In the early stages of the interview process, it is common for employers or recruiters to use a video platform for interviews. Technology affords us the convenience of easy scheduling when travel does not have to play a role in arranging cyber meetings. Here are a few tips to consider before you go on the small screen:

Test the technology: Make sure the link works and that your equipment is in functioning order. Verify that you have reliable WiFi at your disposal. Such a test may take only 5 minutes and should be done with enough advance time (ideally the day before) so you can contact the interviewer in for assistance.

Choose the right location: What makes it the right location? It should be as quiet as possible, so not a busy coffee shop or in the middle of your kitchen with pets or kids likely to walk in. Look at the background of your camera shot and choose a backdrop that is not too busy. Art, photos, book cases are all fine, but steer away from laundry, dishes, and old band posters.

Adjust your camera angle and the lighting: This is probably the most common misstep I see. Make sure your image appears in the video frame in the center, showing from the shoulders or mid-torso and up. Often, I will see a small head in the bottom of the screen and lots of ceiling, and occasionally I am looking up someone’s nose, which is not my favorite view. Either can be easily corrected by placing the computer on a stack of books to elevate it correctly. As for lighting, place a light behind your computer so it falls on your face and not from behind you as if you are in a witness protection plan.

Keep your eyes on the prize: Eye contact during a video interview is difficult, especially when you have several people involved. A good rule of thumb is to look at the camera when you speak. If you have adjusted your computer correctly, the camera should be at eye level.

Use your notes: A real advantage to video interviews is the ability to spread your notes out in front of you to quickly recall metrics, facts and figures and your best examples of work place experiences. Just keep these out of sight by checking what is on your screen, and you will be brilliant!

While nothing replaces an in-person meeting, the video is a fantastic tool to schedule mutually convenient meetings across time zones and allows that ever important non-verbal language to play a part in the meeting. Smile, you’re on camera!


The webcam is a fact of life when it comes to job seeking.
Wendy Schmitt, Vice President