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I’m terrified of being on video.  But what if your very job depends on it? In my case, it was the promise of a job that hung in the balance.  My name is Virginette and I am a self-proclaimed video phobe.  This is the true story of how I conquered the video call interview, and how you too can do the same.

I was thrilled to be offered an interview with my future boss, but scared to think I’d be on video with him.  I did some research and found a plethora of information online.  Here is the very best of it, coupled with my own experience. 

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1)      Dress the part

Dress to match the culture of the company. If you’re gunning for a Wall Street job, jeans and t-shirt are a big no-no. Most importantly, just because the interviewer can only see your top half, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dress head to toe. You never know if you have to leave the computer to get something or change locations mid-way through the interview.

2)      Put away all distractions

Put away everything that could possibly be a distraction. Put your phone away or simply turn it off. If you have interview notes, limit them so that you’re not shuffling too much or it could appear you’re unprepared. If you have pets, make sure they aren’t able to run around and make a raucous. Also, nothing is worse than having family members or roommates storm in or yell in the background.  Lock yourself in a room and let others know that you will be unavailable at that time.

3)      Background check           

There’s nothing wrong with having a Kiss or Justin Bieber poster in your home, but it’s probably not a good idea to have it visible during your interview. Pick a neutral location that won’t distract your interviewer.  Avoid conducting the interview with your back to a window or anywhere that is poorly lit. This interview is about you and your pretty face.

4)      Microphone and video check

Make sure to do a test of the software, hardware and network connection before the big day. The best way is to do a test run with a friend. Ensure that the camera and microphone are working properly and that you’re able to see and hear clearly from both ends.  Position your camera so that the interviewer can see you straight-on as if you’re having a real face to face conversation.  Be sure you enable the picture in picture feature so that you’re able to see yourself during the interview. The last thing you want is the interviewer looking up your nose.

5)      Practice  Makes Perfect

Practice by watching yourself answering questions. Most people are uncomfortable looking at themselves but it’s important to take note of your body language. You may have a weird tick of flipping your hair or nervously tapping your fingers. When it comes to the big day, you’ll be more than aware of this. Lastly, no matter how nervous you are – nothing is a better guard than a big, confident, genuine smile.  

I’d be lying if I said the interview went off without hitch or that I followed all these rules to a T.  (I didn’t wear heels because I’m klutz and at one my point, my cat was chasing her tail in the chair next to me.)  Now, I’m on video calls every day. I love the ability to see my colleagues and truly get the sense of interacting and collaborating as a team.   

Have you gone through a video call interview? Share your pearls of wisdom in the comments section below.