How to prepare for a video interview
You applied for an internship. You have a great CV, a killing cover letter, therefore the recruiters, extremely impressed by your experience, invite you in a blink on an eye to take an online video interview. That’s great news. But oh, wait…you have no clue how to make a good one. Honestly, that’s the stage I dislike most in an application process. It seems totally unnatural, that timer popping up in front of you makes it all even more uncomfortable and your English vocabulary seems to have gone on holiday.
No need to despair. Practice makes perfect and here are some tips on how to prepare for it and get that job you want.
Rehearse in front of the mirror
It’ll be very awkward to see yourself in front of the camera and to feel like you are addressing to yourself. Just sitting in front of a mirror and taking about yourself, your motivations, paying attention to your mimics and gestures can help a lot in familiarizing with the concept itself, in which there is no person to read their face expression based on what you say.
Place a photo of someone next to your web camera
Having an actual image of a person in front of you can help in establishing, to a certain degree, that context of face to face interaction. It won’t make wonders, nor will it be very convincing, but it can help you fix your eyes on a spot instead of looking around while thinking about an answer and seeming distracted. It can be a picture of a friend, if it helps you relax and smile, or someone you don’t know, to seem more authentic.
Don’t memorize your answers
This is a mistake many students do and it results in a bad outcome of the interview. It’s good to have some bullet points I mind and to write them down on a piece of paper, but make sure you are comfortable talking about them freely. There is a high chance that, if you try to say the exact same words, due to being nervous, you’ll forget the sentence and, in your attempts to remember it, you’ll lose time or stutter. Having some notes with the main ideas next to you is actually indicated and taking a glance on them from time to time will not affect negatively your interview.
Don’t leave it on the last day
Yes, it takes just 20 minutes, might as well just do it on the last day. Been there, done that, didn’t turn out well. Let me tell you a short “don’t do like her” story. I was really eager about this internship opportunity that I was invited to take an interview for. However, I haven’t checked my email on time (CHECK YOUR EMAIL DAILY), so when I did, it was the deadline day. Well, no problem, I’ll just quickly do it in the morning, I have plenty of time. When I opened my laptop, I realized my camera was not compatible with their site. Most of my friends were out of town, so they couldn’t help me out. I was going back and forth, calling acquaintances of acquaintances, desperately trying to find a laptop. After three laptops that didn’t work and two IT specialists that couldn’t identify a problem, I finally found a “match” for their site. Of course, I did the interview at around 10PM, with some very ‘natural’ desk light on and a lot of stress accumulated throughout the day. I think this is a pretty convincing example not to leave it on the last minute.
Dress code: you’re not going to a wedding, nor you are grocery shopping for bread
Shirts are universal and a safe option. Smart casual is the way to go.
Swivel chairs: not a good idea
You’re on a swivel chair, you implicitly swing and spin around. If you normally do it, imagine being nervous and just rolling around in an agitated, distracting way. This can leave the impression of feeling at unease…which, even if it may be true, shouldn’t be that visible.
Frequently asked questions
Tell us about yourself in a few words
Tell us three of your weaknesses/ strengths
Why do you want to work for us and what attracted you most to the job you’re applying for?
How can you successfully contribute to the position you want?
What’s your biggest achievement up to date?
Tell us about a time you’re encountered a challenging situation and how you managed to overcome it.
Hope you find this helpful and go get that interview done!