So you have an interview over video chat. No surprise. It’s the twenty-first century and as video chat gets bigger and bigger, as does its use in businesses—including for job interviews. First of all, great news! On the whole, video chat interviews are much more successful than phone interviews. Video chat allows for the use of body language, which is as much as 55% of communication.
But, video interviews can be tricky. The environment is different from the space you’ve been conditioned to expect, and there are all these weird, extra things to know like what to wear, where to sit, and how to conduct yourself. After all, it’s not like you can start off with a firm handshake. Never fear! Below, you’ll find our best tips for conquering the video chat interview.
1. Attitude is Everything
Just like any other kind of interview, attitude is a key component for success. In an in-person setting, attitude is conveyed through inflection, body language, and any number of imperceptible communication tools. When interviewing remotely, body language is a little trickier. Luckily, this isn’t a phone interview, so you have the opportunity to convey confidence and poise through body language. Sit up straight, look forward, and remember to smile. Research indicates that smiling enhances likability, which can sway a hiring manager’s decision if you’re up against applicants with similar experience levels.
For specific tips on putting your best smile forward, check out this link. Oh, and by the way, ditch the gum.
2. Use the right platform
Okay, to be fair, this is a tough one. There’s not much you can do if an employer chooses to use a bulky, confusing platform like Skype. In these situations, you should probably just take some time before the interview and try to get as comfortable as you can with the technology.
If you have any wiggle room—or if you’re setting up the interview—try a platform that’s web-based and easy to use. OneClick.chat doesn’t require any downloads, works from any device, anywhere in the world, and is accessible with just one click. No time wasted trying to understand the technology—just jump in and get started.
Every article about interviewing that has ever been written describes this one vital tip: research the job you’re applying for. This tip is two-fold. One, be sure you’re familiar with the specific requirements of the position itself, and prepare answers accordingly. Two, become familiar with the company you’re applying to work at. If you can congratulate a hiring manager on a recent award the company has received, they’ll know you’re serious about the job.
If you find this step stressful, check out this article about what exactly you should research for a job interview.
4. Hand movements
So this one sort of goes hand-in-hand—if you’ll pardon the pun—with the tip about body language, but in video chat interviews, what you do with your hands is even more important. After all, most likely an interviewer can only see the upper part of your body, and your hands are one of the only ways you can convey confidence through body language.
The basics are:
Do show your palms or press your fingertips together (see this article for a photograph on this one)
Don’t place palms downward, tap your fingers, conceal your hands, or make too many hand gestures
5. Pick a good space
For video chat interviews specifically, where you set up your computer is very important. A couple of things to keep in mind about the environment:
Choose somewhere quiet, where you won’t be interrupted
Pay attention to the background. Something clean and basic looking works well, while something messier or more decorative—like your daughter’s Wiggles poster—doesn’t create a good first impression
Be sure your camera is set at eye-level
Check that any extra devices you’re using—like microphones, speakers, or exterior cameras—are ready and working properly
6. Dress to impress
We get it. You’re at home, in your comfy space, so you may be tempted to wear sweatpants below that blazer. But research indicates that dressing well promotes a sense of confidence, and in fact many studies suggest that you should dress appropriately, even if just for a phone interview.
Besides, when you have to stand up and adjust something, you’ll save yourself a lot of embarrassment.
7. Have PDFs of your resume and cover letter ready
Just because the interview is virtual doesn’t mean you’ve gotten out of bringing a copy of your resume. Often, interviewers will ask if you can email copies of these documents. Oh, and as a rule of thumb, always have them saved as a PDF. That way, anyone on any device can open them, without messing up the formatting.
8. Finally, relax. You’ve got this.
Confidence is absolutely key. Remember all the things you practice for a regular interview: don’t fidget or look away, speak slowly, and don’t sound desperate.
If you’re still lost, check out this more in-depth article about how to prepare for job interviews in general.