10 ways to impress at a videoconference interview
Videoconferencing technology has meant that more and more recruiters are conducting interviews online.
Here are a few things to consider to make a good impression.
1. A neutral backdrop
It is important that your surroundings look professional.
Choose a background with neutral colours and enhance it with a few plants, books and attractive artwork or photos.
The lighting should be aimed towards your face and be just the right brightness. Too glaring, and you’ll look washed out and your expressions will be lost. Lighting that is too subdued is also not flattering.
2. Avoid technical glitches
Check the email interview invitation to see which software will be used and take some time to get to know it.
Do a few trial runs with friends or family to get comfortable using the different options, such as the sound and locating the button to end the conversation.
Avoiding having to scramble with the technology allows you to concentrate on the interview.
Do a few sound tests as well. Some people feel they have to talk more loudly during video calls although this is not necessary.
3. Dress smart
Even though the interview will be taking place in the comfort of your own home, it is still important to dress for the occasion.
Wear the same outfit you would as if the interview were face to face.
What you wear plays an important part in the impression you project. It is therefore essential not to neglect how you look.
4. Look at the camera, not your screen
During the interview, look at the webcam rather than your screen.
To maintain perfect eye contact, make sure your eyes are roughly at the same level as the camera. Raise your screen if necessary.
5. Body language talks too!
We sometimes tend to forget the camera during a video call.
Remain aware of each gesture you make, starting with a smile at the opening of the conversation to replace the handshake.
If you’re one of those people who tends to fidget on a chair, experts recommend you stand during the interview.
6. Do not disturb!
Remember that time the political analyst, Robert Kelley, was being interviewed by the BBC when his children and wife burst into his study while he was on air?
To avoid that kind of a show-stealing situation, not to mention your power of concentration being stretched (and you shooting to viral fame), make sure you remain the focus of the conversation by keeping untimely visitors away.
7. Check your Internet connection
Locate the interview where your home’s Wi-Fi connection is strongest.
If your connection is unreliable, consider buying a Wi-Fi signal booster.
8. Avoid distractions
Close all applications on your computer so that you can devote all your attention to the interview.
Mute the notification sounds on your cell phone and computer. Peace and quiet are vital for you and your recruiter.
9. Prepare notes
Why not take advantage of the remote interview situation to use notes as a prompt?
Being able to refer to a few notes to help express an opinion can be reassuring for shyer candidates.
All the same, make sure you sound natural when talking and not as if you’re reading from a script.
10. Practice makes perfect
By this stage, you will be ready to put points 1 to 9 into practice.
Ask friends and family what they think of how you come across.
Make any adjustments you need: add some lighting or a few tasteful furnishings, decide on something appropriate to wear and practise your online speaking volume. These are all the practical things you can tweak to ensure you shine on interview day.