Take it from someone who, prior to employment with Sustainable Staffing, went on plenty of video job interviews via Zoom, Google Meet, or Microsoft Teams, there are ways to be successful! Most of what I learned to promote myself well came from trial and error.
Hopefully by reading this, you can avoid the mistakes I made and instead make a stunning first impression.
While iPhones May Be Convenient, They Aren’t Always Perfect
We rely on our cell phones constantly, so it only makes sense to use them for just about everything. However, when it comes to video job interviews you might want to rethink that! Zoom, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams can be downloaded right to your iPhone and is so tempting to use from there.
But here’s what can go wrong with that. The camera width on an iPhone is so narrow. To make it appear as if you’re looking directly at the other person, you have to look at the camera, not view the other person in the eye. This was so counterintuitive to my basic instinct of making eye contact with the other person! After a few interview calls, I had to use a sticky note to remind myself where to look!
Using my iPhone led to other issues as well. Sometimes I would receive a phone call or a text message from another person at the most inopportune time distracting me. Yikes! And I always had to deal with the Leaning Tower of Cell Phone. I consistently had to hold my breath once I coerced my phone to stand up straight during the interview so that it wouldn’t topple over. I can only imagine how bad that looked on the other end when that happened.
Which leads me to my next point..
Always Always Always Use a Computer, Laptop, or Tablet
While mobile apps may be convenient for using on your iPhone, it’s not ideal when you’re trying to put your best foot forward during a job interview. Use your computer, laptop or tablet instead. Most technology these days comes already equipped with a camera. And if for some reason your devices aren’t equipped with a camera, look into borrowing one with video access from a relative or friend. Pros for this include having access to a flat surface (say good-bye Leaning Tower of Cell Phone), preventing any wobbliness, and also your image will come in so much clearer!
If you’re a worrier like me, you can feel confident ahead of time by…
Avoiding Any Technical Difficulties
Ideally your interview space will have a nearby plug for your laptop or computer. Keep your machine plugged in throughout the interview. If not, plan to have your laptop fully charged in plenty of time before your interview.
Also, arrive at least 15 minutes before the scheduled interview to make sure the connection works. There’s nothing worse than arriving just in the nick of time only to find unexpected and troublesome technical difficulties causing you stress. This happened to me on a few occasions causing my blood pressure to skyrocket.
And I’ve also learned the hard way that it’s always best to have the contact information for the person you’re scheduled to speak with in case of emergency!
And if your personal space is anything like mine…
Use a Virtual Background
My laptop is situated in my office with my kitchen (including a countertop with tons of mail) in plain sight. You can make such cluttered backgrounds disappear by using a virtual backdrop. Personally, I suggest using a neutral color like gray. Having a virtual background during an interview puts your mind at ease by making the image more engaging while promoting professionalism with minimum effort!
Employ these tips and watch your interview success grow as you become more confident!
Steve Repsys is a content writer for Sustainable Staffing Inc.