Make a strong first impression. Preparing for your job interview is essential, but your performance during the interview will determine your chances of success. This article gives you six tips on how to prepare for your video call job interview. Applying for a job by video call is not the same as doing an interview with a person in the same room. Additional factors need to be taken into account to ensure the interview goes well.
- Give your background some depth
People will pay attention to what you say, and also to what you show, so the background is important in your job interview. Choose a quiet background to keep the focus on you. Do not distract the interviewer with children or other family members moving around in the background. The room where you have the interview is your personal space and should therefore tell people something about who you are. If you show a messy kitchen or bedroom in the background, that does not present the image of yourself you want to project.
A bleak white wall in the background is a bit too quiet and boring. Choose a nice, tidy background with some depth to it. A painting, a photo wall, some plants or a bookcase make the perfect background. Books, a painting or travel photos also say something about who you are.
- Make an effort with your appearance
Your clothes also play a part in the image you project to the interviewer during a video call. Dress as if you were going to a job interview in person. Some companies are more casual than others. A suit and tie may not always be the right way to go, but a T-shirt and jeans are not suitable either. Make a little bit more effort than what is expected from you. Go for a style of clothing that makes you feel good. It is best to avoid patterns like stripes and checks and go for a plain colour.
- A picture is worth a thousand words
Of course you want to look picture perfect, and an important aspect of this is the eye level. You do not want to look down on the people you are talking to, as this will look quite unfriendly. Position yourself at the same height as the camera by placing a shoebox or a pile of books under your laptop. Sit straight about an arm’s length away from your screen. This creates a beautifully framed picture of you.
A second element you should pay attention to is the lighting. Lighting from above is not flattering. Ensure good face lighting by sitting at the window and allowing the daylight to shine on your face. Do not sit with your back to the light, as this will make you unrecognisable during the interview.
Also make sure to read these five tips for non-verbal communication during a job interview.
- Do a soundcheck
Prepare your digital access as you would prepare the itinerary to your appointment.
- Start with your internet connection. Check your Wi-Fi connection and internet speed to ensure a clear video call. You need at least 1 Mbps. Plugging in an Ethernet cable resolves a poor Wi-Fi connection.
- Make sure the battery of your laptop, tablet or smartphone is sufficiently charged so you do not run out of power.
- What channel are you using for the interview? Teams, Skype, BlueJeans, Zoom or something else? Do you need to download an app or create an account? Sort this out well in advance rather than one minute before the start of your job interview. Test the application to avoid any problems during the call.
- You also need to check that your camera is working. Pay attention to the above tips on how to present a good image.
- Do a soundcheck with your microphone and speakers. Headphones with a microphone are not a luxury. They will ensure that you are well understood during the interview. Also read these five tips for verbal communication during a job interview.
Let the game begin!
- Mind your body language
The article ‘Body language during your job interview: tips for success’ already pointed out the importance of body language during a job interview. This is no different during a video call. If your body language tells a different story, you may come across as insecure, unreliable or arrogant. As an applicant, you absolutely want to avoid that.
- Do not read out notes you prepared earlier
To make a confident impression, sit up straight, lean against the back of your chair and make direct eye contact during the job interview . Avoid putting any prepared answers within reach so you are not tempted to read them. Doing so may come across as insecure and uninterested. It is useful to have your CV at hand in order to go through it together with the interviewer. If you still want to look at your notes during the interview, tell the interviewer what you are reading and why.