As more employers embrace video and Web-based technologies to conduct screening interviews with prospective job candidates, it becomes increasingly important for you to be prepared as you begin your job-search. Here are some tips for successful interviewing via video/web.

Before Your Video/Web Interview

  1. Determine the Best Hardware to Use. If you are lucky enough to have multiple devices (such as a computer, tablet, smart phone), choose the one you are most comfortable with — and the one with the most reliable technology. If necessary, invest in purchasing — or borrowing — the best technology to use for the interview.  
  2. Select the Proper Location for the Interview. The ideal scenario for your interview location is a secluded room in which you can shut out distractions (and noises), control the lighting, and display a generic background. Ideally, you will want to have some diffused lighting so as not to create shadows or glare… and a plain wall as your backdrop. You should also have a location in which you can be seen on camera from about the waist up — not just your face.
  3. Test All the Technology. Test your connection. Test your camera. Test your lighting. Test your sound. Test the video program. Make sure you understand how it all works.
  4. Schedule at Least One Mock Interview. Under as close to identical circumstances as possible, schedule an interview with a friend, colleague, or family member. Practice both your interviewing skills, as well as the technology. If you can, record the interview so you can play it back for yourself. If you cannot record it, ask for as much feedback as possible — especially for how you look and sound.
  5. Plan for Glitches. Have a backup plan if something goes wrong the day of the interview.
  6. Complete Full Interview Preparations. Do not skimp on your interview prep. Conduct research on the employer, prepare responses to expected interview questions, formulate a few questions you want to ask, and determine the best professional outfit for the interview.

Day of the Web/Video Interview

  1. Test All Equipment Prior to Interview Time. Do a run-through at least an hour before your interview time.
  2. Dress Professionally. Remember, nothing too flashy. If unsure, view yourself in the monitor.
  3. Turn Off Before Interview Starts. Remember to turn off all apps and programs that might interrupt the interview.
  4. Go Under. Go to your interview location and shut out all distractions.
  5. Remember Your Nonverbals. Make solid eye contact and smile at appropriate times. Have good posture and even lean in a bit. Use hand gestures to make your point.
  6. Look Directly into the Camera. You might be tempted to look at the monitor or yourself, but focus on making eye contact via the camera.
  7. Have a Conversation. Speak in a conversational voice, just as you would in an actual interview situation.
  8. Notes if You Need Them. Unlike other interview situations, you can have some notes in front of you (off camera) to remind you of critical issues you want to highlight, but do NOT overuse them, or you will look odd on camera.
  9. Take a Second. When responding to questions from the interviewer, nod, but take a second before responding in case the connection is weak — so that you do not end up talking over the interviewer.

Information adapted from Quintessential Careers "Top Tips for How to Ace Your Online Video Job Interview".