The Art Of The Video Interview
Subscribe to receive Industry News & Insights to your inbox
We respect your privacy and take protecting it seriously. We don't like spam.
Virtual interview sessions have risen in popularity and should be anticipated during your interview process. Many techniques will work well across interview formats, but a few key nuances of the video interview could make or break your candidacy. While video interviews might seem less impactful on the surface, a strong showing can illustrate that you’re detail oriented, able to adjust to a variety of settings, and willing to progress in your candidacy by adjusting to the circumstances. Here’s how you can ensure you produce a successful video interview:
Lights, camera, action
In a video setting, lighting should be top of mind. Avoid sitting with a window or lights behind you, as that can result in a silhouette. We recommend sitting in an area where light is in front of you, preferably a natural-light setting if possible. It can also be helpful to clean your computer webcam beforehand, as well as activate high-definition and touch-up settings on your video platform.
What’s that behind you?
During any video conversation, people will notice your background – whatever it may be. Your first goal is to offer something better than a plain wall as your backdrop. Second, avoid messy setups like a disheveled bookshelf or an unmade bed. Instead, a well-organized bookshelf could be the perfect background for your interview. Your goal is to offer a well-orchestrated backdrop and avoid anything polarizing coming in to view. Never introduce a virtual background if you’re a candidate interviewing for a position. Finally, pick a location that offers minimal distractions. Minimize background noise and activity as much as possible. However, if for example your child walks into the room, that is perfectly OK and most interviewers will understand and welcome them.
How you position yourself in the webcam’s view matters. Sit up straight and square your shoulders to the webcam. Your ideal frame would have just a bit of room between the top of your head and the frame, with the bottom of the frame cutting off just a few inches below your shoulders. Maintain consistent eye contact with the webcam when speaking. That may be awkward at first, but it creates the most direct connection between you and the interviewer. Position your interviewer’s face as close to your webcam as possible, as it will allow you to see and react to their visual cues without breaking eye contact.
You want the flow of your video interview to mimic a face-to-face encounter. Start the conversation with genuine pleasantries and conversation, just as you normally would in person. Have a few talking points planned for the early portion of the conversation. They can be focused on the weather, how the person and their family are doing, sports – you name it. But once the interviewer is ready to get to business, shift your focus and react accordingly.
A tip for hiring authorities
Many video platforms enable you to upload a custom virtual background. This is a unique opportunity to showcase an image of your building’s interior. While interviewees may not be able to visit in person, you can still show off your space and help them visualize themselves as a member of your team.