Four Tips to Nail a Video Interview

Kyla Hensley
Latest posts by Kyla Hensley (see all)

With any job interview, it’s all about leaving the interviewer with a positive impression. In this new work-from-home environment, the rules haven’t changed, but the format is a little different. Video interviews were growing in popularity before the COVID-19 pandemic, but they are now more common than ever. Understanding how to be successful during a video interview is now an essential skill for job seekers, and while they may not seem drastically different from in-person interviews, there are key differences.

I’ve outlined four actionable steps each veteran or military spouse can take to ensure success in your next video interview.

1. Research, research, research!

This is the key to any interview, and it remains critical here. Research the company, be familiar with news updates about the organization and the individuals interviewing you. You should also feel comfortable explaining how your experience relates to the role. Still feeling unsure ahead of the big day? Here’s a quick and easy video to build your interview preparation checklist.

2. Determine your video interview setup

The “little” details here will set you apart. Find a space in your home or office with a neutral background and ensure the area behind you is clutter-free and clean. Adjust your computer a little higher so the camera is level with your eyes. You don’t want to appear to be looking down interviewers. Next, test the technology ahead of time. Find a friend or family member to help you do a test run of the application or software. Try to do this at least one day before your interview at the same time your interview is scheduled. This will allow you to test background light, internet speed, audio and outside distractions.

3. Dress the part

It may seem fun to wear a suit top and sweatpants on the bottom, but please don’t do this. Dress exactly like you would if you were walking into an in-person interview. This will help you to feel and perform your very best. Approaching the interview with confidence and care is key. Dress for success is a catchphrase for a reason. If you’re unsure about what to wear, research the company culture. A good rule of thumb is to be dressed one level above what the company norm is. So if business casual without jackets is the norm, it would be appropriate to include a blazer or tie for your interview.

4. Practice, but don’t become stiff

Just as if you were preparing for an in-person interview, it will be important to practice your routine. Do a trial run to see how much time it takes you to get ready. Set up your laptop, log into the software, and be ready for the interview. Also, practice answering some trial questions in front of your computer. You should get used to making eye contact with the camera, not the screen, while answering questions. Be sure to smile while you wait for questions or when answering questions. The interviewers won’t be able to see the rest of your body language, so be sure to clearly answer your questions in a warm and welcoming tone.

At the end of the day, people hire people they want to work with. Let your personality show through. Remember, it’s okay to be a little nervous, it means you care about the outcome. You can’t do anything to get rid of the nerves, so acknowledge them and jump in. Good luck!