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Are You Ready for Your Close-Up?

Video interviews require special considerations for the job seeker

➔ Over the past decade more and more companies have begun using video interviews. That should come as no surprise to anyone who has been searching for any amount of time.

This emerging trend exploded with the onslaught of Covid. So much so that, according to one source – – 86 percent of all companies are now conducting video interviews.

Preparation is still key

One thing that is not different about a video interview is your responsibility to do your homework. Just like any other interview, it’s incumbent upon the job seeker to know the company, know its products and markets, know the job (and job description) inside out, know as much as you can about the person with whom you will be interviewing, etc. Video or not, it’s a long list.

For a successful video interview, however, there are additional considerations.

We admit, this may sound elementary, but before committing to a video interview, be certain that your computer has the necessary hardware. If yours is an older computer (or monitor), it may not have a built-in camera and/or microphone. If not, find access to one that does.

While you may get away with wearing shorts or pajama bottoms and flip flops, you had better be dressed appropriately from the waist up. If you do go the casual route below the waist, be mindful of that in the event you need to get up during the interview.

It’s a good idea to check your “look” maybe 10-15 minutes beforehand. Most computers will give you the means to turn on your camera ahead of time so that you can see what you look like.

Of course the personal touches are important. Hair combed. Shaved or appropriate make-up. Clean shirt or blouse, etc.

But don’t stop there. What does your background look like? While you don’t need to look like you’re sitting in a law library, books and book cases are always a nice touch. What about other wall hangings and accessories? You can always put that grandchild’s 3-year crayon scratch back up after the interview.

Some software will give you the ability to place an image behind you. Here are two thoughts: one, make certain you are well versed in placing that image; and two, use a healthy dose of common sense when selecting your background.

An important consideration that most people overlook but one that is critically important is lighting. Natural light is usually best. Open drapes, curtains or blinds. Typically you’ll want to turn off lamps behind you or lamps that are too close to your face. They can overwhelm a camera and wash out much of your image. Again, if you start early enough, you can experiment with various kinds of lighting to ensure your best image is available.

Video interviews can be a huge advantage for the job seeker on many fronts. With a little planning and testing, you can be certain that you can turn that advantage in your favor.


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