Believe it or not, video interviews are not that new of a concept. I was actually hired via a video interview back in 2011. At the time, the video technology was pretty decent, but it’s definitely come a very long way since then. Today’s video interviews are almost as good as being in person. You can really get a sense for someone and that’s why its important to be prepared. Given I’ve done many video interviews, I thought it might be useful to share my tips for how to prepare for a video interview.
Learn About the Organization
The first thing I do to prepare for an interview is study up on the organization and the position. I learn as much as I possibly can about the organization – it’s mission, the people who work there. I also try to think through the position and how the role might fit within the organization. This also helps me think through possible scenario questions they may ask me.
Reread Your Cover Letter and Resume
I always take a little bit of time to reread my resume and cover letter. The worst thing is for them to ask you a question about something you wrote about yourself and you aren’t able to respond decisively. That’s why I always make sure to feel confident in what I wrote and how my skills relate to the specific job for which I’m interviewing.
Think About Possible Questions They Will Ask
Nearly every job I’ve interviewed for, the first question is about why I’m interested in the position and how I think my skills align with the role. I also take a lot of time to read and reread the job description so I can think about what they might ask me. There are certain types of questions that are really common. For example, a lot of times they will ask you about a time you dealt with conflict. They may also ask you about a time you solved a problem, or possibly, your greatest work accomplishment. The types of questions will definitely vary depending on your industry, but these are a few that are very common. Here is a link to 27 of the most common job interview questions.
Practice Your Responses
Once I’ve considered some possible questions, I also rehearse my responses. You don’t want to spend too much time trying to memorize a response because that could actually throw you off. However, it is a good idea to at least have a sense of how you would respond if they ask you what is your greatest flaw, greatest accomplishment, etc.
When you’re thinking about how to prepare for a video interview, you do want to consider your wardrobe – at least the top half! To be honest, I generally wear sweatpants or comfortable pants on the bottom, but on top, I’m all professional. I usually wear a blouse with a nicely tailored blazer. I think it’s best to be overdressed for your video interview, even if the position might not call for professional dress. Since they can only see your top half, you want to make the best impression you can.
How to Act During the Video Interview
During the interview, make sure that you smile, talk slowly enough so your words are clear and concise, and be friendly. You want to appear interested, so make sure to nod and smile a lot during the call. They can’t see you in person. So, you must make sure your body language through the computer is positive and affirming.
What You Should Have with You
Next to my computer, I always have a glass of water (or coffee), a notebook and a pen so I can take notes. I also always have at least 3 follow-up questions that I want to ask the interviewer before the call ends. Having smart, thoughtful questions to ask at the end shows the interviewer that you’re taking the job seriously and that you came prepared.
Afterward: Send Thank You Emails
Within 24 hours of the interview, make sure to send thank you emails. I know some people think it’s antiquated, but I don’t. It shows that you’re still interested in the position. It also shows that you take a high level of care in your work. Moreover, it also shows appreciation for the time they spent on the call. If possible, try to include a personal detail for each person that you spoke with. Perhaps, you recall something specific they said during the interview or a question they asked. Personalizing each email is one easy way to show you were listening and also interested in the person and the organization.
Overall, I hope these tips for how to prepare for a video interview are helpful. I actually use most of these tips for in-person and video interviews. But I did include some special considerations for video interviews. Given the current situation, I have a feeling a lot of us will actually be hired via video interviews, so it’s important we consider how we can do the best possible interview. Good luck!
Looking for more interview fashion tips? Check out this post about what to wear for a summer interview.