4 Tips for Acing Your Technical Video Interview
If you are a job seeker today, chances are you will be asked to sit down for a technical video interview. While it may seem like video interviews are more informal than in-person interviews because you’re not physically sitting across from the interviewer, you still need to put your best foot forward to ensure you leave a positive first impression. Follow these four tips to ensure your video interview runs smoothly:
1) Download and Test All Programs
Just because you don’t have to travel for a video interview, does not mean you should wait until the last minute to boot up your computer. There are a handful of video conferencing tools out there and some require you to download the program to your computer in order to access all of the features. Identify what program you will be expected to use a day or two ahead of time so that you can address any potential roadblocks before your interview. Additionally, there is a chance you will be asked to show your coding skills in real-time as part of a technical screening. Ask the interview coordinator what coding programs you will be expected to use and run through a couple of mock interviews using all of the programs together.
2) Ensure Your Area Is Distraction-Free
It goes without saying that you should not show up for your video interview in sweats. But even when you are dressed appropriately, a cluttered background can distract the interviewer from your responses. Test out a few locations around your home before the interview to find the ideal spot. One with a plain or distraction-free background, with plenty of natural lighting, and away from any potential background noise. Finding a location without any distractions or noise can be challenging nowadays, especially as schools are closed across the nation and children continue their education from home. If you do have distractions at home, explain the situation to your interviewer and let them know there might be brief interruptions. Not only will they understand, but they might even be navigating the same challenge.
Tip: Different areas of your home will likely have weaker WiFi signals than others. Do not set up shop in an area that has a spotty connection or you risk your video freezing, audio cutting out, and other technical issues. This is why it is imperative that you run through a few test rounds in your location of choice.
3) Remember Interview Body Language Basics
You know the drill when you walk into an in-person interview, firm handshake, confident eye-contact, no fidgeting, shoulders back, and head high. But you might be surprised to find how often candidates forget to check these body language basics during a video interview. The truth is, on video your attention to body language should be amplified. Outside of sitting up straight and resisting the urge fidget with a nearby pen, you need to show visible cues that you are engaged in the conversation. This means nodding your head with enthusiasm, but not excessively, ensuring your hands are visible at all times, and not looking to the side or behind you. This brings us to our next topic, eye contact. During a video interview, eye contact means looking straight into your webcam, not at the video of your interviewer or yourself. For other body language tips, click here to take our interactive quiz that will help you gauge your body language knowledge.
4) Show Your Personality
While video interviews are convenient and have become a saving grace under the current circumstances, you do lose a bit of the human connection that you would normally get in an in-person interview. It is important to remember that at the end of the day, companies are hiring people, not machines. Your technical skills and critical thinking will land you on the shortlist of candidates, but personality and culture fit is commonly a key deciding factor. During a video interview, you need to go the extra mile to show your personality and enthusiasm for the position. Be prepared to explain why you are excited about the opportunity. What about the company drew you in? What will you bring to the table aside from your technical knowledge? Avoid overly rehearsed responses to interview questions and aim to have an organic conversation with the interviewer. You can do this by asking questions, sharing stories, and by letting your sense of humor shine through, when appropriate. Follow these tips and you might even find some possible commonalities between yourself and the interviewer.