Video interviews have become standard operating procedure in hiring scenarios all the way up the corporate ladder—from hotel staff to the highest levels of the C-suite. By following a few best practices, you can ensure that your next ‘on camera’ moment will help, rather than hurt, your career goals.
Check your equipment
Make sure your video and audio are working. Check them long before your scheduled interview time. We’ve had more than one interview with a candidate’s camera facing the wall behind their monitor because they couldn’t figure out how to rotate it during the beginning of the interview.
Consider your background
Plan what will be behind you during the video interview. Choose a setting that is neutral and tidy, such as a bookshelf or a piece of art and a plant. Don’t sit in front of a table piled high with papers or in front of your kids’ toys.
Angle the camera appropriately
If you’re using a laptop with a webcam, the angle of the camera will be pointed up at your face, creating an awkward view. Instead, put your laptop on a box or stand so that the camera is at eye level. Sit about arm’s length away from the computer to further enhance a natural conversational feel.
Don’t forget the lighting
Make sure that poor lighting doesn’t distract from your professionalism and thoughtful answers. Never sit in front of a window; your face will appear dark surrounded by a distracting glare. It’s best to have a light source behind your webcam.
Dress for success
Your attire and grooming for a video interview should be the same as what you would wear to an in-person interview. No exceptions. This is likely your first visual impression with either a recruiter or potential employer. Don’t waste it.
Pay attention to body language
Maintain eye contact with those on the other side of the camera. Try to keep fidgeting under control. Recording yourself in advance practicing interview questions can help you identify areas you want to improve.