Make sure to impress — even through a webcam or camera.
As an information technology professional for the last 14 years, I have discovered a passion for applying to 100 percent remote jobs. Most of these remote-friendly companies are not in my local Washington D.C. area. Therefore, the entire interview process is done via video using Skype, Google Hangouts, or Zoom.
Even companies in my local area have decided to utilize video technologies to pre-screen employees before they request a face-to-face interview. The gift and curse of conducting interviews using video conferencing are that you don't have to get all dressed up, but you have to sell your personality, experience, and knowledge on camera.
Throughout my career, I have conducted over 20 video job interviews with federal government agencies and private sector companies. I've learned a lot about how to sell myself by simply being authentic and adapting to the energy of the interview panel. Because of my success, I know that you can sell yourself into the job of your dreams without stepping foot in a corporate office. Here's how:
1. Get on camera in a bright and quiet place
I always make sure I am in a quiet place in my house or in a private office at a coworking space during my video interviews, making sure to turn off my cell phone and music so there are no distractions. Also, since you are going on camera using your laptop or desktop, make sure you are in a room with good lighting so the interview panel can clearly see your face.
2. Be presentable
For all of my video job interviews, I dress casually — but still polished. I usually iron a long sleeve, blue denim button-down top. I make sure my hair looks perfect, apply light makeup with a neutral lip gloss, and wear my red eyeglasses, which is my signature look.
It is not necessary to dress up in business attire for a video interview because they will only see your face and chest. Not to mention, you want them to see your authentic self and fancy clothes may be a distraction. Instead, opt for something clean, simple, and polished.
3. Bring authentic energy on camera
Now that I am dressed comfortably in my casual attire, it's time to sell the real me. I always do my best to provide a warm welcome at the beginning of the interview. Since I have a big personality, I try to convey my excitement, passion, and drive throughout the entire interview.
Most companies are looking for a culture fit so it's important to let the interview panel know who you are on camera without being fake. Please be the real you so you can easily describe your expertise and past work experience.
4. Clearly answer the interview questions
I love answering job interview questions in the form of storytelling and technical explanations. When I am asked about my past career roles, I briefly describe each role and give them a small snapshot of what I did and what I accomplished. I am also always prepared to answer scenario-based questions, clearly describing how I would develop and execute a technical solution.
You have to sell your knowledge on camera by making good eye contact, smiling as you respond, and projecting your voice so they can hear you. It's important for you to ask non-typical questions at the end of the interview; you want to ask questions about their company, technical processes, and the role to ensure you stand out from the other candidates.
5. Follow up with a thank-you email
Once the video interview is over, you want to send them a thank-you email to display your interest in the role. Most of my video interviews involved more than one round with a new interviewer, so I always send a thank-you email within 24 hours of the interview. Make sure to display your excitement for the role you interviewed for when you compose your thank-you email and sell why you would be a good fit role.
In the future, video job interviews will continue to become more and more popular, so be ready to sell your personal and career brand on camera; most companies are looking for authentic personalities, strong career experiences, and solid technical knowledge.
Worried about your next virtual interview? Our interview coaches can help you go in confident and sure of yourself.
Editor's Note: This article was originally written by Kanika Tolver for Glassdoor. It has been reprinted with permission.