You finally got it, an interview invites for your dream remote job, a job that doesn’t require you to get to an office every single day, but pays just as well or maybe even more. There’s only one word for what you’re feeling, excited, but there’s one thing that causes you panic, the interview would be done through a Zoom video conference. A video interview has a whole other set of things you have to prepare for, maybe even a lot more than what you have to prepare for in an in-person interview. To help you prepare, we have curated 10 tech tips to be sleek and ace this video interview.
1. Install The Video Call App
Some of the video call apps may take time to download and install due to their relatively bigger file size. First, make sure to download the correct one that you and your interviewer will use, then a quick Google search of the name of the app would get you to the download page, don’t worry because most of these video call apps won’t cost you a dime.
2. Make Sure Your Internet Speed is Decent
It is generally discouraged to use just any public WiFi, or cellular data when you are doing a video call. Unlike text and voice calls, video calls do require an even greater amount of computer resources and a lot of bandwidth. Make sure that your internet connection speed is fast enough to avoid lag and quality issues during the video interview. Most internet speed test tools online do provide a quick summary of what you can and can’t do, and how well or badly it would perform, given the speed of your internet they just tested. They would say something like “with your internet speed, you can do movie streaming and video calling” for example.
To make sure, it is also recommended that you use a physical wired connection to your router, instead of using the WiFi because a wired connection would be more reliable. Or if you don’t want to, make sure you have an ethernet cable ready lying around, so that when the connection gets haywire, you can immediately just plug your computer into the router. The best solution though that we recommend is connecting to the WiFi while your computer is also wire connected to your router, so if one fails, you would have a backup.
3. Use A Headset
A headset would significantly improve the media experience on your interview because the sound would directly fire to your ear, you would hear your interviewer loud and clear, and because the microphone is very close to your mouth, the interviewer would hear you loud and clear as well. If you opted to just use your laptop computer’s built-in microphone and speaker it might create echoing feedback which would not be pleasant for the receiver.
You don’t have to shell out a significant amount of money just to be able to obtain a decent pair of headset, even the headset that came with your phone would make the sound quality so much better. Poor video quality is almost always acceptable, but the poor audio quality would significantly affect the outcome of the interview, both the interviewer and you might miss important details that would have been avoided if you just used a headset.
4. Tune Your Video And Audio Settings
Of course, after setting your webcam and your headset, you would want to make sure that they work properly, most of the time these video call apps would select the correct settings out of the box, but they’re not perfect. The most basic thing you should set up is the audio and video source which tells the app where the sound would fire, should it be through the speakers or your headset, which microphone to pick up the sound from, the built-in laptop microphone, or the microphone of your headset. And lastly, of course, is the video, if you are going to use an external webcam make sure to set up the video call app to pick up the image from that.
When you are done setting up and tuning the video call app settings, it is now time to test them. Most video call apps would come with a test facility that would run on the first time you open it, and more often than not, it would guide you interactively throughout the process.
5. Make Sure You Don’t Run Out of Power
If you are using your laptop or your tablet for the interview, it is a good idea to plug the charger in before the video interview starts, or if your battery is full, it is alright to just have it near for when the interview took longer than expected and you need to plug it in. This one is very important to remember as video call apps use a lot more of the computer’s resources thus, it would drain the battery faster than normal.
6. Give Your Room a Professional Look
If you have decorations in your room, make sure that it looks appropriate and professional, it is alright to go for a plain and simple wall background, but if you want to elevate the look of your room to give it a more professional vibe, consider adding a pedestal or a neat bookshelf behind you. Having a professional-looking place to work would highly impress your interviewer, that’s for sure.
7. Proper Lighting
Some built-in webcams do produce a mediocre image quality, but with some effort with the lighting would significantly improve the image quality. The easiest and free way of adding light is to use the one coming through your window, or if it’s night time, the lighting in your room would be more than sufficient. A very important thing to remember though is to make sure that the light is coming from the right direction.
There is no point in having plenty of lighting but it then only illuminates your back, it would also be quite jarring to the interviewer being blinded by the light. Make sure that whatever light source you use, it is coming from the front to illuminate you better. Also, if you are using an external webcam that comes with focal control or autofocus feature, you might want to check if it works properly.
8. Find The Perfect Webcam Angle
The ideal webcam setup is to bring it up so that it is level with your eyes. You don’t want to have your laptop or your tablet so low that you have to look down to it during a video call as it would in most cases, give you an ungainly look in the webcam. The easiest way to have your webcam at your eye level is to use a stack of magazines, books, or even a used shoebox, it would give your laptop or tablet a significant increase in height as it sits on your low desk. This trick would give your interviewer the impression that you are calm and composed as you look very relaxed during the video interview.
9. Perform a Rehearsal
On this step, we are combining tips numbers 2,3,5, and 6. It is important that you check if the camera, headphones, and microphone work properly. Also, check how you look on the video call app before the actual interview starts, most video call apps would allow you to see and hear yourself even if you’re not on a call. Skype, for example, has this feature, to access it, navigate to Skype’s preference window, click the audio/video settings tab, and voila, there you are in the camera, you can also check if your microphone is working, just talk and if it picks up a sound, the volume bar would rise.
Google Hangouts (another free video call app), also allow you to use a trick so that you can rehearse how you look and sound on a video call, just go to Google Calendar and set up a meeting, after setting up a meeting, you may join in using video call and it would open a video call window where you can see and hear yourself.
10. Test Video Call Someone
Lastly, to make you best prepared for your upcoming video interview is to actually get into a video call with someone. This is the best way to test every aspect that you have set up by following our tips above. This step would put that all into practice and since this is just a test run, if something goes wrong you do have all the liberty in the world to fix it and change whatever setting you want. We suggest calling a family member, a roommate, or a friend, asking if they want to be in a video call with you as a practice for your upcoming video interview. Make them act and ask you questions as the interviewer would, this would test your readiness and confidence to make you all prepared for the main event.