I've been doing video interviews all week to fill an open position and while some of them went seamlessly, others were less successful. While the concept of a Skype or other video conferencing software interview isn't brand new, it certainly has become far more common in the past few years. Personally, I prefer them to a phone interview as they allow you to connect with the candidate more fully. I tend to come away with a better sense of who the candidate is. However, some candidates don't realize that while it's from the comfort of your home, these calls are still interviews. Here are my top pieces of advice for prepping for a video interview.
1. Treat It Like an Interview
Yes, you're at your home, but i can still see if you're wearing pajamas or haven't brushed your hair yet today. Dress like you would for any other interview- the interviewer will appreciate that you put the effort in to present yourself well. You'll also feel more confident- personally, I tend to present myself more professionally when I dress formally.
2. Location is Key
Try to find a neutral background with few distractions. When a candidate is in a busy room with lots of activity, it detracts from my ability to focus on them. Lock any cats, dogs, or wandering tiny humans out of the room- while I may want to meet Mittens, it does distract from the interview and show a lower level of professionalism. If you must do it from your car on your break, try to park somewhere with minimal distractions and keep the phone level and steady.
3. Test, Test, Test!
Make sure you have the software needed for the conference downloaded ahead of time- I use Blackboard Collaborate, but other companies may use Skype, Zoom, or other platforms. Ensure that you have a working webcam and decent quality audio. If possible, test your equipment ahead of time! While we all know tech issues happen, you'll be more relaxed if the interview goes off without a hitch and you're not panicking, trying to get the conference to even start.