Lights, Camera, Action! 8 tips to ace a video interview

It's very little on what people know in delivering a video interview, to maximise their chance to secure the job

Author and digital executive Paul J. Bailo, states in The Essential Digital Interview Handbook that video interviews are time-efficient and cost-effective ways in which to interview prospective staff members. However, job seekers very often don’t know how best to tackle a video interview in order to maximise their chances of securing the role.

Here are his 8 tips for success:

1. Be prepared. Days before your video interview, check that your technology is working efficiently, and that there are no issues with your internet connection.

2. Make sure that your environment is not distracting. Remove any fussy picture arrangements from the wall behind you. Clear your desk of books and papers. Aim for a Zen like uncluttered space when you are setting up a video interview, so that nothing can distract from your communication.

3. Dress appropriately. Wear what you might wear to a formal interview in an office: a crisp suit for an executive role, or less-formal attire for a job in a creative industry. The correct dress will give you a professional mind-set. A future employer will sum you up within the first ten seconds of meeting you, so the overall impression should be one of professional efficiency – make those first ten seconds of contact count. Dress for the job you want, not for the job you have.

4. Keep bling to a minimum. If you wear make-up or jewellery, make sure that they are both understated: Choose small stud earrings over large hoops, and tone down the lipstick colour. The interviewer wants to focus on you and what you have to say rather than being distracted by your appearance.

5. Framing the shot. Position yourself at a comfortable distance from the camera, so that the focal point is an imaginary triangulated area from the top of your head down to your shoulders. Your interviewer will clearly be able to see your facial expression, your emotion and your smile. And that’s what’s going to help you ace the job interview.

6. Lighting is very important. Imagine that you are a studio photographer lighting a subject: Position a light to the left of you and another to the right, with a third light behind you. The three lights will create a ‘glowing’ effect around you, putting you at centre stage. You want to avoid any dark shadows falling on your face, particularly under your nose which can create a somewhat harsh effect.

7. The camera angle. The angle of the camera lens should be set at eye-level, and not too high nor too low. Look directly into the camera lens when answering questions: maintaining eye contact and a pleasant expression demonstrates poise and confidence during the interview.

8. Keep your body language open. Avoid crossing your arms, and keep hand movements to a minimum says Barbara Pachter, author of The Essentials of Business Etiquette: How to Greet, Eat, and Tweet Your Way to Success. You’re creating an image of yourself as soon as you turn on your camera, so you’ll want to exude confidence. This is your chance to be a star!

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