Job interviews are usually quite stressful. Successful interviews involve selling yourself to one or sometimes, a few strangers who you hope will find you suitable to work in their company with Your First Video Interview.
In the last two years, remote work has become the norm which means daily check-ins, meetings and even interviews are being held in the form of video calls. Whether you’re applying for work at the Police Association, a restaurant or a local corporate company, the reality is, it might be via a video call.
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Simple Steps to Set the Scene for a Professional Video Call- Your First Video Interview
In this day and age, very few people are strangers to video calls. You might have had a few video chats with your friends and family when face to face visiting hasn’t been possible. However, doing a job interview via Skype or Zoom can be quite a stressful experience.
The experience can be even more harrowing if your job interview will be the first professional video call you’ve ever done! But, whether you’re a regular Zoomer or a novice, this article will help you set the right scene for a successful virtual experience.
Use Quality Technology
If you have a relatively new laptop or desktop, the quality of your webcam shouldn’t be a problem. An older system might need a few driver updates to ensure the interviewer can see and hear you.
If you’re not comfortable with your equipment, borrow a laptop from a friend. Alternatively, if you can afford it, invest in a separate webcam to avoid having to use the onboard camera. For an older laptop, this might be the solution for a better quality image. If your interviewer can see you, they’ll feel as though they can connect with you.
Ensure that your audio works both ways. Often a headset increases the quality of the sound and you’ll be able to hear your interviewer more clearly.
Test Your Equipment BEFORE the Day of the Interview
Trust us when we tell you to test your equipment a day BEFORE your interview! Checking your camera, microphone and software 20 minutes before your interview won’t give you enough time to rectify any technical issues. It will also cause you unnecessary stress, which will make you more tense during the interview.
Contact a friend or relative using the same software, usually Zoom, Skype or Hangout and chat with them for about 20 minutes. Ask if they can see and hear you clearly. This will give you time to tweak any technical glitches!
Find a Quiet Place to Set Up
If you don’t already have a home office or work area, you’ll need to choose a space to set up your laptop or computer. Ideally, you need a quiet area. A room with a door that you can close on the day is perfect.
Arrange with everyone in the household to be quiet for the duration of your video call. A quiet scene will prevent your interviewer from being distracted by your background noise. Also ensure that the visible background looks neat and professional. A blank wall or a painting as a backdrop works well.
Just because you’re at home, doesn’t mean you should do your interview in your PJs! Dressing professionally will give the interviewer the impression that you take both the interview and job seriously!
Dressing as though you’re going to a face-to-face interview will go a long way to settling your nerves, because you know you look your best. Wearing a formal shirt with your PJ bottoms and slippers might throw you off balance. Subconsciously you’ll be thinking that you’re “not entirely ready” and this will add to that nervous feeling in your gut!
Don’t Be Nervous
During the video chat, it’s important to make it appear as though you’re in control of your situation, no matter how nervous you might be feeling. Follow these few tips to make the best possible impression:
- Look directly into the camera: If you’re using an external webcam, make sure your screen is aligned to your camera. This will allow you to look directly into the camera while you’re talking. It’s important to maintain good eye contact.
- Don’t gesture too much: When you’re chatting face-to-face, gesturing might be a great way to get the point across. On screen, gesturing comes across as distracting. Keep your head and arms still and let your voice and your smile do the trick.
- Relax and focus: It can be difficult to create a rapport with a person you’re not in the same room with. The trick is to relax, breathe, smile often and be as friendly as possible. Don’t focus on your face in the corner of the screen. Focus on your interviewer!
There’s no reason why a video interview should cause you more stress than a face-to-face meeting. Having the right equipment, setting it up early and practicing with a friend will ease some of the tension. Also, preparing in advance will give you more time to focus on promoting your skills and talents.
Remember to relax, breathe and before you know it, video calls will be second nature! Good luck with your interview – you could be getting your dream job!