During this time of social distancing, our clients are conducting video interviews instead of meeting candidates in-person. So here are a few tips for a productive video interview.

If you are an employer scheduling the interview, we recommend planning an extra 5-10 minutes at the beginning of the call to test technology and work out any kinks. You might also want to offer alternate times (i.e., after your kids are asleep).

For candidates, best practices include:

Be flexible with your timing. Organizations are showing a lot more flexibility with timing, and there may be a time of day (including nights/weekends) that work better for both you and the hiring manager.
Prepare your software.

  1. Test your camera, microphone, and speaker settings (ideally using the same conference software, if possible).
  2. You will find a much better video connection (less blurry video and fewer lags on audio) if you can connect your computer directly to your home router via an ethernet cable, rather than connecting over WiFi.
  3. Close all other applications on your laptop.
  4. Silence your cell phone (including vibrate).
  5. If you will be sharing a presentation, practice screen sharing with someone else before the call.

Prepare your setting.

  1. Sit at a table or desk with a plain, neutral background. (Everybody understands you are at home so don’t worry about trying to look like you are in an office. Instead, opt for the setting with the strongest internet connection.)
  2. Check the webcam height. Elevate your laptop to eye level or above to avoid staring down into the camera. Sit about 2.5 to 3 feet back from your webcam.
  3. Adjust the lighting in the room to shine on your face, not behind you.
  4. Check the quality of your audio. (Soften the room with fabric if needed to lessen any echo from an empty room.)
  5. Try to keep kids and pets out of the room for the duration of the interview (but everyone is becoming more flexible on this point now).

Prepare yourself.

  1. Fully research the organization. Know who your interviewer is.
  2. Have the phone number of the interviewer in case video connection is lost.
  3. Print a copy of your resume to keep within reach.
  4. Attach post-it note reminders around the screen with prompts, or questions to ask.
  5. Dress professionally. (Research shows that business casual or professional dress works best.)
  6. Have a glass of water next to you.
  7. Have pen and paper at hand.

Engage fully in the interview.

  1. Look into the camera when speaking (not the screen).
  2. Give CAR interview answers (context, action, and result).
  3. You may even want to turn off your self-camera view from the conferencing app, so that you are more focused on the participants than yourself.
  4. Smile!

Send a same-day “thank you” email (ideally within 6-8 hours after the interview concludes).