By Lisa Osiako
I was once invited for a Skype interview and that really got me nervous. As a recent graduate, I did not know how to prepare for it, what to wear and how to conduct myself throughout the process. I eventually decided to dress professionally, comb my hair down, and not wear make-up. I then downloaded the app, put some notes in front of me and waited for the call. I was a little nervous throughout the interview and would look down to refer to my notes. At some point, the internet connection was so poor that we had to disconnect the call and then reconnecting a few minutes later. I later got the interview feedback that I had not gotten the role. To date, I do not know what I did wrong or didn’t do.
What did I do wrong and how can I improve?
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Video interviews are becoming a common trend among hiring managers, as many of them want to connect with candidates prior to an in-person interview. As such, you need to be prepared for a video interview and ensure you have both the resources and technology needed to conduct the interview.
How then do you prepare for such an interview and ensure that you ace it? Here are a few tips to help you in the process, and get you one step closer to securing the position of your dreams:
1. Choose a good location
During the video interview, the hiring manager will not only see you but will also be able to see your surroundings. Therefore, have this in mind as you settle on your location. Choose a location that has a background that is not distracting to the interviewer. If possible, settle for a plain background. Also, choose a quiet location that is free from background noise.
If you have your notes in front of you, do not make a habit of looking down or constantly reviewing them.
The key to video interviews is developing a personal connection with the person on the other side and showing how you are the best person for the job, which all starts with selecting the right location.
2. Prepare your equipment
The most important thing about a video interview is ensuring that your equipment is working. There is nothing as embarrassing as having a poor internet connection that makes communication hard between you and the hiring manager.
Test your equipment beforehand so that you know everything is functional.
3. Conduct yourself like you are in-person
In as much as it is a video interview being conducted at the comfort of your home, treat it like an in-person interview. Dress appropriately for the position you have applied for. Do not be tempted to dress down or just dress professionally for the visible areas. With a full outfit, you will act more professionally than you might if you are in a casual outfit.
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4. Take control of your body language
During the video interview, be sure to sit up straight with your feet on the ground, so that you look alert and professional.
Ensure that you maintain eye contact with the interviewer by looking at the camera lens.
Also, smile and remain friendly throughout the interview.
Practice makes perfect. Take time and practice your posture, angle and eye contact with a friend to see some of the little ways you can improve on before the actual video interview. You can also ask for help from an interview coach.