3 Ways to Prepare for a Video Interview

What’s more nerve-wracking than a job interview? A job interview that involves technology and all of its potential for failure — a.k.a. the video interview.

video interview 

(Photo Credit: senjaopettaa/Flickr)

That doesn’t mean that video interviews are destined to be disasters. In fact, if you feel comfortable and know what you’re doing, video interviews can be a great way both to show off your skills and remind interviewers than you’re a candidate of the 21st century. In any event, we’ll all have to get used to them: The Aberdeen group found that 10 percent of companies used video interviews as part of their hiring process in 2010, and that number jumped to 42 percent for some roles in 2011.

“I’m a big fan of video interviews and I’ve interviewed and evaluated tons of candidates that way,” writes former recruiter Jaime Petkanics at The Prepary. “I expect that video interviews (especially for 1st screens) will start to replace phone calls and in-person interviews.”

Petkanics offers a few tips for folks embarking on video interviews. If you’re one of them, here’s what to keep in mind:

1. Do everything you would do for an interview.

Read up on the company. Practice answering common interview questions. Make a list of questions you’d like answered about the company and the role. Dress as if you were interviewing in person.

2. Do a practice run.

Make sure you know which program your interviewer wants to use, and try it out with a friend ahead of time. That way, you’ll avoid any last-minute technical glitches and be used to using the system. (In other words, you won’t do half the interview with only your forehead showing, or spend the bulk of the time staring at your tiny head in the corner of the screen.)

3. Eliminate distractions.

Make sure all dogs, cats, babies, and kids are being cared for in another room. Turn off alarms, cellphones, and other beeping devices. Remind your family or roommates that you have an interview, and ask them to steer clear of your space.

Comb the camera’s field of vision so that there’s nothing distracting to the interviewer showing while you’re doing your interview. Clean up clutter and anything that might draw their eye away from you.

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