropriately also helps you mentally transition into “interview mode,” boosting your confidence and professional demeanour.
No Distractions – 45 minutes of ‘Me Time’
No cats, no dogs, no children – an interview requires 100% focus for both you and the interviewer. Make sure that you are in a quiet room and have a single focus – the interview.
Your biggest enemy is your phone. If you leave it next to your laptop the interviewer will not be able to see it, but you WILL look at it, you WILL be distracted and you WILL decrease your chance of securing the role. Turn it off or hide it – you’re addicted to it and you can’t trust yourself.
The same principle applies to emails. Email alerts will pop up on your screen, you will read them and your train of thought will disappear out of the interview and onto the urgent customer issue awaiting your attention in your inbox. Turn off Outlook.
The Ideal Background: A Canvas for Professionalism
Your background serves as a visual representation of your workspace and attention to detail. Select a clutter-free and well-lit area with minimal distractions. An uncluttered bookshelf, a neutral wall, or a tidy home office setup are all excellent choices. Avoid busy or distracting backgrounds that might divert the interviewer’s focus away from you.
Lighting is crucial; specifically, do not have a bright source of light behind you, it will obscure your face. Light from in-front will provide the interviewer with a better view of you and your facial expressions. Natural light is ideal, so position yourself facing a window or use soft, diffused lighting to illuminate your face evenly. Test different setups before the interview to find the optimal lighting and background arrangement.
Navigating Technical Glitches with Grace
Technical hiccups are an inevitable part of virtual communication. Ensure your set up works for the platform provided (Zoom, Teams, etc) by testing it beforehand. Ask yourself, do I have a suitable internet connection, camera, and microphone?
If a glitch does occur during the interview, remain composed. Apologize for the interruption, and if possible, attempt to troubleshoot the issue quickly. If the problem persists, have a plan B to switch to, suggest turning off the cameras or move to another platform or try a hybrid of mobile phones for voice and video conference for images.
Eloquent Gestures: Using Your Hands to Convey Messages
Effective hand gestures can enhance your communication during a video interview. While you’re limited by the frame of the camera, subtle gestures can emphasize your points and make your presentation more engaging.
Use gestures that feel natural and aligned with your speech. When making a point, use your hands to illustrate concepts or emphasize keywords, but always maintain awareness of the camera’s view.
Video interviews have transformed the way we connect professionally. Remember that the core principles of confidence, preparation, and effective communication remain constant, whether you’re sitting across a table or staring into a camera lens.
By building rapport through genuine engagement, dressing thoughtfully, curating your background, anticipating and managing technical glitches, and employing gestures strategically, you can leave a lasting impression that transcends the digital divide. Embrace the opportunities that video interviews offer to showcase your skills and personality, and you’ll be well on your way to excelling in this new era of professional interaction.