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How to ace a remote video interview

Video interview tips

These days, job seeking can be even more complex than usual. As an increasing number of people work from home, we’re all facing a new reality in which human interaction is digitized. Once you prepare your CV and create a website to go along, you may find that your upcoming job interview will be held on video rather than face-to-face.

As you prepare for your video interview, it’s perfectly understandable if you’re feeling anxious. What if the WiFi is unstable? What if you’re suddenly faced with unexpected distractions? What if you’re simply unable to connect with your interviewer? These concerns are natural, and we’re going to help you work through them step-by-step.

With the help of Wix’s lead recruiters, we’ve put together some advice to help you reduce uncertainty and master your remote interview session. If you’re considering one of these open positions at Wix, be sure to keep their suggestions in mind.

Top video interview tips

01. Set the right expectations with your interviewer

While remote video interviews are already familiar to some people, they’re a brand new experience for those who are new to working from home. In case you’re dealing with stress, keep in mind that your interviewer may be just as new to this process as you are.

Before your video interview, set expectations by being transparent about your circumstances - whether you have kids at home who might interrupt, a dog who’s likely to bark, or simply that you don’t have a dedicated spot to take the call from and you’ll be doing it from your bedroom.

You can also let your interviewer know if you’re a bit nervous about having poor internet connection. It’s a good idea to provide your phone number as backup in case there is trouble connecting.

If you’re expected to give a presentation or showcase a professional portfolio, you’ll most likely be informed ahead of time. In this case, make sure to share your screenshots or presentations with the interviewer in advance to avoid any last-minute hiccups.

Anything that will reduce uncertainty beforehand can be a big plus during the interview.

02. Test your computer software and audio in advance

Your video interview will appear more professional on a laptop or desktop computer, so try to avoid filming with your mobile device.

You’ll be much more confident that things won’t go unexpectedly wrong if you spend some time making sure your computer gear is properly functioning.

If you haven’t been told which video conferencing software your interviewer will use, ask your recruiter and let them know you’d like to try it out ahead of time. Make sure you have full access to that software and that you know how to use it.

You should also test your audio and camera settings to be sure you can hear and be heard - you really don’t want to spend the first minutes of your interview searching for the mic settings. We highly recommend that you initiate a test call with a friend before the interview, just to make sure everything works for you.

Oh - and make sure your computer is plugged in or fully charged.

03. Choose the best possible setting

There’s probably no perfect setting to do a video interview from home, so take the time to plan out the best possible location.

Check to see if there’s a place that’s quieter than the others, as this will allow you to concentrate with minimal distractions or people passing through in the background. Also consider the lighting in that space - is it too bright? Too dark?

If it’s terribly messy, make sure to tidy it up a little. Having an organized work environment is one of the habits of successful people and will make a good first impression on your interviewer. This will also help improve your performance, as it will ensure that the person you’re speaking with isn’t distracted by the background clutter.

Once you’ve prepared your space, open up your webcam so that you know exactly what your interviewer will see. Make sure you’re clearly visible on the screen and that your background looks neat and professional.

Video interview tips: Find the right setting

04. Act as though you’re on site

Remember that even though this is a remote interview and the circumstances are different, you should do whatever you can to act normal - as if it were a regular interview. Here are some additional video interview tips to help you replicate the face-to-face experience:

  • Prep, prep, prep. Come to the interview fully prepared so that you avoid common job interview mistakes. Before the scheduled time, think about what you want to say and the key things you’d like your interviewer to know about you and your professional experience. Take the time to review your resume, as well as read about the company and learn about the company culture. If you think the interviewer might test your skills, be sure to reacquaint yourself with all the essential knowledge. Pay attention to which examples you’re going to share, and make mental notes of commonly asked questions such as “What are your biggest achievements?” or “Give an example of a failure you experienced and how you dealt with it.”

  • Dress up. Come dressed to the video interview as if it were an in-person meeting. You can search the company’s job page, LinkedIn and Glassdoor profiles to try and gauge the dress code of that company. Do people there dress casually, or do they opt for business casual? If you’re not sure, keep in mind that it’s better to be overdressed than underdressed. Get out of your pajamas, decide what to wear and make sure you look presentable and professional.

  • Arrive on time. Just like any effective meeting or interview, you’re expected to arrive on time. This is a home interview, so traffic is no excuse. Double check your internet connection, set up a quiet and organized workspace, and open up the video conferencing software in advance. If you have any network issues or trouble connecting, make sure to notify your interviewer ahead of time.

  • Be direct. If you cannot hear your interviewer well, or if he or she is getting cut off, this is not the time to be shy. Make sure to communicate that you didn’t hear the question, and politely ask them to repeat it.

Be personable and engaged. Remember that you’re still expected to be yourself and show off your personality type, even though it’s a video interview. Maintain eye contact and smile. Bear in mind that the situation might be new for your interviewer as well, so don’t be nervous if there are distractions or technical difficulties on their side of the call.

05. In case of glitches, don’t panic

Remember that no matter how much you try to control all the unknowns, there can still be unexpected turns of events. The sound quality may be poor or glitchy, you may not see or hear very well, or there could be some interruptions.

Your interviewer will be experiencing similar issues on the other side of the call, so instead of becoming stressed, be honest about what you’re facing. Don’t be ashamed to say that you are having difficulties concentrating or that the quality of the call doesn’t allow you to perform well. Ask your interviewer what they would recommend doing, whether it’s rescheduling or moving to a regular phone call.

Most importantly, remember to stay confident and calm. By keeping these video interview tips in mind, you’ll be able to overcome the challenges, make a positive impression, and show yourself at your best.

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