Coaching Up: Video Interviews

Video interviews over Skype, Zoom, BlueJeans, WebX, Microsoft Teams, and a host of other software tools have become the new normal for companies that are hiring talent. Since early April 2020, almost all interviews have been scheduled or rescheduled to an online platform where social distance is possible. The good news is that companies are still hiring! At Pinnacle Search Partners, we have seen companies go through up to 5 rounds of interviews and hire new talent without meeting in person. We have seen candidates move across the country without ever setting foot in their new offices!

For some of us, video interviews are new experiences, and we could use some guidance. Over the past months, our recruiters have coached hundreds of candidates through video interviews. We find ourselves sharing the following tips over and over, so felt you might also benefit from these coaching notes:

Dress the Part

This interview is a professional meeting, even though you are sitting in your home office. Wear your blazer, nice blouse, scarf, tie, etc. and feel confident that you look your best! A potential employer needs to know that you have put effort into this interview. It has been proven that the way we dress affects our mood and confidence! As always, you never get a second chance to make a first impression.

Do a practice run with your recruiter or friend

This is essential! Check the sound, the camera quality and internet connectivity. Make sure the camera frames your face – not too high or too low. Your background should be neat, clean, and professional, with nothing distracting.  Check that there is enough light on your face and minimize light and glare behind you. Your recruiter or friend will be able to help you check these things from their perspective.

Body language is important

Smile more than you usually would, so that you do not appear two dimensional on camera. Also, take your energy level up a notch! Use hand motions to animate your body language. One tip that our recruiters give is that you should lean forward in your chair. Although the interviewers may not notice, you will be more engaged in the conversation psychologically!

Don’t forget interview basics

Do your research on the company and the interviewers. Find commonalities or connections that will make an impression. Remember to keep the conversation relevant, to be professional, concise and listen to what they want in this role. Use their body language as a cue to dive deeper or move on. Be mindful of the time you have and make the most of it to communicate and connect.