Video Interview Etiquette Best Practices

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The rules of video interview etiquette are an important part of your job search. Study our list of video interview best practices and get one step closer to landing the job you’re after.

You’ve written and submitted a great cover letter and resume, and caught the attention of the hiring manager. You’ve practiced your responses and you feel prepared to answer any question that might be thrown your way during a video interview. But have you brushed up on your video interview etiquette lately? We’ve put together a list of best practices for video interview etiquette to ensure that you optimize this chance to impress the interviewers.

Address Technical Problems Up Front

Even if you’ve double and triple checked your own technology and everything is working fine, there is still a chance that there could be a glitch in the interviewer’s system. Mention a bad connection right away and feel free to ask for a question to be repeated if you didn’t understand what was said.

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Choose Your Location

Always choose a quiet location with a clean, simple background. Before the interview, sit where you plan to hold the interview, turn on your computer’s camera and look behind you. Is the room tidy? Are there any knickknacks or clutter that should be removed before your interview? Keeping the background plain and simple will keep the attention focused on you rather than on your home.

Use Notes

One of the benefits of a video interview is that you don’t have to memorize everything you want to say to the interviewer. Feel free to keep a copy of your resume or a list of highlighted notes off to the side during your interview — but don’t read directly from your notes or shuffle papers during the call.

Remain Present

It’s easy to get distracted by your surroundings during a video interview, but it’s essential that you are actively listening during every step of the meeting. Even if you feel the interviewer is rambling, stay focused and in the moment during every second of the call. Rather than thinking about what your response, really listen to what the interviewer is asking. Try to nod while the interviewer is talking or give other nonverbal clues that you are in the moment and actively listening to the conversation.

Be Pleasant

It may feel awkward to talk to a video screen for an interview but don’t forget to put a smile on your face and show that you are happy to be there. Even without a face-to-face meeting, you can let your personality and charisma shine through if your facial expressions are pleasant throughout the interview. Don’t roll your eyes or frown, but rather be pleasant without seeming fake.

Watch Where You Look

Anytime you are using a webcam, it’s easy to look at the screen rather than at the face of the person interviewing you. Direct all your answers to the camera rather than to the interviewer. If this feels unnatural to you, it may be beneficial to practice before your official interview.

Dress Professionally

Even though the interview is essentially taking place in your own home if that’s the setting you choose, this doesn’t mean you should wear casual clothes or pajamas. Dress as if you were attending a face-to-face interview: professionally from top to bottom. Stay away from bright prints that draw attention — after all, you want the interviewer to focus on what you are saying rather than on what you are wearing.

Control Your Body

Like in an in-person interview, any exaggerated hand gestures or fidgeting are incredibly distracting during a video interview. Keep your hands in your lap, and if you do tend to use hand gestures, keep your motions small. Don’t fidget during the interview, and never chew gum while you are speaking. Keep your attention focused on the screen, and remove any distractions before the interview starts. Maintain eye contact, and answer questions simply and efficiently.

Video interviews allow hiring managers to consider applicants from all over the world and are the perfect opportunity for you to highlight your skills. With this list of video interview etiquette, you’ll be prepared to ace your next video interview and get the job.

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