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How to set up for a video interview

So, you have a video interview and you aren't really prepared for it.  Here are a few tips I suggest for setting up a video interview. 

First off, test it out in advance, the worse thing to happen is that it doesn't work when it's time and you end up taking 20 minutes trying to figure it out.  That definitely won't make a good first impression and  you're likely to be so nervous and flustered during the interview. 

So, to test it out, do it as soon as possible.  Test the following

  1. Your mic - do you have a built in mic or a headset you can use?  A headset is best to tune out the external noises.
  2. Your camera - Make sure your camera works. 
  3. Positioning - it's best to position the camera so that you're looking as close to dead on as possible.  Anything between head and shoulders and mid-shoulders should be fine,  but you don't need to show your entire body.  You may need to use your outdated phone book, shoe box or something else to prop it up so you can see your interviewer eye to eye.  As a large chested woman, the worst thing is for the angle to be from the chest up, it is distracting for the interviewer and makes me feel very self conscious during the conversation. It's also awkward for other body types as well. 
  4. Attire - make sure you're wearing correct attire from top to bottom just in case you have to stand up and get some thing during the interview.  The worst thing is for an interviewer to see pajama bottoms while you're chatting.
  5. Lighting - Use plain lights, stay away from colors.  If you have a dark lamp shade, you may want to remove it and adjust your lights to a more neutral color. I have dark skin so sometimes lighting can be an issue for me.  I always make sure I have a good deal of light in the front of my face and not behind my face.  If you have lighter skin, you want to make sure the lights aren't too bright and wash you out.   
  6. Background - Make sure that whatever is in the background looks professional.  A plain wall is fine, or even a closed door.  If you do have photos, just be sure they are tasteful. Make sure there's no visible piles of paper or trash in the view.  If so, move them to the other side of the room so that it can't be seen on a camera.

P.S.  If you're using a cell phone there are some great ways to set it up on your desk. You can use a few books to prop it up, or even make a cut out in a paper cup and flip it upside down to hold it in along with your cord.  There are several ways to be creative.  Be sure to test it and ensure in advance that it doesn't move around during your interview. 


Question:  What are some other tips you have for video interviews? 

~ Coach Chantel, Job Search Guide

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So, you have a video interview and you aren't really prepared for it.  Here are a few tips I suggest for setting up a video interview. 

First off, test it out in advance, the worse thing to happen is that it doesn't work when it's time and you end up taking 20 minutes trying to figure it out.  That definitely won't make a good first impression and  you're likely to be so nervous and flustered during the interview. 

So, to test it out, do it as soon as possible.  Test the following

  1. Your mic - do you have a built in mic or a headset you can use?  A headset is best to tune out the external noises.
  2. Your camera - Make sure your camera works. 
  3. Positioning - it's best to position the camera so that you're looking as close to dead on as possible.  Anything between head and shoulders and mid-shoulders should be fine,  but you don't need to show your entire body.  You may need to use your outdated phone book, shoe box or something else to prop it up so you can see your interviewer eye to eye.  As a large chested woman, the worst thing is for the angle to be from the chest up, it is distracting for the interviewer and makes me feel very self conscious during the conversation. It's also awkward for other body types as well. 
  4. Attire - make sure you're wearing correct attire from top to bottom just in case you have to stand up and get some thing during the interview.  The worst thing is for an interviewer to see pajama bottoms while you're chatting.
  5. Lighting - Use plain lights, stay away from colors.  If you have a dark lamp shade, you may want to remove it and adjust your lights to a more neutral color. I have dark skin so sometimes lighting can be an issue for me.  I always make sure I have a good deal of light in the front of my face and not behind my face.  If you have lighter skin, you want to make sure the lights aren't too bright and wash you out.   
  6. Background - Make sure that whatever is in the background looks professional.  A plain wall is fine, or even a closed door.  If you do have photos, just be sure they are tasteful. Make sure there's no visible piles of paper or trash in the view.  If so, move them to the other side of the room so that it can't be seen on a camera.

P.S.  If you're using a cell phone there are some great ways to set it up on your desk. You can use a few books to prop it up, or even make a cut out in a paper cup and flip it upside down to hold it in along with your cord.  There are several ways to be creative.  Be sure to test it and ensure in advance that it doesn't move around during your interview. 


Question:  What are some other tips you have for video interviews? 

~ Coach Chantel, Job Search Guide

Mar 16, 2020 Solution by original poster
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So, you have a video interview and you aren't really prepared for it.  Here are a few tips I suggest for setting up a video interview. 

First off, test it out in advance, the worse thing to happen is that it doesn't work when it's time and you end up taking 20 minutes trying to figure it out.  That definitely won't make a good first impression and  you're likely to be so nervous and flustered during the interview. 

So, to test it out, do it as soon as possible.  Test the following

  1. Your mic - do you have a built in mic or a headset you can use?  A headset is best to tune out the external noises.
  2. Your camera - Make sure your camera works. 
  3. Positioning - it's best to position the camera so that you're looking as close to dead on as possible.  Anything between head and shoulders and mid-shoulders should be fine,  but you don't need to show your entire body.  You may need to use your outdated phone book, shoe box or something else to prop it up so you can see your interviewer eye to eye.  As a large chested woman, the worst thing is for the angle to be from the chest up, it is distracting for the interviewer and makes me feel very self conscious during the conversation. It's also awkward for other body types as well. 
  4. Attire - make sure you're wearing correct attire from top to bottom just in case you have to stand up and get some thing during the interview.  The worst thing is for an interviewer to see pajama bottoms while you're chatting.
  5. Lighting - Use plain lights, stay away from colors.  If you have a dark lamp shade, you may want to remove it and adjust your lights to a more neutral color. I have dark skin so sometimes lighting can be an issue for me.  I always make sure I have a good deal of light in the front of my face and not behind my face.  If you have lighter skin, you want to make sure the lights aren't too bright and wash you out.   
  6. Background - Make sure that whatever is in the background looks professional.  A plain wall is fine, or even a closed door.  If you do have photos, just be sure they are tasteful. Make sure there's no visible piles of paper or trash in the view.  If so, move them to the other side of the room so that it can't be seen on a camera.

P.S.  If you're using a cell phone there are some great ways to set it up on your desk. You can use a few books to prop it up, or even make a cut out in a paper cup and flip it upside down to hold it in along with your cord.  There are several ways to be creative.  Be sure to test it and ensure in advance that it doesn't move around during your interview. 


Question:  What are some other tips you have for video interviews? 

~ Coach Chantel, Job Search Guide

Mar 16, 2020 Solution by original poster
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Very important post @coach-chantel. Another thing I try to do is strategically choose the room in the house that is the quietest and most insulated from noise. During a video call test, I realized the caller might hear faint sounds of traffic because my living room had a view of the street below. So, then I switched to my bedroom which was much quieter. I also let my dog hang out on the patio with a bone or I will put her in daycare. You don’t want barking to drown out your responses to interview questions! I also go through a mock call with a friend to make sure no technical difficulties come up.

Mar 16, 2020 Solution by original poster
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Great topic.  In addition to all the fabulous tips by @coach-chantel and @Alex_B, I'd like to add that whether you're the interviewer or the interviewee, it's important that you have proper video conferencing etiquette (this also applies for all the newly remote work from home individuals as well) to ensure that your interview conference call is as effective and productive as it can be.

1. Posture - sit up straight. Be conscious to use the same good posture as you would during an in-person interview. Body language speaks volumes and posture speaks about confidence and being poised - this matters. 

2. Eye contact - We all know how important eye contact is when we are in front of someone, and the same applies for the video interview. Again, the non-verbal with eye contact conveys confidence and a trustworthiness (where as shifty eyes say something else).  This (appropriate eye contact) is really important on a video call as it becomes obvious if you are staring down, off to the side of your screen whilst talking. Maintain eye contact in a more natural way by looking directly at the camera, not your computer screen when answering questions. 

3. Avoid excessive body movements - Try to be conscious of how you are holding your body. Try not to fidget by drumming your fingers, playing with your hair, phone or anything else that relays feelings of anxiety and nervousness. Try to keep your body movements calm and relaxed. Use of hand gestures is appropriate, but avoid being overly animated. When the others are speaking, sit calmly and listen attentively with an occasional nod of the head to indicate that you are paying attention. 

Practice doing a video call before hand, especially if you have never done one.  This will allow you to feel more calm and more importantly, confident! - Good luck.  

Mar 16, 2020 Solution by original poster
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This is an excellent topic and very good advice given! Continuing the discussion, practice runs are a great idea but remember videoconference interviews are just as much a two-way conversation as standard interviews, which means you should be an active listener, remain present, and be engaged throughout the interview. It may feel strange, but you should look at the camera and not the screen when answering, which will ensure you make eye contact with the person or persons interviewing you.

~ Coach WKiser

Mar 19, 2020 Solution by original poster
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Thank you all for the great tips and advice. Several of my clients are currently making the transition to work from home and are finding the transition to be challenging - understandably so. For many, this is their first time utilizing zoom and other online platforms. A common issue that comes up and that I hear often, is lack of preplanning (taking the time to get set up and practice navigating the platform). This often results in issues around audio settings, video settings, and lack of consistent internet connection during a call/meeting. I highly recommend that you take the extra time (initially) to ensure everything is working properly and to practice, practice, practice. This will help you become more comfortable with being in front of the camera and can go a long way. Thanks again for the valuable tips everyone! 😊

Wishing you all the best of luck! ~Leticia 

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Mar 20, 2020 Solution by original poster
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Setting the Stage - IN YOUR FAVOR

 

You have a great deal of control during the remote/video interview. In addition to the terrific insights shared by @coach-chantel and @Lmanzanares, also consider the following...

 

You can place your resume within reading distance (digitally on a split or second screen) or as a print-out with key items (words and phrases) highlighted to quickly catch your eye. You can also take a sharpie marker and a large piece of paper and (in large print) write down some key terms on the paper (to trigger your memory to communicate skills, strengths, learning/training items, accomplishments during the video interview.

 

The key is to be sure that this resource material be set-up within a normal viewing distance/pattern from your web camera, so that a simple, slight glance up, down or to the side will allow for your viewing and not be a distraction for the interviewer(s). You can certainly practice this technique with a friend/peer using Skype or Zoom.  --John

Mar 20, 2020 Solution by original poster
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I recently had an online interview that went well. I used all the tips above.  A couple of little tips would be to conduct yourself as if the interview was in person. Dress for the interview as if you were in their office.  Don’t have coffee or other drinks in front of you (unless the interviewer allows or offers it). It can be distracting during  an interview. And silence any background noise. (Radio, tv, phones).  If you have children at home, try to set up entertainment for them in another room if possible.  Explain that you have a meeting and have someone keep an eye on them while you interview.  Just a few suggestions from someone who has interviewed via conference call. 

Mar 31, 2020 Solution by original poster
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The best way to deal with glasses reflection is to make sure they are very clean first and then tip the bows of your glasses slightly up to change the angle of the glass.  That should reduce the glare.  It may feel funny but it only takes a slight tilt to remove the glare. 

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Mar 31, 2020 Solution by original poster
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@domhaley 

If you're a recruiter or hiring manager responsible for conducting interviews, I would consider a platform that is targeted for video interviewing, such as: 

  • VidCruiter 
  • AllyO 
  • Spark Hire 
  • HireVue
  • OutMatch
  • Montage 
  • RIVS
  • Jobvite 
  • InterviewStream 

On the other hand, if you're a small business or solopreneur looking for an assistant, you can use some of the other platforms that don't require a large scale investment.  Zoom, Google Hangouts, Skype and uberconference are some low-cost alternatives.  As for using Facebook video chats, I'm not sure how that would reflect on your brand, so before you decide to use it, consider what types of candidates and positions you're recruiting for.   The good thing is that now with the COVID-19 virus, fewer people are concerned with how they get the job, as long as the job is legitimate and you're a serious employer. 

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Mar 31, 2020 Solution by original poster
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The nice and awesome topic of the time. 

But I don't have an all the tools to produce a professional-looking video. Most cases getting the 3 minutes short videos to introduce my self- "WHO I AM" "SOCIAL MEDIA ROCKSTAR" "INTRODUCE YOURSELF" etc.... BLA BLA...

Just I have Android Mob and Normal Webcam that all. I cam produce a high-resolution professional one. Editing and other options itself a niche...but I can only normal one.

I have downloaded VideoLan, Openshot Video Editor and YouTube studio- will take so much time and tutorials to Grip....all tips and tics 

Please advice simple tips to way out ...

Looking forward to hearing from you all. 

Best...and be safe COVID-19 and stay at HOME

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Mar 31, 2020 Solution by original poster
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Thanks for sharing your perspective @Lekubd. Interviewers understand we don't have professional cameras at home. They aren't expecting a certain quality contrast on the video but they are looking to see that you took the time to prepare and look presentable for the virtual interview. 

 

@coach-chantel offered some really great tips on how to set up the interview. if you follow these, I'm sure you'll be within guidelines. To add my 2 cents, I suggest practicing your camera voice/image prior to the interview to make sure you look and sound as good as possible. Remember, we may not ever get the Hollywood angles or lighting but you can test the position of your camera, your computer/phone volume, and the lighting in your space. Try to avoid dark places or rooms with busy backgrounds. 

 

Follow these tips and you'll ace it. As long as you prepared your interview responses, you're in great shape.

 

-Monique Davis, Career Coach

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Apr 2, 2020 Solution by original poster
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- Leave your device plugged to reduce the chance of any technical problems.
- Have enough space to put papers next to you, including your list of questions, pad of paper to write notes, etc. You don't want to give the impression that you aren't set up to work from home effectively if the job requires it.

- Bring your own water to the meeting. 

- Check yourself in the mirror before you log on. 

- Don't talk about the pandemic if you can avoid it. Adds more stress to an already stressful situation.

- Don't comment on their background (room, pictures, etc). It's their personal space, and this is a professional meeting.       

And smile! You can't shake their hand so you need another way to make a positive connection. 

Best of luck!

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Apr 3, 2020 Solution by original poster
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Yes!  I love this thread.  One thing I would add is to request a "Dry Run" with your recruiter.  Leverage their expertise and time.  They are there to set you up for success.  Remember, if you are scheduled for an interview the expectations for the interview team is that you are absolutely qualified for the position. 

 

Best of luck!

This information is provided as a courtesy for informational purposes only. We are not career or legal advisors and do not guarantee job interviews or offers.
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May 8, 2020 Solution by original poster
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