Did you think your upcoming interview would be a breeze just because it’s online? When there’s no need to stare someone in the face across a two-person table, the atmosphere should feel more relaxed, right? Wrong. An online video interview can be just as nerve-racking as an in-person interview.
Since online video interviews are becoming increasingly popular, we’ve put together some tips to help you relax during your online video interview. So, here goes:
Prepare the setup
At least one full day before the interview, arrange your interview area completely. Think of it as cooking your meal, and setting your dinner table, well in advance of the expected guests. To make sure your setup is ready, do as follows:
- Test Your Setup: Two hours before your interview, test your internet and computer/laptop/mobile device to make sure all is working well. The two hours will give you enough time to tweak anything, or find an alternative if necessary.
- Display Relevance: Plan where you’ll sit for your interview, and then make sure its background displays items relevant for the job. For example, place a few books from the field on a shelf visible from the camera.
- Display your Personal Side: Include one or two props as conversation pieces. A family photo, a cute coffee mug, or a knick-knack. But be real – ask yourself what you might actually have at your desk.
- Clear Up: The interview space should be immaculate, so be sure to clean, neaten, and tidy.
- Pause All Extraneous Noise: A few minutes before the interview, turn off all phone ringers, alarms, and beeping reminders. Consider also placing a “Do Not Disturb – Live Recording” sign on your door. It works for radio – so why not?
Dress the part
In most cases, this means to get dressed in what you would normally wear to an in-person interview. On the other hand, an online interview allows for more leeway because you choose your own turf. For example, if you’re interviewing for a gardening job, it could be a plus for you to suit up in gardening gear, and interview from your lawn.
A recent article in Lifehack described how smiling actually helps you relax, and a few psychology articles have proven similar. In particular, be sure to smile genuinely at the beginning and end of the interview.
Make a real connection
Act as if you’re sitting at the same table. To do this, LOOK INTO THE CAMERA, DIRECTLY. Our eyes naturally gravitate to our screens but that makes us look AWAY from our interviewer during the interview. When you make eye contact, be mindful of sincerely trying to make a personal connection with the interviewer. In other words, make it count.
Above all, practice
For a few days before the interview, role play the interview with questions you think might come up. Ask someone you trust to play interviewer, and to throw questions at you. Most importantly, practice looking into the camera to forge connection with the interviewer. After you finish the practice interview, ask your “tester” interviewer for feedback on how you came across. Then, keep practicing as many times as you need to feel ready.
Drop your shoulders down
This alleviates tension immediately. (Go ahead, try it now.) This doesn’t mean slouching, though, so be sure to keep good posture, while relaxing your shoulders.
An online video interview can be as stressful as interviewing in person. As with an in-person interview, the better prepared you are for an online video interview, the more relaxed you’ll feel. In turn, you will be able to represent yourself as best as possible for the position.