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How to Prepare for an Online Video Interview

More companies than ever are looking for ways to save time and money when interviewing prospective employees. For this reason, online video interviews are more common than ever before. With this type of interview, the company and interviewee are able to save a lot of time. Along the same lines, both parties can save a bit of money as well. Preparing for an online video interview can be stressful. After all, most people have never been involved with one of these. While you may not know what to expect, there are several things you can do to ensure that you are 100% prepared:

1. Dress for success. Believe it or not, some people think that an online interview gives them the right to “dress down.” Nothing could be further from the truth. Remember, the person interviewing you will be able to see what you have on, as well as how you present yourself from start to finish. Dress just as you would for an in-person interview and you will be fine in this department and might even gain an easy advantage over other applicants.

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2. Bad lighting can kill an online interview before it starts. There is nothing worse than learning that the interviewer cannot see you due to bad lighting. Before you ever get started, make sure you set up your computer in a room that has the proper amount of artificial and natural light. It may take some trial and error to find the space in your home that is perfect.

3. What’s in the background? It is important to stay as professional as possible during an online video interview. A large part of this has to do with the background that you choose. What would look better: a solid white wall or your bed with superman sheets and a Garfield pillow? As you are searching for the right lighting, make sure you are also considering what the interviewer will be able to see in the background.

4. Use a headset – even if you think it is going to look silly. Your interviewer will appreciate the fact that you are doing whatever it takes to ensure high quality sound. If this is something you are completely against, make sure you at least test the microphone on your computer well in advance of the interview. If your answers cannot be heard you should not expect to land the job.

5. There is nothing worse than interruptions. It is of utmost importance that you avoid all interruptions, no matter how big or small you may believe them to be. This can include the door bell ringing, your cell phone vibrating, your friend coming into the room, or your dog barking. Before you ever sit down for your interview you must make sure that all potential interruptions are kept away for the time being.

6. Learn how to access the online interview system well in advance. No matter if the company is using their own system or a third party provider, it is essential that you know which website to visit, how to login, and what to do if you run into any issues.

Really, just treat the interview as you would an in-person interview and you’ll be just fine. Show that you’re serious and are treating the interview with your full attention, preparation, and respect.

Since online video interviews are just catching on, it would be interesting to hear from those who have experience. Feel free to leave your thoughts!

(photo credit: Keng Susumpow)

Chris Bibey
Chris Bibey is a freelance writer who over the years has honed his personal finance experience by writing more than 100 feature articles on the subject. In his spare time, Chris enjoys sports - West Virginia football in particular!

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