Since the COVID-19 pandemic has forced almost everyone to stay in their homes, video interviewing has become part of the new normal when it comes to hiring jobs.
However, preparing for this kind of interview is similar to the preparation for any other job application—the same questions will be asked and the way you should conduct yourself will be the same. (Read: Leni Robredo Rolls Out Job Platform to Help Unemployed Filipinos) The only difference is that now, you will have to take some additional things into consideration such as hardware, software, how to look good on camera, and how to maintain proper eye contact.
Here are five tips on how to ace that video interview and land the job!
Video Interview Tip #1: Practice
The first important thing you should do is to conduct a dry run—this will help you come across as polished and professional. (Read: 2 Powerful Prayers for a Job Breakthrough) Invite a friend to do a practice interview to make sure you are comfortable connecting to the call. If you’re doing it via Zoom, record your meeting and use it to polish your skills. Study the recording so you can eliminate nervous tics or stammers from your delivery. Also, don’t forget to check if you have a stable internet connection to avoid delays or lag in the transmission!
Video Interview Tip #2: Eliminate Distractions
Losing your train of thought is easy—and it will be easier when there are distractions all around. Before your interview, close the door and windows in your room or wherever you are conducting the interview. Shut off the TV to avoid unnecessary noises. Silence your phone and make sure that the only window that is open on your computer screen is the video platform you are using.
Video Interview Tip #3: Find a Neutral Background
Professionals say that your background can make or break your video interview. A bedroom with a sloppy bed, a home office full of clutter, a kitchen table—all of these say something about you, and more often, none of it is good. (Read: We asked successful professionals: ‘What did you learn from your first job interview?’)
Not only is it unprofessional, but a noisy background also distracts the interview. Set yourself up against a completely blank background that doesn’t clash with your shirt. Also, make sure there’s at least 3 feet minimum between the back of your head and the wall so you won’t flatten your shot. Plus, it goes without saying to not use a filter or your favorite virtual background!
Video Interview Tip #4: Test Your Gear
Before the interview, download the necessary software and install a backup copy of it on a second device (install on both your phone and laptop) just in case one device fails. Remember that friend you practiced with? Get her again to do a test run on both devices to make sure audio and video are working and that your lighting is as good as possible. Test your earbuds, camera, and microphone. Do a test run again on the day of your interview to make sure that everything is in tiptop condition. (Read: CFC Launches Program to Help Displaced OFWs)
Video Interview Tip #5: Perfect Your Lighting
Getting that perfect lighting for video can be very difficult, especially if you’re in a home environment. But ideally, here are tips to achieve that perfect lighting for the camera: position two lights, if possible, at a diagonal in front of you. Table lamps work fine. Get plenty of light—natural light is better—so it doesn’t look like you’re hiding in the dark but not so much it creates a glare on your eyeglasses. Avoid fluorescent bulbs and eliminate any direct backlighting or overhead.