Powerful Video-call Interview Tips to Get You to the Next Round


In a previous article, I spoke about phone interviews and how you can handle them well. With work from home being the new normal now, another aspect that you need to work upon is handling a video call. From interviews to team meetings and brainstorming sessions, video calls are the only option for people to see each other and communicate simulating a physical environment. While most of us have done video calls to our family and friends, a professional video call has some essential dos and don’ts. Today, I will focus on video call interviews and offer some tips to help you crack them.

A typical recruitment process today starts with a phone call from an executive discussing the job opportunity followed by a telephonic or video interview with your prospective boss and an HR professional. Organizations want to know the people they hire and hence tend to prefer video calls over phone calls. Here are some things that you must keep in mind while appearing for an interview over a video call:

Light it up!

Ever been in a video call with a friend or a family member where the lighting is not good enough? Didn’t matter much, did it? It was because you knew the person and the conversation was casual. However, when it comes to a professional call like an interview, poor lighting can make the process cumbersome while failing to offer you an opportunity to impress. When you are being interviewed via a video call, the interviewer only has your face before him/her to understand how you react to questions and gauge your personality. A poorly-lit room can make it extremely difficult for the interviewer to do so and make a hasty decision. Hence, ensure that when you sit for a video interview, you are facing the light and your face is illuminated. Avoid facing the camera to the light as it can mar visibility.

Dress to Impress!

The interviewer knows that you are at home. However, that does not mean that you dress casually for an interview. How you groom yourself for the interview speaks volumes about how professional you are in your approach for the job. Ensure that you put on a professional attire. Avoid wearing bright colors as they can appear smudged on a video call. Comb your hair and wear subtle makeup. Men with beards must ensure that the facial hair is neatly trimmed. In simpler terms, dress as if you are physically going for the interview.

The Background

To ensure that the interviewer pays attention to what you say, it is important to sit at a place where the background is not distracting. A plain wall is usually a good choice provided its color doesn’t blend or contrast poorly with the color of your attire. The frame – you along with the background should be pleasing to the eye, well lit, and have no distractions.

Look at the camera and not the screen

As a matter of habit, we tend to look at the person whom we are talking to. While this is required in the physical world, when in a video call interview, looking at the screen will never allow you to make eye contact with the interviewer. Instead, try looking into the camera on your computer. This will mean that when the interviewer looks at the screen, he/she will be able to make eye-contact with you. Also, try keeping the laptop/camera at eye-level.

Check the device before the interview

Usually, the interviewer will inform you about the application that the company uses for video call interviews. If you are not already using the application, ensure that you download it on your mobile as well as your laptop/computer. This is important since any problem with one device can bring the interview to a halt and a backup device can ensure that you connect with the interviewer immediately. Also, ensure that you do a trial video call with a friend or family member before the interview and iron out glitches if any.

Some additional pointers

Here are some additional things that you need to keep in mind for a video call interview:

  • Put your phone in the silent mode. You would not want any distractions at the time of your interview.
  • Use hand gestures when needed. You must not come across like a robot while talking. Be a good listener. Nod and smile to show that you are engaged.
  • Make sure your internet connection is stable. Poor connectivity could lead to the interview being rescheduled to a later date.
  • Close all other tabs, emails, window browser, while you are in a video conference. This will help you avoid any application eating into the bandwidth.
  • When you speak, look at the camera /webcam. Avoid looking at the interviewer on the screen. This will ensure proper eye contact.
  • Make sure the computer audio interface is good. Use good microphones connected to your computer.
  • Ensure the room is free of clutter and people.
  • If someone enters the room unexpectedly or there is some sudden noise, mute your microphone, till the sound subsides. And then unmute, apologize to the interviewer, and take it from there.

Summing Up

Even if the first impression is not the last impression, it undeniably makes a lasting impression. Therefore, even if the interview is scheduled via a video call, it is important that you approach it with equal fervor as an in-person interview. While the current lockdown has pulled the brakes on our levels of enthusiasm too, the interviewer will quickly understand the lack of energy and might form a negative opinion of you. Hence, ensure that you look positive and ready to start working. At Change Ur Story, we offer a specialized Interview Coaching service that allows you to be better prepared for the interview. Talk to us and allow us to help you through your next video call interview successfully!

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