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HOW TO STAND OUT FROM A VIDEO INTERVIEW?

For all professionals & students who are reading my post, I thank you for your time and I appreciate any suggestions you share! Please take care of yourself.

CONTEXT:
Because of COVID, most companies are conducting interviews via video. I found that it's more challenging to leave a good impression ( sometimes the internet connection may not be stable, or due to lack of in-person eye contact & interaction..)

What's your suggestions?
If you are a recruiter / interviewer, what type of candidates stand out from the interviews and how I can become those candidates that you want to hire immediately?

Again, I appreciate your time in advance and all the best to you and your family.

It's a challenging time to navigate in a world of uncertainties, so please take time for yourself and stay healthy!
#jobs #technology #hr
#recruiter
#interview
#careercoach
#career
#interviewprep


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17 answers


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Dr. Aisha Wright’s Answer

The main thing to remember is that you know your skills, abilities, experience and accomplishments best. How you articulate these given the role you are interviewing for will be how you shine.

1. Treat it as an In-Person Interview - Many of the things are the same and some things are different. Prepare early.
2. Dress to Impress - Just as you would for an in-person interview. Business Dress and minimal accessories.
3. Test Your Tech - Check your internet and power connections, mic and sound beforehand.
4. Set Up Your Camera - Make sure your lighting is in front of you, there is ample lighting and its a quiet area.
5. Don’t Sit Too Far or Too Close - Ensure there is a balance of you and your background.
6. Optimal Eye Contact - Raise your camera to eye level
7. Practice Makes Perfect - Have a mock interview with a friend to go through your tough questions.
8. How You Sound Is Important - Volume and inflection are just as important as your words.
9. Your Notes & Questions—Have them for reference but don't rely on them.
10. Minimize Interruptions - While we can't plan for everything, be prepared to handle any interruptions that may come up.
11. Be Early - To be early is to be on time for your interview.
12. Trouble Hearing Someone? - Ask them to speak up. We need to adapt to this way of interviewing.
13. Have Good Posture - Sit up and lean forward. Show you are engaged!
14. Nonverbal feedback - Smile!
15. Etiquette - Let your interviewer finish before speaking.

Trust that you know yourself best and with preparation you will be able to put your best face and foot forward!

Great answer Dr. Wright! Very thorough and helpful, for anyone planning a video interview. Thank you for all you do to encourage and inspire students. Melisa Cameron

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John’s Answer

C L practice for the video interview as you would an in-person meeting. Consider doing a practice run with a close friend or family member. Don’t expect to rely on notes as it will look awkward on camera. Also, dress professionally based on the company culture. It will help you to feel and act like a winning candidate.

PREPARING FOR YOUR VIDEO INTERVIEW
The first step is to ensure that you have the right set-up. Choose an area where you can control your surroundings. If possible, look for a location with natural light and a neutral, clutter-free background. The key is to face the light source. If the light is behind you, it will create shadows. Test different lighting options to see which works best for you. In terms of a camera, try to use an external webcam versus a built-in one if your budget allows. They typically offer higher image quality and more positioning flexibility. If you have a MacBook, you can probably get away with the built-in webcam. You’ll want to position your webcam to be above your eye-line, angled slightly downward. Although you don’t necessarily need one, ear buds are a good idea. It will reduce any ambient noise and make the tone of your voice richer and clearer. Test your internet speed to be sure it’s fast enough and use a wired ethernet connection instead of Wi-Fi. This will be faster, smoother, and less likely to cut out randomly. Because technology is unpredictable, do a complete run-through at least the day before your interview.

Ultimately, preparing for a video interview is the same as preparing for a face to face meeting. Research the company, communicate your value, and develop a list of intelligent questions. As they say, “practice makes perfect.” The more you practice using video for interviewing, the more comfortable you will feel. There’s no question that the hiring process is becoming more technologically advanced. By embracing this visual medium, you’ll soon be ready to edge out the competition.

DURING YOUR VIDEO INTERVIEW
At the start of the call, make sure you have a copy of your resume and a glass of water nearby, NOT a bottle of water, the bottle will CRAKEL every time you drink from it... plus no one looks good drinking from a bottle. (Take a sip of water if you need to stall while you're thinking of an answer, DON'T over use the trick). Maintain eye contact by directing your gaze at the WEBCAM, rather than your interviewer on the screen. (Remember the camera is at the top of your screen, it will look like you are not keeping eye contact with your intervier if you are not looking at the camera). Keep your mood upbeat and let your personality shine through. Maintain proper posture and avoid fidgeting. Listen actively by nodding when appropriate, so your interviewer knows you're giving them your full attention. Smile throughout the interview, but not so much that it appears unnatural. The number one thing recruiters say they hate to see in a video interview is distractions.
• Set your phones to silent
• Remove pets or put them in another room
• Close your windows to eliminate outside noises
• Put a sign on your door alerting people not enter the room

Hope this was Helpful C L

Thank You Mariaan. “Volunteers are the only human beings on the face of the earth who reflect this nation’s compassion, unselfish caring, patience, and just plain loving one another.” – Erma Bombeck John Frick

Thank You Lisa. “If our hopes of building a better and safer world are to become more than wishful thinking, we will need the engagement of volunteers more than ever.” — Kofi Annan John Frick

Thank You C L. If you talk about it, it’s a dream. If you envision it, it’s possible. If you schedule it, it’s real. John Frick

Thank You Tanya. “The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves.” — Helen Keller John Frick

Thank You Lydia. “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” –Anne Frank John Frick

Thank You Melisa. “If our hopes of building a better and safer world are to become more than wishful thinking, we will need the engagement of volunteers more than ever.” — Kofi Annan John Frick

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Ashley’s Answer

CL.,

It is certainly harder to connect effectively in a remote environment. What I find works best are the little things:

1) Be patient. If the internet is not working or a call drops, be conscious of your energy, tone of voice, facial expression, etc. This is something I measure candidates on - do they act flustered and nervous when this happens, or confident and in control?
2) Wear something that makes you feel good and confident. That confidence will exude through a video call.
3) Start the conversation more casual with a "how's your day" and try to connect by asking about their interests, accomplishments, or other experiences. What can help is reviewing interviewers LinkedIn profiles, or other publications to better understand their interests. Start with this. It breaks down barriers. I find this works well with any medium.
4) Have a fun background effect if you can. It's a great conversation starter!

Stay positive and come off friendly and approachable and I'm sure you will leave a great impression! Good luck on your interviews!

Best,
Ashley

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Vidhya’s Answer

VIDEO INTERVIEW -

Environment ( from where you are connecting)- have enough light ,no distractions (sound,people etc),proper connectivity
Personality - well groomed , be confident, Look at the camera lens as a person interviewing you, be focused and stay calm
Have ready materials to take notes and copy of your resume for reference.

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Tanya’s Answer

Hello CL,
Congratulations on investing in yourself by asking this very important question to gain as much insight as possible. This shows your commitment to doing an exceptional job in anything that you do!
You have already been provided some great tips, so I will hone in on the appearance. As an employer, I have been conducting many video interviews lately and the biggest mistakes I see people make are: people show up in a t-shirt or they dress in something that is so uncomfortable that they look stiff the entire time. We already know t-shirts are not a great idea for an interview so let's focus on the latter. Attire should be professional but comfortable. You want to focus on the questions being asked, not how uncomfortable your suit feels. Wear colors and/or patterns that are not too distracting.
Make-up and hair should be neutral and subtle.
Jewelry and/or accessories should be complimentary to the outfit.
Lighting should be flattering. While natural light from a window would be the go-to, this can cause a glare on some computer cameras. The best thing to do is schedule a dress rehearsal with someone who will be candid with you, preferably on the same method of communication that you will use for the interview. If you will use your computer, schedule a zoom call with your friend and ask them for feedback on how you look and sound.
The rule of thumb that I always use is, if I keep questioning an outfit or piece of jewelry, I go with something else. If you feel great, that will come across during your interview.
Lastly, you got this!! Good luck to you!

Hello CL! As you´re saying video job interviews are an increasingly common part of the hiring process. I´m giving you some tips I used for the last video interview I had for my actual job hoping this could help you: Find a quiet, private, well-lit place, free from possible interruptions, Ensure your internet connection is stable. Check that your computer’s audio is working and make sure it’s fully charged on the day of the interview. Test your computer’s webcam as it will help you to maintain closer contact with the interviewer. Close any unnecessary web browser tabs and applications. Dress professionally and avoid bright colors. Have a pen, notepad and copy of your resume on your desk. Use hand gestures when appropriate. Set the stage for a distraction-free video interview Mariana León García

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Kanchan’s Answer

Virtual interviews are no different than face-to-face interviews. While the virtual world becomes the new normal and we adapt to major work life changes, it is important for us to keep up with the ever rising technology.
A few things never change and so is the nervousness before an interview. Always remember, you are the master of your skills, abilities and experience. Show-case them.

Log-in early
Set your phones on silent
Prepare for your interview just how you would for an in-person interview.
Create a setup with least background noise and best light.
Dress to impress even for a video interview
Test your devices before hand
Keep your backup ready for internet and power
Don't forget the basic interview etiquettes - good posture, eye contact, smile, nod
Plan for any interruptions that might come up
Prepare notes; don't rely on them, but keep them for reference
Practice over a mock video interview

Trust your skills and give your best.

Hope this answer was helpful

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Doreen’s Answer

Hello CL -

You've got some great answers to this question already that really cover the ins and outs of video conversation!

I'll add one simple thing about interviewing - come to the table (or the video camera!) with several examples of situations you've dealt with that will help to provide the interviewer with information on how you work (or will work). For example - have you dealt with an angry customer (classmate, teacher, friend) before? What was the situation, how did you react and what was the outcome?

Best of luck out there!
~Doreen

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Lydia’s Answer

This is a great question, C L. I see tons of great recommendations here that I echo. Being prepared is key!

I'd like to add that when it comes to standing out, there are a few things you can do before, during and after your interview that may help leave a positive lasting impression:

Before your interview, make sure you do your research of the company and role. Coming into the interview with knowledge of what is happening at the company you are interviewing for will likely win you huge points with the interviewer. Reading press releases, news stories and following the company's social media are great ways to stay current on what they have going on. A good natural place during the interview process to bring up this research is during Q&A if the interviewer doesn't ask you about your prior knowledge of company initiatives early on in the interview.

During the interview, be mindful of verbal hang ups like words you may say a lot or "ums". Though it may feel awkward, it may help to do a mock interview with a friend or family member first to help you identify if you have any verbal hang ups. Sometimes we don't even know we're doing it! Also during the interview, be sure you have good insightful questions come time for Q&A.

And after the interview it's a great practice to send a follow up thank you email to the interviewer. A nice touch is dropping in a personal note from your conversation.

Best of luck to you in the interview process! Hope this was helpful!

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Mariana’s Answer

Hello CL!

As you´re saying video job interviews are an increasingly common part of the hiring process. I´m giving you some tips I used for the last video interview I had for my actual job hoping this could help you:

• Find a quiet, private, well-lit place, free from possible interruptions,
• Ensure your internet connection is stable.
• Check that your computer’s audio is working and make sure it’s fully charged on the day of the interview.
• Test your computer’s webcam as it will help you to maintain closer contact with the interviewer.
• Dress professionally and avoid bright colors.
• Set the stage for a distraction-free video interview
• A super tip is be prepared and study all things that are related to the company, industry or sector you´re applying and some tasks related to the possible position you may have, that would give you extra points because that means you´re really interested of getting that job.
• Close the video interview by sharing your appreciation.
• And the most important one is to trust what you´re capable of doing, always trust in yourself.

Good luck in your possible interviews!
Best, Mariana.

Well said Mariana and great advice and ideas on your "super tips!" Melisa Cameron

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Greta’s Answer

Be animated! On video, our facial expressions and eye contact don’t always come across as they would in person. Exaggerating these almost as though you’re in a performance can help convey the message you are enthusiastic and energetic and helps make up for the lack of body language you’d normally have in an in-person interview. You could also wear something that stands out that would be memorable or that shows your personality. Lastly, it could be beneficial to record yourself and watch it back so you can see how you’ll come off to interviewer. Likewise, you could practice with someone else on Zoom, etc. and get feedback before the real deal.

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Rohit’s Answer

Most of the responses have covered almost all good practices.
Some things that i would do:
1. Take the interview in a quiet room
2. Take the video call from my laptop or desktop. Would place the system in such a way that my face is well lit up for the session.
3. Get myself a comfortable chair to sit for a long hours- one never knows how long could the interview round could go.
4. Groom myself for the video interview as if it was in-person. It would make me feel confident about myself.
5. Ensure my laptop has sufficient power backup and in case of any battery outage, the power cables are ready to be switched on.
6. Have a back up for my internet connection and even perhaps join the call through a phone device as well. This would help in case of any laptop outage or connection issues. The phone device can be kept on mute and the interview panel can be informed that you have joined the call over phone as well.
7. All these prep work, I would do the day before. so that it leaves me enough time to prep and get myself into the zone and avoid any last minute hassles.

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Angela’s Answer

Congrats for the interview! One little extra tip for the video interview is to look at the camera when you answer the questions, which will make your interviewers feel you are making eye contact. Good luck!

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Taylor’s Answer

Hello! Remember that you are still able to showcase your personality, skills, experience and accomplishments just as effectively via video if you prepare correctly. Here are a few tips and pieces of advice that I would give you.

1. Treat this video call just as you would an in-person interview.
2. Start preparing early and do a few practices via Zoom (or other video provider) with trusted friends or advisors. Work out all of the technical difficulty kinks in advance.
3. Dress the part - ensure that you're wearing the same professional attire that you would for an in-person interview.
4. Use head nodding and body language more than you would in person. Show you are listening to the interviewer by head nodding. This will show engagement using non-verbal feedback and interaction.
5. Pick a neutral and non distracting background. Use a virtual background if needed. Ensure that you have good lighting for video and your face is not in a shadow. Practice with those same trusted friends/family/advisors.
6. Use a headset microphone if needed to be able to clearly hear you. Again ... practice with the technology is crucial here!
7. Have your camera at an angle that hits you eye level. No one wants to see double chin :)
8. With Zoom, minimize your self view so that you can only see the video of the interviewer. The interviewer will still be able to see your face, but you won't be distracted by how you look. You will know your video looks okay from the practice rounds you have done.
9. Join the audio link early if you can - this will help show you're ready and prepared. Ask the interviewer at the very beginning, "can you see and hear me okay before we proceed?"
10. Keep notes to the side and try not to rely on them.
11. If you are taking the interview in a shared space, tell the others not to bother you for designated time. Keep all distractions away during the interview.

Best of luck! Video interviewing may be different than the norm - but I am confident that you'll still be able to showcase all that you have to offer as a candidate.

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Alex’s Answer

Be honest and up front - if you believe something like your internet connection, or perhaps even a barking dog might be an issue, call it out from the get go. It opens the possibility of being able to laugh when something doesn't go smoothly.

If it's your first virtual interview, call that out too. It'll kick up the conversation to talk about the world today, and how everyone is dealing with this differently. Interviews are of course fairly formal, but the more you can relax the session, the more you'll both smile, laugh and begin to have a genuinely enjoyable conversation. This should also help to get a sense of what the interviewer is like, and ideally leaves a lasting happy impression on them about you. But REMEMBER, you're interviewing them, just as much as they're interviewing you.

Be human, be yourself and make sure your personality comes through. Most companies worth working for, want to hire the right person for their team based on skill, personality and "fit" for their culture. If you're tight and reserved and not being yourself, you're not giving them a good idea of who they're potentially hiring, and you're likely not helping the interviewer open up either.

Dress and present yourself as if you want the job. If you aren't sure of the company dress code, assume it's formal and dress accordingly. It's much worse to underdress than it is to over dress. As silly as that may be.

And lastly, don't focus every answer on what you think they want to hear, try to have some points in your bag that teach them something they didn't know. It's always good to have an interviewer respond with "I never considered it that way" or "wow, great idea, tell me more...".

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Gina’s Answer

Hello-- I think it's important to practice and have notes/questions prepared and treat it like a regular in-person interview.

Log-in early to make sure the connection and video is working properly.

Dress appropriately-- business casual or how you would in person.

Aim for as much non-verbal communication and be as interactive as possible.

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Nadia’s Answer

It may sound obvious, but if you have an online interview, make sure to dial from your laptop. Many times people are using their cell phones or tablet, and this results in video connection.
Sometimes, due to the connection or inability to make face2face interaction, it's easy to interrupt while the other person is still talking. Try to pay extra attention on, as it may be be challenging if don't work remotely on a daily basis.
It's also quite common to see people emphasizing their lack of experience in using online tools or working from home by starting the meeting with something like "Apologize for my poor connection..." or "I haven't had such interview before, so apologize...". I know that the intentions are good :) , but it puts you in a position of a person who may not adapt quickly etc. It's better to show your confidence and ability to prepare effectively, even if the situation is new and not very comfortable. Good luck!

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Carolyn’s Answer

What a great question! I would prepare for a video interview in the same way that I would for an in-person interview. I would be on time, presentable and prepared. When interviewing candidates, I mostly look for enthusiasm and a desire to learn. One great way to show this, is to do some research and to ask questions about both the company and the role. A good starting point for your search would be the company's mission statement. Ask yourself how you could fit into their overall mission and then work that into your interview. Best of luck!

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