Interview Tips That Help You Lead with Your Best Foot Forward
First impressions matter during job interviews, including when they’re virtual. In some cases, hiring managers make initial decisions regarding whether they’d extend a candidate an offer in mere minutes. As a result, job seekers need to seize every opportunity to put their best foot forward, increasing the odds they’ll land the job. Fortunately, some simple strategies are highly effective.
Here are some tips to help you stand out from the crowd for all of the right reasons in your next video job interview.
Choose the Right Space
Technically, it’s possible to participate in a video interview from nearly anywhere. However, it’s best to select an environment that supports your success.
Start by choosing a space that you can control. Usually, a home office is best, particularly if it has a door. However, if that isn’t an option, you may be able to create a space in a bedroom or other area where you can have some privacy. You’ll just want to make sure that your back can face a wall.
You also want to have the right backdrop. Ideally, you’ll want something fairly neutral. Black and white are typically too stark. Additionally, bright colors can be distracting. By doing with something softer – like light blue, beige, or gray – you’ll likely come across better on camera.
If there are objects behind you, turn on your camera to see what appears on the screen, removing anything potentially inappropriate. You’ll also want to test your lighting. Ideally, you want a mix of natural light and several lamps or fixtures. If you have a ring light, throw that into the mix, too.
Test Your Tech in Advance
Having technical issues during a video interview can derail your chances of landing the job. Since that’s the case, you’ll want to test your tech well in advance. Download any required software early to ensure it’s available. If it offers video and audio tests, use those features to ensure your microphone, camera, and speakers are working properly.
It’s also wise to skip Wi-Fi and go for an ethernet connection whenever possible. That reduces your chances of lag or other connectivity issues significantly.
Practice Your Eye Contact
During a video interview, it’s normal to try and make eye contact with the hiring manager’s image on the screen. However, if you do that and your camera is positioned at the top of your screen, it looks like you’re glancing down on the hiring manager’s end.
Instead, you need to practice making eye contact with the camera. That way, you’ll appear to be glancing straight ahead on the hiring manager’s screen. If you need a reminder, consider placing a sticky note next to the camera, increasing the odds you’ll look there. Just make sure you don’t stare at the camera. Instead, look at it for a few seconds, glance away, then get back to eye contact.
Dress for an In-Person Interview
While the idea of interviewing in pajama bottoms might be appealing, it’s a risky move. There’s always a chance you’ll need to stand unexpectedly, putting your less-than-professional attire on full display.
Instead, wear the same kind of outfit as you would to an in-person meeting. Additionally, when considering attire options, test them on camera. Some colors or patterns don’t work well for virtual interviews, so make sure you check before settling on your outfit.