Wait…why a video interview?
Video interviews are becoming an increasingly more popular way of seeing if a candidate is worth the company’s time. WayUp’s in-house recruiter Julie Olsson says that she can get a lot more from a video interview than a phone interview. “When you’re interviewing someone on the phone, you can’t pick up on their body language, eye contact or the way they carry themselves — which are all very important to understanding whether someone is a cultural fit for your company,” she says. “A video interview is more efficient because you can eliminate a person who isn’t the right cultural fit early on, and you have a lower risk of setting someone up that isn’t right to meet with your team.”
Employers are able to eliminate far more candidates from the pipeline because a video interview reveals if you’re ready and fit for the next hurdle. Because getting to that next round is crucial, there are a couple of ways to make sure you don’t stumble on the track.
You treated it as a chance to chill in loungewear.
As cool as it would be to get a job while wearing a onesie, a video interview is not a video chat. Sweatshirts, PJs and anything that would make you look like a cool person to chill with on a lazy Saturday (as opposed to someone an employer would actually want to hire) are out. Because this is the employer’s first impression of you, start off on the right foot by putting effort into your appearance. Dress like a professional – at least from the waist up. Try to match the dress code of the office as well – if you know that company employees dress in business casual, then wear business casual as well. If you need tips on what exactly that means, we can help.
You didn’t test the program or wifi beforehand.
Imagine if the only thing standing between you and the perfect job was a terrible Skype connection. Had you tested the program and your wifi a day or two beforehand–or even an hour before your interview–you might have been able to prevent any issues by moving to a room with a better connection or installing a new update on your computer.
The last thing that you want to do is miss out on a golden opportunity: so test, test and triple test. We recommend video calling a friend to ensure that audio and visuals are working as they should. Of course, sometimes these issues can’t be helped (we’re looking at you, Skype), which means it’s on you to do what you can to ensure that you still come across professionally…which brings us to our next point…
You constantly interrupted and talked over the employer
Even if there’s a bad connection, never, ever interrupt an employer – no matter what. Even if Adele and Sam Smith stroll into your dorm to perform the greatest duet the world has ever known and the internet is crashing — wait until the employer has finished talking to say, “I’m sorry, I didn’t quite catch that.”
In all seriousness, wait and listen before you interject: Even through a bad connection, you can sometimes hear what the employer is saying. Try your hardest to do that. When it is clear that they are finished speaking, ask them politely to repeat.
You used your phone instead of your computer.
During an interview, you should be focused on adequately answering questions and making a connection with your interviewer – not seeing which inanimate object will support your upright iPhone for at least 5 minutes at a time.
Use your computer, not your phone, to create a more stable view. This will allow you to move things around – i.e. lighting – and focus on what’s important: the interview. Make sure you put your computer on your desk or a pile of books to make sure that your eyes are square to the camera. If you don’t have a laptop, make sure to book a room in the library and use a computer there!
You didn’t check your background.
How about not having a pile of dirty laundry on your bed as the backdrop while you’re telling the employer that your organizational skills are unmatched? Just an idea.
We recommend a non-distracting background. Booking a room in the library is a big help and relieves the stress of having to rearrange your room!
Video interviews are all about self-awareness: how you’re presenting yourself to the employer and how you’re coming across to the employer. If you successfully pass the test, you’ll be well on your way to your first in-person interview at the company. Lights, camera, hired!