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How to Conduct a Good Video Interview, and Why it’s in Your Benefit

The way we conduct business is changing everyday with technology, and even for a task often performed face-to-face, interviewing has also become a more commonly virtual process in today’s world.

Our Talent Acquisition Manager, Beamer Wilson, has a wealth of knowledge and tips to share on what makes video interviewing so beneficial, and several tips she recommends to anyone who is interviewing virtually. She sat down with us to share the following article she has published around her experiences and things tips that can provide insight to others.

“Let’s call it as it is – interviewing makes us vulnerable and even more so when it is through video conferencing. How does one conduct themselves professionally on a platform that is used primarily for personal use? Where is appropriate to conduct the interview? What do I do with the camera?

Video interviewing can have so many great aspects. You as an interviewee are given an aspect of control. You get to decide what the interviewer gets to see and experience through your lens. We miss that when we are entering into an office and going into my (the interviewer’s) space. Video interviewing allows you the freedom to choose.

As an interviewer, I have conducted over 500 video conferencing interviews. I have been in people’s cars, sat down on their closet floor, met their pets, and even joined one candidate in a high school cafeteria – kids featured. I cannot say I have seen it all, but I have had people answer the call while they are sitting in bed, seen a lot of ceilings and different facial angles.

Here are some ideas – Platform, Place, and Position- to consider when planning to interview virtually. Remember – You get to decide!

Know the Platform

When going in for an interview you are typically told where to park, how to dress, what to bring, and where it is located. The same can be true for video interviews.

Confirm the Date and Time

Confirm with the interviewer the standard date and time you will be meeting, what platform will be used, and make sure they have your contact information. If you are using FaceTime, Skype, Zoom, Google Hangouts – whatever it is – Please (for all that is holy) familiarize yourself with how to answer the call and how to put the call on mute. I have had several people lose an interview because they say they will use FaceTime, but when I have called – they do not have an Apple account.

Mute when necessary

Dependent on location – you might find yourself needing to mute in a hurry. Someone is vacuuming in the apartment upstairs, the sirens of a fire truck can be heard through your window, or the Amazon guy just left an essential package at your door and your dog is losing it’s mind – simple fix is to mute the call.

Pick a place that eliminates distractions

First impressions are important and even more so when someone is answering the call. How would you feel if you answered a phone call and the first thing you heard was someone coughing loudly and profusely in your ear? Or If you pick up and the first thing you see is that person walking to find a place to take the call and all you can see is a forehead. Consider the look and the sound of where you are at. If you were to show up to a place to interview, would you be comfortable if that was the space the interviewer picked? Think of spaces that are un-disruptive, have adequate lighting, and a solid Wifi connection. This is still an interview, not catching up with your friends.

Camera position is essential

You get to decide what the interviewer is going to see. If you are choosing to hold your phone – know you can only do so for so long before your arm gets heavy and now I am on the ride for my life on the way down to the floor or staring at the clutter in the corner. If using a phone (as I do) for a video call – use something you can prop the phone up on. Books, a computer, anything that allows your arms to be free.

The camera should read you like a headshot

Think of it like printing a picture and putting it in a frame. This is your profile picture for the interview. Which also means interview appropriate attire would be in your benefit. I think this also helps how you feel about yourself in the interview. Dress confident to feel confident!

We, interviewers, often have an opportunity to see the authenticity of you, the interviewee, that can be missed when you are asked to come to our office turf. You have an opportunity to ‘wow’ the interviewer even more because of the control you are given to know the platform, secure the place, and position of the camera.”

Shared by Beamer Wilson, of TFLiving Talent Acquisition

Beamer Wilson