Preparing for a Professional Video Interview
As an international intern applying to companies in the U.S., the chances are high that you will be asked to do a video or phone interview. The basics of preparing for a remote interview are the same as preparing for an in-person interview, but there are extra steps you’ll need to take to make sure you and your space are ready for a video interview. Check out our Interview Tips webinar and refer to the following reminders as you prepare.
Preparing for a Video Interview:
1. Brush up on your interview techniques!
Don’t forget the basics of preparing for any interview. Make sure to do your research on the company and brush up on your interview skills. Are you familiar with the stages of an interview? Do you know how to succinctly answer questions using the STAR Method? If not, review this article.
The great advantage of a remote interview is the ability to have notes in front of you during the interview! As you prepare, take note of key points you’d like to make or questions you’d like to ask. Just be sure you don’t script your answers; you want your responses to be spontaneous and natural.
2. Download and test software
Video interviews may occur on several platforms, such as Google Hangouts, Zoom, or GoToMeeting. Verify the platform the company will use to interview you and make sure you have the right software downloaded to your computer. After you’ve downloaded the proper software, do a test call to make sure your audio and video are working as they should. If you have technical difficulties, contact your interviewer to discuss other alternatives.
3. Prepare your workspace for the call
Find a quiet interview space with a good internet connection and without any distractions. You’ll want to be able to shut the door so your roommates or dog can’t interrupt you during the interview. Try to create a professional background by removing any clutter. You want to be the interviewer’s main focus – not your posters or knick knacks! Don’t forget to also make sure you have a fully charged computer battery on the day of the interview, or else ensure your interview spot has a place to plug-in.
4. Treat your video interview as you would an in-person interview
Make sure to confirm the date and time of the interview when you receive the invitation. Take into account time zone differences and clarify with the employer if there’s something you’re not sure about. On the day of the interview, be ready to start your interview on time, dress professionally, and turn off or silence your mobile phone.
5. Consider your audio and video image
Body language is much harder to convey over video, but by making sure to nod and smile along with the conversation, you can demonstrate your interest and attention through the camera. Remember to also keep your eyes on the camera while you’re speaking, not the screen.
The microphone will pick up small noises so try to limit extra sounds like typing. If you need a few moments to think before answering a question, let the interviewer know that you are thinking so they don’t fear the video feed froze. Make sure to also allow for small silences after you speak to give the interviewer time to respond or take notes. Don’t worry if there is a small delay.
6. Send a thank you
After the interview, be prepared to wait anywhere from a day to a few weeks for a response. During this time, you should send a follow up “thank you” email in accordance with these email best practices.
Remember that your best friends in the interview process are preparation and confidence. Give yourself time to prepare, and present yourself as a competent professional. Chances are, things will turn out well!