Video job interviews are a necessity when landing a remote job. Companies prefer video because they can connect with you face-to-face.
The face-to-face aspect of the interview is probably the only similarity because video interviews are different – they require technology and a different set of skills to prepare and perform. It’s at this point where your technical skills will be tested, but don’t set into panic mode, this article is here to guide you.
Having experienced a video job interview recently, here are my tips.
ESSENTIAL GEAR FOR VIDEO INTERVIEWS
For video job interviews, you will need a desktop computer or laptop and a web camera. Most laptops have a camera built-in, but my advice is to invest in the Logitech C920S HD Pro or Logitech Brio webcam.
Why? When you land a remote job, most roles will require regular video calls, so invest the money now for better quality video.
You will also need a microphone. Most laptops and headphones have one built-in but check this before the interview.
Invest in comfortable headphones because you will use them frequently. Recommended are the Bose Quiet Comfort 35 headphones. While expensive, the noise cancellation feature is great when working in a coffee shop or co-working space, and you need to concentrate.
If you’re using wireless headphones, make sure they are fully charged before the interview. Also, it’s a good idea to have an extra pair of headphones nearby, should you have any issues.
PREPARE THE BACKGROUND AND SCENE
Make sure the room is well lit. Ideally, sit opposite or near a window with natural light. This will make sure the interviewer can see you and ensure the video quality, is the best you can get.
Clear your desk and remove any clutter. Have a look around to make sure there’s nothing in view that might cause an embarrassment or, distract the person interviewing you.
Make sure you have a professional background visible during the video interview. If you work in your bedroom and your bed is visible to the interviewer, move your laptop to a different room where there is a neutral background.
TEST YOUR INTERNET SPEED
For video calls, you will need a moderately fast, reliable internet connection. The required speed will depend on the software. As an example, Google Hangouts requires a bandwidth of 2.6mbps, down and 3.6mbps, up.
You can test your internet by using the Ookla Speedtest tool. The faster your connection, the better the quality video you’re going to receive and send.
It’s important to have a backup in case your home Wi-Fi goes offline during the interview. You can use your mobile phone to tether to your laptop, or, purchase a Mi-Fi unit, which is unlocked for all mobile networks.
My backup is the 4G/LTE Huawei Mi-Fi, with a local sim card and 1GB of data on it.
Distractions can stop you in full flow when answering questions, so notify everyone in the home that you’re being interviewed and to not disturb you. Make sure the room is as quiet as possible, so, no barking dogs or kids running havoc around the home.
Make sure you close down all applications, including email and messenger apps like Slack. Turn off notifications on the browser and operating system. Switch-off, or put your phone and mobile devices to silent mode.
TEST YOUR SETUP
Before the interview, make sure your gear is working.
If you know the video conferencing software you are using on the interview, set up a call with a friend and test your headphones, microphone and webcam on your home WiFi connection. It’s worth the extra effort for peace of mind.
While the video quality is important, the audio should be the priority. Ask your friend if the audio is clear. Headphones are important so the interviewer does not hear the echo of their voice from your speakers.
Being a good communicator is important, so talk clearly and slowly. This is easier said than done because, in an interview scenario, nervousness plays a huge part in how you come across. Take a deep breath and give yourself a few seconds thinking time before answering the questions.
Give yourself a few minutes to complete final checks on audio and video before connecting to the video call. Arriving a few minutes early is good practice to have in all meetings, not just job interviews. Not only does it show you’re punctual but also that you can be trusted to arrive on time.
MAKE SURE LAPTOP IS CHARGING
You’re in full-flow of the job interview and the battery on your laptop dies – it’s the worst feeling ever. Make sure that your laptop is plugged into the charger and that’s charging throughout the job interview.
HAVE A NOTEPAD NEARBY
While in the interview, questions will appear in your head and it’s easy to forget them, so make a quick note. A notepad is also a good idea if there are instructions you need to remember. It’s easy to forget things as you go through the interview process.
LOOK PRESENTABLE AND PROFESSIONAL
Don’t look like you’ve just climbed out of bed. While you do not need to wear a suit, make sure you look presentable because first impressions count. If you’ve eaten before the interview, make sure you’ve brushed your teeth and washed your face, the last thing you want is the tomato from the pizza around your lips!
This is common sense and the same for all interviews.
Pour yourself a glass of water and place it near to the computer. You’ll need to keep hydrated throughout the interview. Be careful not to knock the water over and spill it everywhere – that would make for an eventful interview!
LOOK AT THE CAMERA AND SMILE
Eye contact is important and that’s just as important during video job interviews. Look at the web camera when talking and while the interviewer is asking questions. If your eyes are wandering away it looks like you aren’t paying attention and can be distracting for the interviewer.
Most importantly – smile, laugh, be friendly and welcoming. Try your best to have fun and build up a positive relationship with the interviewer so that you leave with a good first impression. Always listen and don’t interrupt unless absolutely needed.
Hopefully, these video job interview tips will help you successfully land a remote job.
Disclosure: This article includes links to my affiliate partner, Amazon, where a commission is paid when you purchase through this website. Only products and services which have been tried and tested are partners. Please note that this does not, in any way, affect the price that you’re paying, it just means we earn a little bit of money.