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How to Ace Your Video Job Interview

You may interview for your next job from your home computer. Here’s how you can prepare and get hired

  • How to Ace Your Video Interview

    Video Interviews Are Increasing

    En español | Virtual interviews are rapidly becoming more commonplace, according to a survey by OfficeTeam, a temporary staffing services firm. 6 in 10 of the 500 human resource managers interviewed said their company often conducts employment interviews via video, up from 14 percent in 2011. Video interview formats vary via free services where you talk live with an interviewer, or the taped version, where you respond to recorded questions from a taped interviewer. These tips can help you become comfortable with the format and ace the interview.

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  • check your computer equipment before a video interview

    Check Your Equipment

    You’ll need a dependable Internet connection, a webcam and a microphone. If possible, use an Ethernet cable to connect to the Internet and turn Wi-Fi off.

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  • get comfortable with new video interview software and technology

    Experiment With Interview Platform

    If it’s a live video interview, you may need to download the application software and set up an account. If it’s a pre-recorded interviewer and questions, not a live person, you will be sent instructions ahead of time about what you will need to participate. To start, you click a link to allow the firm to take over your computer, camera and microphone. Then, follow the instructions.

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  • Discover yourself through your work. Caucasian man in suit stands talking to seated group of younger people

    AARP Offer: Discover Yourself Through Your Work

    AARP’s Job Board is a great way to find the perfect job for you. The Work and Jobs section of our website also includes valuable tools, information and resources to achieve your professional and income goals.

    Keep up with the latest tips on job hunting and more by signing up for the AARP Webletter.

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  • Optimize your computer settings and webcam for your video interview

    Set Up Your Computer Properly

    Rebooting the computer is the best way to safeguard against background programs sapping resources and slowing down your session, according to Donna Svei, an executive search consultant and executive résumé writer who writes the AvidCareerist blog. Adjust your computer so the camera lens on your screen is level to the top of your head. You might have to perch it atop a few books or adjust your chair height. The idea is for you to look up slightly at the camera, which helps define your chin and subtly gives off a message of strength and confidence.

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  • Set up lighting for your video interview

    Pay Attention to Lighting

    You'll want your face to be front-lit. Think of those klieg lights that shine on a television anchor's face. If your room has a window, face it, or put a lamp on the desk in front of you.

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  • check what's in the background of your shot before a video interview

    Do a Background Check

    Look at what will appear behind you on the screen. If it’s a clutter-fest with file folders and papers piles or even personal items such as pictures from your vacation, do a clean sweep.

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  • Do a dry run with a friend to spot issues before your video interview

    Do a Dry Run

    Practice with a friend or family member  on the platform you'll be using. With Skype, you can record it to review. This also helps with figuring out just how loud you need to talk and how to position your image on the screen.

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  • How to dress for a video interview

    Dress for an In-Person Interview

    Solid colors are best, and avoid white for the best screen appearance. Don’t forget some make-up, even if you’re a guy. It takes the shine off your skin. “Video interviews on computers and cellphone HD cameras via services like Skype have an annoying way of making us look our worst,” says Svei. “However old we are, they make us look older.”

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  • Put sticky notes on your monitor to remind you of important talking points

    Have a Cheat Sheet

    Post-it notes on your screen can remind you of talking points you want to be sure to highlight about your experience and why you’re a good fit for the job, as well as questions about the firm and the position. Have your résumé handy, too, just in case there is a date or position you need to refer to in your conversation.

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  • look into the camera lens and smile during video interviews

    Always Look Into the Camera Lens and Smile

    Do not gaze down at yourself on the screen, or meet the eyes of the person interviewing you.
    Smiling provides a big boost for your video presence and will give the interview energy. Try warming up ahead of time by thinking of something funny to make you laugh, or grinning at yourself in a mirror to get the face muscles loosened up.

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  • speak up about technical issues you have during a video interview

    Raise Technical Issues

    If something goes awry — say, your Internet connection gets freaky, or you’re having trouble with your computer’s camera or microphone — speak up. If it happens during a taped interview, just abort and contact the recruiter to explain and reschedule.

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  • Watch your body language when you're on camera

    Watch Your Body Language

    Take a breath and relax. No hair spinning around your pinky, lip chewing, squinting your eyes, or over-blinking. Keep your shoulders back and your hands quiet.

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  • Say thank you and end your video interview on the right note

    Say Thanks

    End your interview by saying, "Thank you for considering me for the job.” Smile, and continue eyeing the camera until the recording or interview stops.

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