Job interviews are always a somewhat anxiety-inducing event. Due to the spread of COVID-19 the job interview landscape has changed drastically. Gone are the days of meeting in offices. With videoconferencing here to stay for the foreseeable future, there are some easy video interview tips that you can follow to put your best foot forward and make a good impression on your potential future employer.
At Coding Dojo, we’re experts at helping our students land great jobs after graduation. But even if you’re not our student, we want to help you, too. We’re all in the Coronavirus craziness together!
So, with this “new normal,” here are four video interview tips to help you ace your next big moment!
The Typical Rules Still Apply
While the interviews are digital, the same rules for physical interviews still apply. That means you need to dress professionally, make sure your appearance is tidy, and you stay focused solely on why you’re there: The interview. Doing job interviews from home may be a little trickier, so make sure to limit all potential distractions, tell your family or friends to not enter the room, and temporarily move any pets out of the room.
Perfect Your Setup
Now it’s time to work on your setup. The devil is in the details, so making little tweaks can go a long way!
First, find a neutral background to sit in front of and make sure it doesn’t clash with your professional attire. If there is not a solid background (like a painted wall, to use) make sure to tidy up your room — no interviewer wants to look at your dirty clothes or unmade bed. Beyond looking unprofessional, it could potentially distract the interviewer from your conversation.
Once your room is ready to go, focus on your lighting. It may be a little difficult to find the right balance, but lighting is crucial to a good video conferencing setup. You don’t want too little light and give the impression that you live in a cave. You also don’t want too much lighting that would wash out your face. Try to sit near natural lighting, but avoid direct back-lighting (like a window behind you), as it will bring too much light in. If natural lighting isn’t available, position two lamps at a diagonal in front of you, one to your right and one to your left.
Practice Makes Perfect
Just like anything in life, the more you practice your video interviews the better you’ll do in real ones. With video interviews, you may run into technical difficulties, too. Make sure to test whatever gear (like webcams, video conferencing software, etc.) you’ll be using for the interview, and while you’re testing you can get a few practice interviews in! Set up a time (or a few) with a friend or family member to do a mock interview so you can test in a comfortable environment.
One other thing to keep in mind is your video interview’s time. With in-person interviews, this is never an issue – but it is while working and interviewing remotely. Double-check the timezone of your interview and make sure to adjust your calendar invites or reminders accordingly. If it is unclear what timezone your interviewer lives in, make sure to ask ahead of time.
Master the Digital Aspects
Now that you’ve practiced, tidied up, and set up all your gear, it’s time for some of the unique aspects of video interviews. For sound, make sure to wear earbuds or small headphones so you can hear the conversation clearly. For your video, pick whichever webcam has the best resolution – if you have an external webcam, that will often perform better than the built-in webcam that your laptop comes with.
During the interview itself, stare at your webcam instead of your interviewer’s face. This is tricky at first, but gets easier with practice. Doing this replicates keeping eye contact with your interviewer (always a best practice) and will prevent them from thinking you’re staring off elsewhere.
A tip to do this is to resize and move the video conferencing window so it’s up near your webcam. While you’re at it, you can also create a cheat sheet with highlights you want to get across or other points of interest you don’t want to forget. This cheat sheet can be a sticky note on your computer, a notepad on your screen, or anything else that’s discrete will get the job done!
We hope these video interview tips are helpful. If you are interested in reskilling to find a better career, Coding Dojo bootcamp offers accelerated learning programs that can transform your life. We offer both part-time and full-time online courses, as well as onsite (once safe to do so) programs. We also offer financing options, scholarships, and other tuition assistance programs to help you with financial barriers.
If you want to invest in yourself and your future, there is no better time than the present! If you’re interested, use this link to schedule a 15-min exploratory session with one of our Admissions representatives today.