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9 Video Interview Dos and Don’ts Every Jobseeker Should Know

Video interviews come with their own set of unique challenges. Make sure you are ready to head them off with our video interview dos and don'ts.

A video interview can be a crucial step on your way to landing the job you want. This is often the first chance a hiring manager has to see you, and for you to make your first impression. The video interview can be a big step towards a face-to-face interview. Since this meeting also introduces a whole new list of things that could go wrong, so take the time to prepare a bit to ensure it goes off without a hitch. We've prepared a list of video interview dos and don'ts that will help you be prepared, calm and confident when the time comes to make the right first impression.

1. Do Double- and Triple-Check Your Technology

Nothing is worse than a bad connection when you are trying to communicate a point. You can't sell your strengths or your skills when your voice cuts in and out. Before a video interview, you be sure to test your technology. Engage in a practice run with someone close to you — watch your microphone, your connection, and your camera before the interview starts. Also, during the interview, keep your devices plugged into the outlet to avoid a dead battery.

2. Do Plan Your Background

The more distractions there are in the background of your video call, the less the interviewer can hear what you have to say. Set your "stage"Â with a simple background, preferably against a wall that isn't plain white. Choose a spot that is free of clutter or personal knickknacks. For the length of the call, your home should be as tidy as you'd keep your office at work.

3. Do Account for Extra Noise

Is your apartment building under construction? Does the neighbor yell at her kids constantly? Does your dog bark whenever someone walks past your front door? All these things will be distracting during a video interview and should be considered when choosing the right location. If you have roommates, kids or a spouse who works from home, encourage them to leave the house until you are finished with your call. If you can't control the noise in your home, choose a different location.

4. Do Look at the Camera

Position the camera at the top of your head rather than right at your face, as most people look better when shot from above. When you are speaking, look at the camera rather than the screen, although it's tempting to look at the interviewer's face.

5. Do Check Your Lighting

Choose a room to do your video interview where the lighting is flattering. If you wear glasses, be sure they have an anti-glare coating, and both men and women should use simple powder on the face to avoid shiny skin.

6. Don't Ignore Your Body Language

Just because you're sitting at home on your couch doesn't mean you can ignore your manners or your body language. Sit straight, don't slump over and keep your eyes on the camera the entire time, just as you would if you were in the same room as your interviewer. A video interview should be treated as a face-to-face interview that is performed through an alternate medium.

7. Don't Ramble

Often, the point of a video interview is for the hiring manager to save time by weeding out unqualified candidates before beginning face-to-face meetings. Some interviewing tools will cut you off after a certain length of time, and if you haven't gotten your point in there won't be another chance. Keep answers simple and to the point.

8. Don't Go Casual

You may think all the interviewers are going to see of you is from the waist up, but don't go casual in any part of your attire. You never know what might happen, and if you have to stand up for any reason during the interview, the recruiter might see that you are wearing your PJs on the bottom. Be fully dressed for a video interview; nothing shows disinterest more than a lack of effort in getting dressed.

9. Don't Be Rushed

For a face-to-face interview, you should give yourself an extra 10 to 15 minutes to get there and have some time to prepare. The same should hold true for phone interviews. Be seated and ready 15 minutes before your appointment to give yourself time to gather your thoughts and prepare.

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