Video Conference Interview Tips

A video conference interview is an ideal component of a long-distance job search. It minimizes travel and other expenses while giving an employer the opportunity to meet with a candidate using a human-like interaction. Video conference interviews can connect many participants who are in different locations. Given the number of remote working relationships and the advances that technology brings to the workplace, video conference interviews may connect job-seekers to companies they may not have previously considered.

Preparation is Key

Robert Half Talent Solutions notes that a video conference interview is like any other one-on-one interview. The only difference is that you're using technology to bridge the distance between you and the interviewer. Prepare by practicing interview questions and answers at least several days before your scheduled interview. Don't skimp on your preparation just because you aren't going to be in the same room as the interviewer.

Dressing for Success

Wear an interview suit, and not just the jacket and tie or the jacket and blouse. If you have to reach across your desk or stand up to retrieve something beyond arm's length, you don't want to be embarrassed by showing you're in pajamas or sweatpants. Dark colors are best for video conferences. Wear a dark suit and pastel shirt or blouse; stark white shirts or blouses are not as appealing on camera. Men should wear a tie and women should wear a comfortably fitting blouse with a modest neckline.

As you would in a face-to-face interview, refrain from wearing too much makeup, too much jewelry, loud prints and stripes, or anything else that's distracting. Being on camera will only magnify distractions.

Technical Equipment

Employment website Indeed recommends logging into your computer at least 15 minutes ahead of the scheduled interview to make sure everything is working properly. Do a test run immediately before the interview starts, and double check your microphone and speakers to be sure they're in working order. Make sure you are positioned properly in front of the camera.

Another employment website, Monster, advises you to provide the interviewer with a phone number so you can be contacted in the event of a technology failure. No matter how many times you check your internet connection, glitches occur. It's important to be prepared.

Interview Materials

Just as you would do for a one-on-one interview in person, have a copy of your resume at your fingertips, your email box up and running, and easy access to electronic versions of your resume and reference files. You may have to quickly email the interviewer a copy of your resume or your list of references; you don't want to leave her hanging while you boot up.

Keep a notepad and pen or pencil handy to take brief notes during the interview; however, avoid rearranging papers or tapping your pen during the meeting, because those can be very distracting noises that a microphone will magnify.

Keep It Professional

During your on-camera interview, you may be tempted to exaggerate your hand gestures and facial expressions because you're aware of the distance. However, don't use your hands any more than you normally would when you're having a conversation. Maintain eye contact but don't stare at the screen. Look at the person who's interviewing you. Speak clearly and ask the interviewer to repeat any questions you don't understand. Refrain from looking at notes you may have prepared for the interview because that will detract from your ability to maintain eye contact.

Video Interview Background

Remember to check your video interview background. Use a green screen, or make sure your setting is tidy. It's difficult to make a positive, professional appearance if there's laundry piled on the bed or a cluttered kitchen counter in the background.