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Job Search Advice

6 Tips for Successful Video Interviews

March 20, 2020

6 Tips for Successful Video Interviews

As COVID-19 is changing the way companies across the globe conduct business, we want you, our candidates, to know, we were built for this. For your safety, many employers have temporarily eliminated in-person interviews and have offered candidates the option to interview virtually via video conferencing. We understand interviewing can be nerve-wrecking, especially when conducted in an unfamiliar or unnatural manner. We are here to help.


This article shares six video interview tips, straight from our team of recruiting experts that will help you successfully navigate your virtual interview.  Read on for our experts’ best tips for nailing your next video interview – you’re one step closer to your next opportunity!


1. Minimize Distractions


“It’s important to find a quiet, well-lit place to conduct the interview,” said Merritt Hawkins DVP, Strategic Partnerships, Susan Martin. “Most importantly focus on where you are comfortable but away from distractions. With many schools on mandated extended breaks due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, make sure you have a game plan for children and animals so as to limit interruptions during your conversation”.


2. Be Prepared


“Be prepared.  Do your homework to know the organization and the interviewer.  They can see you so remember have good eye contact and pay attention to your non-verbal communication,” said Carmen C. Kenrich, VP of Strategic Partnerships at Merritt Hawkins. “Practice prior to the virtual interview with a friend or a colleague.  It helps you to get comfortable with the format and the technology.  Finally, make sure your surrounding is as professional as possible.  Keep in mind you are part of starting a new trend – virtual interviewing can be very productive and fun.”


3. First Impressions are Still Key


“When considering video interviews please remember that ‘you’ll never have a second chance to make a first impression’, mentioned Merritt Hawkins Director of Physician Recruitment, Lance Boerner. “One should still dress professionally as if they are going on-site, test all equipment prior, and assure that you have a clean background for your camera view.”


4. Limit Computer Screen Reading


“Since you’re on the computer, you may think it’s okay to write out answers to potential interview questions or map out other responses on your screen to reference,” says Leah Grant, Merritt Hawkins, Director of Strategic Accounts. “I suggest staying away from this. Instead, prepare and practice your answers beforehand so that they sound natural when you’re in your interview. Also, work on responses to behavior-based questions (“Describe a time when…” or “What would you do in a situation where…”) instead of trying to guess what you’ll specifically be asked.”


5. Make a Connection


“Video interviews can feel awkward and impersonal if you have never done them before” said Brett Walker, Merritt Hawkins, RVP, Strategic Sales. “Operate as if the interviewer is in the room with you. Remember to be as natural as possible and sprinkle in some of your personality when you can.”


6. Maintain Professionalism


“Adhere to all of the tips above, keep eye contact with your camera and not the screen, sit up straight, and be clear and concise in your speech” says Shawn-Elise Lapomarda, Merritt Hawkins Director, Program Delivery for Strategic Accounts. “Most likely this is new for both parties so try not to be anxious. “Remember to thank your interviewer as you would in a face to face interview and don’t forget to send a thank you note. Email is recommended as a COVID-19 precaution.”


Final Thoughts


While you may not be face to face with your interviewer, a video interview is an important step towards landing your next job and preparation is still key. Keep in mind the goal of a virtual interview remains the same as an in-person one: present the best version of yourself.


As you prepare for your interview, remember an interview is a two-way street. Have a few questions on hand related to the position that you’re applying for that you’ll want to ask the interviewer. This is your time to shine. Asking questions not only shows you’ve been engaged during the conversation but also demonstrates that you’ve done your research. Asking your potential employer questions will also allow you to see if you’d be a good fit for their organization. Ultimately, you’ll still need to give clear answers that show why you are the best fit and also gather more information that will inform your decision to accept a possible job offer. Follow these tips and you can’t go wrong!


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