How Should I Prepare for A Video Interview? (3 Things You Should Be Doing)

You did it!  You made it past the phone interview and now, it’s time to set up that interview…on video.  Oh yeah that’s right, it’s still a interviews are a pretty popular thing now.  Believe it or not, video interviews actually existed before 2020, they just weren’t as popular so there’s a lot of information out there on how you should and shouldn’t prepare for a video interview.  The biggest question I get is “What should I wear?” or “Where should I have the interview?”.  If you’re someone asking those questions grab your popcorn and pay attention.  If you aren’t someone asking those questions but still need to brush up, you can grab some popcorn too, or maybe some Snow Caps (RIP Movie Theater candy).  Anyway here are some ways you should be preparing for your video interview.

  1. Dress to Impress, Still

Even though it’s a video interview at your house, it doesn’t mean you should just keep on what you’ve been wearing for the past three days (and hopefully you’ve showered in that time).  Now there are always a few exceptions to the rule, maybe you’re interviewing at Google, a company known for casual attire.  If you’re interviewing there congratulations, dressing up like you’re going to a black tie event probably isn’t necessary.  For the other 99% of the time, even if you think it’ll feel weird putting on dress clothes, you still need to.  Imagine the interviewer turning on their camera and seeing you in your sweatshirt from high school that is worn away so badly the letters are falling off (I certainly don’t have any of those).  First impressions are fortunately, or unfortunately, a huge part of the interview process.  So don’t be eating a sandwich with a backwards hat either.  Dress like you would be going to a real in person interview.  That is the rule of thumb.  If you need to get in the mood, get dressed, pack up your bag get in your car, drive around the block, don’t get in to an accident, and pull in to your drive way and act like you are going into an interview.  It may be a bit extreme I know, but it will definitely get you in the zone.

smiling young ethnic couple hugging and using smartphone on street
  • Be Aware of Where You Are

This is number 2 on the scale of importance. Dressing professionally is a must do, and this one is also very important.  If possible, try not to be in an area where there’s a strong sun glare or the interviewer can be distracted by what’s in the background.  This can range anywhere from your TV in the background with a show on (you might as well hang up and forget the interview at that point) to Oozy Osbourne posters in the background.  While there’s nothing wrong with Oozy, the interviewer may be more of a Guns N’ Roses or Backstreet Boys fan and this will distract them.  Your best option is finding a nice plain wall with maybe a painting hung on the wall behind you.  Again nothing like the painting of “The Last Supper” although I think there’s only one of those out there so if you have that I have some other questions for you, but something that won’t distract from the main conversation and can keep everyone’s ’focus.

  • Keep All Distractions Away

I know it’s hard if you have kids at home or a dog or other family members, but you need to find a quiet place.  100% of your focus needs to be on the interview.  Yes, if you son or daughter is accidentally lighting the house on fire then you may need to excuse yourself, but if you pretend that you are going to a real interview in person, then you should have gotten someone to watch your child.  Unless there’s an act of God happening, you should not be looking at your phone, looking around at the spider on the floor or glancing over at the TV.  You should be 100% focused on the person or people you are talking to.

A video interview can be a great opportunity to speak with a potential employer so make sure you treat it that way.  It should be taken seriously and you should be dedicating time to preparing yourself, your environment and your mind for the conversation.  Just because you are at home, it shouldn’t feel any less different than if you were in an office, except at an office you won’t have that beautiful smell of short ribs cooking in the slow cooker (just kidding remember NO DISTRACTIONS).  Don’t worry, you’ll be fine, just follow these steps and you can’t go wrong.

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