The Recruiting Blog of KG Workforce Solutions.

Tips for Video Interview Success

by Kelli Long

Video Interview

With the use of video interviews on the rise, being prepared is the key to video interview success. We have put together a checklist to ensure you are ready for your video interview.

Video Interview Success Tips & Checklist

Have a copy of your résumé printed.

  • Refer to it as needed during your interview.
  • Read your résumé before the interview. Refreshing your memory on the content of your résumé will help you answer questions during the interview.

Read the job description.

  • Look for strengths and weaknesses against the job description and your background.
  • Prepare responses for overcoming weaknesses and leveraging strengths.
  • Create a list of questions regarding the job duties.

Find a quiet and professional place.

  • Don’t use a completely empty room that might echo.
  • Use a professional background (desk, blank wall, etc.). Do not place the camera where a bathroom, bed, laundry room, or cluttered surface will be visible.

Test your video and audio in advance.

  • The camera should be 1-3 feet away from your face.
  • Position yourself so your shoulders and the top of your head are in the video box. There is no need for a full-body or mega-closeup face shot!
  • Make sure you have the right amount of light. Keep the light in front of you, not behind you.
  • If you are using a cell phone or tablet, put it on a stand or prop it against a stable item. This will reduce movement during the interview which can be very distracting.

Be on time.

  • Be prepared early in case the interviewer reaches out, but log in ONLY 2-3 minutes early. Some interviewers use generic login information (which I discourage) and you could log into another meeting or interview if you are too early.
  • Don’t be late.

Research the company, interviewers, and role in advance.

  • Review the website, social media pages, and recent press releases.
  • Check out reviews on the company website, Google, and other resources, such as Glassdoor and Facebook.

Prepare questions.

  • Don’t ask questions you could easily answer through basic research. Use your research to create meaningful questions that give you a better idea of the company culture, expectations of the role, and management style.
  • Prepare three to five questions. This gives you options if a few of your questions get answered before you ask.
  • Be mindful of time – you may not get to all of your questions. If that happens, just save them for the next interview.

Prepare your “professional story.”

  • Many interviewers ask situational or behavioral questions, such as “tell me about a time when…” Have your story ready – know what the situation was, what actions you took, and what the outcome was.
  • Practice answering questions using the STAR or CAR (Context/Challenge, Action, Result) approach. Aim for responses under 90 seconds – be detailed but concise.

Dress to impress.

  • Your attire for a video interview should be the same as it would be for an in-person interview (ok, you can be a little flexible on the shoes).

Be yourself.

  • Don’t try to be who you THINK the interviewer wants you to be. Be authentic. The goal of an interview is to assess the fit between a company and a potential employee. To do that effectively, both parties need to be authentic and honest.

Speak clearly.

  • Even if you are nervous, try not to talk too fast.
  • Avoid using slang and acronyms or jargon specific only to your current/former employer(s).
  • Use proper grammar.

Body language matters.

  • Sit up straight. This reduces mumbling and helps project interest in the conversation.
  • Smile. It is okay to give your cheeks a break, but smile frequently and be mindful of your facial expressions.
  • Make eye contact. Look at the interviewer on the screen instead of looking at yourself in the video box. This may be harder than you think, so practice!

No negative talk.

  • There is no room for negativity about past employers, former bosses, previous co-workers, your job search, finances, or any other topic during an interview.
  • Stay positive!
  • Be truthful about weaknesses and answers, but end on a positive note. If you have to discuss a negative experience or weakness, close the response with a lesson learned or confirmation on how you have overcome the weakness or learned from the experience.

Finish strong!

  • Express interest in the role before you end the video.
  • Send a thank you message after the interview. For tips on writing your message, check out this blog post.

Additional tips:

  • Get your jitters out BEFORE your interview. Go to the gym, take a quick walk, meditate, etc.; whatever “your” thing is for stress relief.
  • Practice answering common interview questions in advance.
  • Do not answer your cell phone – turn it off unless you are using it for the video interview.
  • Remind yourself that you are a ROCKSTAR! You are interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you. Know your value and sell yourself.
  • Do not lie. Do not “fake it till you make it.” Don’t be afraid to admit if you have no experience with something – be honest and focus on your passion to learn, ability to learn quickly, or interest in learning new things. Look for parallels to experience you do have and tie them together.

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Phone Interview Tips

by kgworkforce

A phone interview can be difficult, but it’s easier with a little preparation and practice. For many positions, especially contract positions, hiring decisions are made after one phone interview. YES, after only one telephone interview!! This means you only have one shot to make a great first impression and you won’t be able to rely on your charming smile or sparkling eyes. You have to sell yourself over the telephone in one conversation.

Below are some tips that can help ensure you nail your telephone interview.

Research before your phone interview.

Know basic details about the company, job requirements, and hiring manager/interviewer(s) before your phone interview. Ask questions that you can’t find on the company website.

Have your resume in front of you.

Read your resume before the interview and make sure you can provide examples that support what you have written on the resume. One of the surest ways to blow an interview is for the interviewer to ask you a question about your resume and you have NO IDEA what they are referring to. If you are working with a recruiter, make sure to get a copy of the resume he/she sent to the manager if they made any changes to your original resume.

Speak clearly and sit up straight.

Avoid mumbling, speed talking, slang, and improper grammar. Sitting up straight helps you articulate your speech and reduce mumbling, so even though you are interviewing via phone, posture matters!

Answer the question.

Make sure your responses actually answer the questions asked. In most cases, less is more, so avoid a rant. If the interviewer wants additional details, he/she will ask for them. However, if you ramble for 20 minutes, the interviewer may just stop listening! It is especially critical to be mindful of this in a phone interview where you won’t have the interviewer’s body language available to queue you in if this is happening!

Be ready at least 15 minutes early.

Be available, with your phone, at least 15 minutes before the interview is scheduled to start. Make sure your phone is charged and use a landline if available. If you have to use a cell phone, make sure you are in an area with good cell reception.

Avoid phone interview distractions.

Find a quiet place to take the call. Too much background noise can make it hard for the interviewer to understand you. Even though it’s a phone interview, dedicate the time to the interview and only the interview. Don’t wash dishes, use the restroom, fold laundry, check your email, etc.  During the interview, only focus on the interview just as you would do in an in-person interview.

Prepare your answers.

Practice answers to the most common interview questions (sample questions). There is no excuse to be caught off guard with any of these questions. Everyone knows these are the types of questions many interviewers ask, so BE PREPARED.

Express interest.

Don’t hang up the phone without expressing your interest in the job. This can be uncomfortable, so practice it ahead of time. Your expression of interest does not have to be a super aggressive sales-close, but should be sincere and clear!

Do not put the interviewer on hold.

Unless there is a significant emergency, it is not appropriate to put the interviewer on hold or take another call during the interview. It is sad that this even needs to be a point of discussion in this article. But it happens!

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