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Video Interviews- The New Normal

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Have you ever been interviewed for a job via video? 


Video chat platforms are now becoming the compulsory medium for the interview process especially, with the current pandemic.  More roles now require you to use this tool as part of the application and screening process. Video interviews can be challenging for job seekers as some people are uncomfortable with being on camera.

If you are one of the many people who may be camera shy, it is time to find ways to fix that problem. Here are some useful tips that can help: 

1. Prepare As You Would for an In-Person Interview
Preparation is key and this is especially true whether you are doing a live video interview or a recorded video session. Limited time is given to you to prove you know your stuff, and the more you know about the company and the job, the more comfortable and prepared you’ll be before the interview. Your confidence will come across in the video and this is where you can demonstrate your current knowledge of the company, job position, and its markets. 

2. ‘Tech Check’- Making Sure Your Equipment Is Working Properly
Make sure your device (computer, tablet, or phone—whichever you feel most comfortable working with) is fully charged or plug it into an outlet, to avoid a battery outage. Downloading ahead of time, any apps or plug-ins you might need and test your audio, video and internet connection. Find a strong internet connection that will result in a problem-free process. Relying on a Wi-Fi connection from a coffee shop or unfamiliar location, could result in lag time and dropped feeds.                                 
Reality check: Sometimes technology just fails, regardless of how many times you may check your internet connection. Before you begin a video interview, it's a great idea to provide the interviewer with a working phone number where you can be reached immediately if there are any technical difficulties.
3. A Quiet, Distraction-Free Location Is Key
Take a good look at what is visible in the video frame. You may not necessarily notice what’s in the background, but your interviewer will immediately check your surroundings. Make sure you create a good impression with your physical shot. That means a private, tidy, quiet room with a neutral background, preferably with nothing hanging on the wall behind you.                                                                                        

Quick note: If you must use a phone, prop it up securely rather than holding it in your hand.

4. Put Yourself in Optimal Eye Contact
Avoid sitting too far or too close to the screen or in front of a sunlit window, which may cause glare. Find proper seating that will allow for an upright, professional posture.  Overhead lighting should be avoided as it can create harsh shadows. Instead, try placing a table lamp roughly three feet from either side of your screen to illuminate your face. Make sure there’s a bit of space on the screen above your head and check that your shoulders and upper chest are visible to create proportion and maintain personable interaction with the interviewer.

5. Pay Attention to How You Sound, Too
Most times we are concerned about how we look in a video interview and often forget to think about how we sound to our interviewer. When practicing be sure to take note of how fast you speak, the tone and pitch of your voice and how you pause, keep it natural, and speak clearly and at a reasonable pace. The way you speak helps get across how you feel about what you’re saying and will assist with the lack of face-to-face body language-based communication in a video interview.

6. Practice Your Video Interview Skills Ahead of Time
Try to speak from memory during the video interview, while it might be tempting to have a lot of information in front of you for a video interview, be careful because reading directly from notes or a script only makes your answers sound rehearsed. Use sticky notes as reminders and attach them to the edge of your screen at eye level so that you can glance at them sparingly if needed. 

7. Dress Appropriately
You want to be just as formal as you would be for an in-person interview at the same company. (And yes, that means from head to toe.) “Professional” can vary from industry to industry, so check the company website for dress codes or other hints on how employees dress for work. Avoid loud colors and busy prints, which can be distracting, especially in a video interview. Sticking to dark shades and other subtle solids is your best bet. 

8. Log on Ahead of Time
Prepare your computer before launching your video interview. Make sure to close out all programs, documents, windows and tabs. Open the program where your video interview will take place a few minutes early, relax and wait to join the call.     In most cases, prerecorded video-interview services supply you with rules and tips, including time limits and the number of times you can re-record your answer. Read them carefully before you start and remember you don’t have to use up all the time allotted. Concise and precise answers are best.

Video Interviews- The New Normal
Carlene Cardinez-Gangar

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