How to prepare for a video conference interview
Even if things go back to normal relatively soon and COVID-19 becomes a thing of the past, video conferencing and remote work is here to stay. There is a chance that you will never meet your hiring manager and other people who interview you in-person.
And even if you will work in an office, your first or second interview may be on Zoom, Teams, Meet, or other tech platforms. You should get acquainted with some best practices to ensure you make the right impression from home. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
Test your equipment and network before you hop onto a video call
Conduct a speed test to make sure you will have a working video connection. Typically, you will need to have a 1 Mbps connection. Many different websites will allow you to test your internet connection for free. Your ISP may also have a tool you can use to test your speed. If your Wi-Fi connection is poor, consider plugging your device into your modem's ethernet port or finding a library or cafe that may offer free Wi-Fi and have less-trafficked areas.
Check your audio and video equipment. The day before your interview, test your speakers and webcam to make sure everything is in good working order. If something isn't working, you have some time to fix it before your interview.
Get familiar with the video conferencing platform in advance. Many of the major video conferencing platforms have similar features. However, it's still a good idea to explore the platform you will be using during the interview to ensure your equipment is compatible and you have an idea of how to log in, screenshare, and more. Think of it this way. If you are comfortable using the platform, you'll be more comfortable answering the interview questions and showing why you would be a good fit for the team.
Even if you do your due diligence, there's a chance the tech will stop working. A tree could fall on your power line, for example, and there's no preparation for that. It happens to all of us. Ensure your interviewer has a phone number they can reach you at, so you can continue your interview.
Keep your background and attire professional
While remote working does lend itself to more casual attire and working environments, it is essential to show your interviewer that you can still act professionally. We recommend keeping your background as bland as possible by positioning yourself in front of a wall so there is nothing to distract anyone watching you answer your interview questions.
Lighting is crucial as well. If there is too much natural light behind you, it could create a shadow effect. If your environment is too dark, your interviewer may not be able to see you, which, again, could be distracting. Do a test run of your environment around the same time you will be interviewed to see how you will look and make adjustments to your environment and lighting if necessary.
Finally, you must dress the part regarding attire and wear clothing that you would normally wear if you were being interviewed in-person. It doesn't necessarily mean you have to wear a suit and tie or blouse and blazer, but it should reflect their dress code. The general rule of thumb is to dress one notch above a company's dress code during the interview.
Practice and come to the interview prepared
We have talked a lot about some of the most common interview questions and why you must research and practice how you answer them. In a video interview, it might be tempting to keep notes on your desk or another monitor. Having a resume to refer to is one thing, but having notes for every expected question is probably too much.
You'll be more likely to rely on those notes and not make eye contact, which will make for a bad interview. An interview is a conversation, and each participant acts on body language and cues. Eye contact is crucial in an interview, especially a virtual one. Prepare for the interview and mind your body language to have a natural conversation, even if the setting is a little different from what you're used to.
If you need help preparing for your upcoming video interview, always know that our staffing experts can help!