How to Make a Good Virtual Interview Impression

July 14, 2015


Nowadays, hiring managers are using more cost effective yet efficient ways to get passed the interview process. 

The phone interview is one way to reduce travel costs but with today’s technology, more and more interviewers are choosing a video or Skype interview, especially if the position is out of state or country.

Being on camera may feel a little nerve racking at first, but having a step-by-step guide will hopefully prepare you for a successful video interview.

Tip 1: Do your research

This is the most important step in getting you prepared for any interview. Whether it is over the phone or in person, make sure you know who you’re speaking with.

Know the Company

  • Know enough about the company’s background in order to have an in-depth conversation with the interviewer.
  • Take a look at the company website and its social media profiles. LinkedIn is a great site for this.
  • Write down any questions you may have about the company. Asking questions during or after the interview will show your interest in the company.

Know the Interviewer

  • Look up the interviewer and what their current role is in the company.
  • See their LinkedIn profile to understand their background and their current role.
  • Before the interview, exchange contact information with the interviewer, such as email addresses and phone numbers, in case the video call fails.

Review the Job Description

  • Know what position you are applying for so you can take note on why you are a great fit for the position.
  • List out the required skills, responsibilities and experience needed to fulfill the position.
  • Write down some examples or stories to prepare for situational questions that the interviewer may ask. A good example would be a time you handled a difficult situation at work that illustrates your skills.

Tip 2: Choose the right surroundings

Chances are, you are probably doing the video interview from home. If that’s the case, you want to be free from distractions and any loud noises.

  • Pick a well-lit room that is neutral and sans bright wallpaper or distracting wall art.
  • Check the acoustics in the room to make sure there isn’t an echo happening.
  • Make sure you are away from any noise distractions such as the dishwasher or the washing machine, otherwise turn them off.

Tip 3: Set up your technology

Just in case something fails during the interview, or worse, the video call never gets through; it would be wise to have the interviewer’s contact information on backup. However, checking your technology is the best way to avoid any tech problems from happening.

  • Check to see if your computer or laptop is charged and/or plugged in, refreshed, updated and in working condition.
  • Turn off any notifications that may pop up during the interview, including your phone.
  • Test the video camera whether it is built-in or an accessory, and position it so that it looks like you’re looking at the interviewer as opposed to looking down at a computer.
  • Make sure your Wi-Fi is connected and the Internet speed isn’t causing a weak pixelated connection.
  • Test the microphone and speakers so that the sound is loud enough and clear.

Tip 4: Dress to impress

Like any interview, you want to be dressed professional or dressed for the role you applied for. Although the camera will only capture the top half of your body, your shirt, hair and face should look clean and polished.

  • If you are unsure on what to wear, check out the company’s LinkedIn or Facebook page to get an idea on what the company image is. Are they dressed more trendy, conservative or casual?
  • When in doubt, wear neutral colors and a simple top.

Tip 5: Do a practice run

Once you’ve figured out all the details from the tips above, call a friend and ask them to do a trial run with you. Practice looking at the camera and timing out responses so that you don’t interrupt the interviewer.

Remember that the interviewer is human too so if you misunderstood something ask them to repeat it.

Seeing yourself on camera may make you feel more self-conscious than a regular interview, but it’s actually a great way to being more aware of your body language or facial expressions. If you happen to make a mistake, just correct yourself and move on. Remember to just think positive and follow this guide to help you land the job you want.

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