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Covid has catapulted video interviews into the norm

Reminiscent of the videophones in the old Dick Tracy comics, video job interviews have become the norm – forced upon the HR world thanks to the Covid. Although not exactly new, most of today’s job seekers most likely will find themselves in front of the camera sometime soon.

Aside from some of the obvious negatives of the practice, the video interview holds many benefits for the candidate.

First, you can do it from anywhere: home office, rec room, spare bedroom, outdoors in a yard/park – although if you venture outside the home, be wary of background noises. Also, indoors you get to choose your own background. Book shelves are always a winner as are a fireplace or even just a plain wall will suffice.

Wherever you are, be mindful of the lighting around you. Long before your interview, you can sign on to Zoom (or most any of the others) to see how you will look. Too strong of a backlight will darken your face or place you in a silhouette. Likewise, if the light on your face is too strong it can wash out your face leaving it devoid of any character.

With business casual ruling the day at the office, the traditional suit and tie for an interview may no longer be mandatory. Yet, a man can wear a shirt and tie and still be wearing cutoffs, or sweat pants and your interviewer will be none the wiser. Dressing casually will help you stay relaxed and minimize your anxiety.

Having a beverage handy may not be recommended, but if having a cup of coffee or a soft drink or water helps you relax, keep it handy (and out of sight) just in case.

Speaking of out of sight, something you probably would never do in an in-person interview is to have reference notes. In a video interview, those notes can be placed out of sight but close enough so that you can nonchalantly reference them if needed.

In the end, it’s still a job interview and you can expect a certain degree of tension. But with familiar surroundings and casual clothes, etc., you can be able to put your best foot forward.


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