Don’t wing it
As Thomas Edison once said, “good fortune often happens when opportunity meets with preparation.” Do not let your dream job slip through your fingers simply because you experienced technical difficulties or your cat spontaneously decided to participate in the recruitment process. Prepare for your video interview as you would for an in-person interview - and treat it just as seriously. Do not forget to research the company you are applying to, try to anticipate the questions you might get and write down the ones you want to ask the recruiter. If you have asked for a morning interview, remember to set the alarm clock the night before. You do not want to show up late to an online interview!
Look the part
Dress appropriately from head to toe, not just from the waist up. While it may be tempting to stay in your pyjama trousers and slippers, getting fully dressed will help you switch to “work mode” and feel better prepared for the interview. Also, pay attention to your body language - sit up straight, do not slouch, try to smile and maintain eye contact with the recruiter by looking directly into the camera.
Find the right spot
Take a good look at your surroundings and find a neutral background (preferably a blank wall or a neat bookshelf) to avoid distracting your interviewer during the conversation. Make sure that the space behind you looks tidy and presentable and that your face is evenly lit. Natural light is obviously the best but avoid sitting in front of a window - you will be backlit and covered in shadow.
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Reduce the noise
Eliminate distracting background sounds - let your family (or flatmates) know about your interview just to be sure your voice will not be drowned out by television or a vacuum cleaner. Remember to put your phone on mute and close all unnecessary tabs and windows on your computer. If you have pets - try to keep them out of your room for the duration of the interview. They may look cute on camera but you do not want your dog to start barking in the middle of the meeting.
Check your technology
Finally, test your equipment to ensure everything is working properly. Download the necessary software and take some time to become familiar with its features. Check your internet connection, your microphone and the camera angle - ideally, your camera should be at eye level and about an arm’s length from your face. If possible, use earbuds to improve the sound quality. Once you have set up all the devices, ask one of your friends to do a mock interview with you. It will help you make sure everything is up to scratch.
Good luck with the interview!
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