Studies have shown that companies are increasingly using video to conduct interviews. Research suggests that nearly 60% of companies now incorporate video interviews into their recruiting practice. We have global and mobile organizations and technology is instrumental in connecting hiring managers with geographically-dispersed candidates. Video interviews allow organizations to expedite meetings without the expense of having them come to your office.

Even though video interviews are becoming mainstream, there are still many candidates who are facing it for the first time. Or maybe you’ve already done dozens of video interviews, but you’re uncertain if you’re making the right impression. Don’t worry. With a little preparation, you can knock it out of the park.

Nail Your Video Interview with These 9 Steps:

1) Be Technically Ready

You can do your interview on your tablet, smartphone, or computer. Be sure to use the one that makes you most comfortable and the one that provides the most reliability. The last thing you want is to appear technically inept. Check your connection, microphone, video stream, webcam, lighting, and sound settings to confirm they are working – and then retest it prior to your interview.  By the way, have a full charge if you are depending only on your battery.

2) Practice with a Partner

If this is your first time, it’s crucial to prepare beforehand.  Have your partner ensure you can be seen, heard, and that your speech patterns reflect confidence. Practice speaking with a normal tone – not too fast and not too slow. Good posture rules so sit upright and keep your back straight. If you don’t have a practice partner, simply record yourself answering common interview questions.

3) Select the Right Location

Your goal is to be in a place that makes you feel comfortable, helps you look your best, and one that minimizes distractions. A secluded room is best.

Your ideal location is one that is:

  • Distraction Free – It’s okay to have a glass of water off to the side. You may need it.  However, keep your drinking to a minimum if you can. The size of your glass makes a difference. If you have a humongous glass that makes your face disappear with each drink, use another glass. If your cup or glass carries a logo, picture, or design, make sure it’s professional.   These seemingly simple things can work against you.
  • Clutter Free Clean up what the interviewer will see behind you. Declutter and move your junk. Keep your background as simple as possible by avoiding windows, pictures, knickknacks, or posters. Eliminate anything that could draw the interviewer’s attention away from you.
  • Noise Free If your dogs are going to bark, get them out of your room. Try to anticipate and cut out any background noises such as traffic, clocks, kids, pets, and outside noises. Switch your phone to silent and close any computer applications that make sounds.

4) Be Your Own Director

Lights, camera, action! Believe it or not, lighting is key. Without proper lighting, your interviewer will not be able to see you. Or, you’ll end up with shadows on your face. Stay away from having a window behind you. That creates too much light that only hides your face. Having a light behind your computer is a good trick to help illuminate your face.

5) Dress the Part

Don’t get too casual! It’s still an interview, and you’re under the same scrutiny as you would be if you were meeting in person. Frame your shot to show the chest upward. Wear a nice shirt, dress, or jacket – anything that shows professionalism. Experts suggest not wearing all white or solid black. It is also generally best to avoid distracting stripes and patterns. Some webcams have trouble focusing on that type of clothing. Go with solid blues or greys if you can and make sure it meshes well with your background.

6) Pretend the Camera is the Face of the Interviewer

Position your camera at eye-level, not above or below you, and look directly into it. When you speak, give the impression that you are confident and poised with your words. Try not to glance away from the camera too frequently because you’ll come across as unfocused. As a reminder, digital connections can have a delay. To circumvent talking over your interviewer or having your initial words unheard, pause for a few seconds after the question has been asked and before you give your response.

7) Sit Where You Can Speak Freely

Coffee shops are generally not the best place to have your interview. Besides being filled with disturbances and noise, you may feel inhibited answering the questions. Your current office may not be best either. If you cannot speak freely and in a normal tone or you must whisper because you’re afraid that someone will hear you, you are not in the right location.

8) Don’t Fidget

When you are nervous, it seems to magnify any off-putting habits, gestures, or behaviors you might have. If you know about this, be focused on toning it down.  This could be smacking your lips, twirling your hair, or wringing your hands. It may be helpful to record a few videos of yourself simply to watch your mannerisms. You might be surprised at the patterns you see.

9) Relax and Have a Conversation

Think of it as a normal conversation and use your conversational tone, just as you would in an actual interview. Before you answer the call or sign on, relax and take a deep breath. If you prepare, it will all be fine.

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Jan Johnston Osburn is a Certified Career Coach and Organizational Consultant. Her organizational specialties are Talent Acquisition, Training, and Leadership Development. She holds a Master’s degree from the University of Buckingham, UK, and has certifications in Executive Coaching and Advanced Social Media. Her website is www.YourBestLifeTodayCoaching.Com .