5 Things To Avoid So You Don't Totally Bomb Your Video Interview

20th Century Fox

Video interviews are becoming an increasingly more popular way of seeing if a candidate is worth the company’s time.

WayUp’s in-house recruiter, Julie Olsson, says she can get a lot more from a video interview than a phone interview.

She says,

When you’re interviewing someone on the phone, you can’t pick up on their body language, eye contact or the way they carry themselves, which are all very important to understanding whether someone is a cultural fit for your company. A video interview is more efficient because you can eliminate a person who isn’t the right cultural fit early on, and you have a lower risk of setting someone up who isn’t right to meet with your team.

Employers are able to eliminate far more candidates from the pipeline because a video interview reveals whether or not you’re ready and fit for the next hurdle.

Because getting to that next round is crucial, here are a five ways to make sure you don’t stumble on the track:

1. You treated it as a chance to chill in loungewear.

As cool as it would be to get a job while wearing a onesie, a video interview is not a video chat.

Sweatshirts, PJs and anything that would make you look like a cool person to chill with on a lazy Saturday (as opposed to someone an employer would actually want to hire) are out.

Because this is the employer’s first impression of you, start off on the right foot by putting effort into your appearance.

Dress like a professional (at least from the waist up).

Try to match the dress code of the office as well.

If you know that company employees dress in business casual, then go with that look.

If you need tips on what exactly that means, check this out.

2. You didn’t test the program or WiFi beforehand.

Imagine if the only thing standing between you and the perfect job was a terrible Skype connection.

Had you tested the program and your WiFi a day or two beforehand — or even an hour before your interview — you might have been able to prevent any issues by moving to a room with a better connection or installing a new update on your computer.

The last thing you want to do is miss out on a golden opportunity.

So test, test and triple test.

We recommend video calling a friend to ensure that audio and visuals are working as they should.

Of course, sometimes these issues can’t be helped (we’re looking at you, Skype), which means it’s on you to do what you can to ensure you're still coming across professionally.

3. You constantly interrupted and talked over the employer.

Even if there’s a bad connection, never interrupt an employer, no matter what.

Even if Adele and Sam Smith stroll into your dorm to perform the greatest duet the world has ever known and the Internet is crashing, wait until the employer has finished talking to say, “I’m sorry, I didn’t quite catch that.”

But in all seriousness, wait and listen before you interject.

Even through a bad connection, you can sometimes hear what the employer is saying.

Try your hardest to do that.

When it is clear he or she is finished speaking, ask politely for him and her to repeat what was said.

4. You used your phone instead of your computer.

During an interview, you should be focused on adequately answering questions and making a connection with your interviewer, not seeing which inanimate object will support your upright iPhone for at least five minutes at a time.

Use your computer, not your phone, to create a more stable view.

This will allow you to move things around — i.e. lighting — and focus on what’s important: the interview.

Put your computer on your desk or a pile of books to make sure your eyes are square into the camera.

If you don’t have a laptop, make sure to book a room in the library and use a computer there.

5. You didn’t check your background.

How about not having a pile of dirty laundry on your bed as the backdrop while you’re telling the employer your organizational skills are unmatched?

Just an idea.

We recommend a non-distracting background.

Booking a room in the library is a big help and relieves the stress of having to rearrange your room.

Video interviews are all about self-awareness; it's about how you’re presenting yourself to the employer and how you’re coming across to the employer.

If you successfully pass the test, you’ll be well on your way to your first in-person interview at the company.

Lights, camera, hired!

This article was written by Kema Christian-Taylor for WayUp.