My name is Ed Rogan. I am a partner at Valtas Group, and I work in our executive search practice.
Video based interviewing has become more common in recent years and as a recruiter I have participated in hundreds of them myself.
I have made a number of observations about the candidates that I have interviewed and, in this video, I will be sharing a few tips to help you present yourself most effectively in your next video-based interview
Tip #1: Setting. Take the time to create a comfortable space for yourself. Take special care to ensure that the background is neat tidy and relatively clutter free. Do not let what is behind you distract your interviewer from you, the main feature. I do not recommend using virtual backgrounds unless it is absolutely necessary. I know sometimes it is, but with virtual backgrounds, I have found that the person in front of the virtual background fades in and out of it as they move forward and back. You should avoid that if you can.
Tip #2: As you are considering the location that you will be using, incorporate a table or desk for you to sit at like I am doing now. This will help you duplicate the feeling that you are actually sitting at a table or desk in the same room as your interviewer. This will also help with your posture and allow you to physically lean in to enhance the perception of engagement with your interviewer. I have seen too many people sitting in large comfy chairs or on sofas leaning back and appearing too casual or informal… so sit up and lean in!
Tip #3: Camera placement, lighting, and sound are also very important. There is a ton of great information out there about camera placement and lighting, so I am not going to recreate that content here. I would encourage you to do some research on camera placement and lighting and then do some experimental video shoots to see how it looks. Many MAC and PC based computers and laptops come with camera or photo booth apps and I have used them to do sample shoots and make adjustments. You may have one of these apps already as well, so use it.
As for sound, again, most computers and laptops come with built-in microphones, but they can make you sound distant and pick up on the ambient sounds and reverb of the room that you are in. I would recommend using an off-board microphone. There are a great many low-cost options for USB plug and play microphones on the market today. For example, there are headsets like this one I used in this video. When I use my headset, I put the microphone just below my chin to avoid popping sounds. There are also lapel or lavalier microphones like this one I show in the video. You simply clip it onto your lapel and your listener will swear that you are in the same room with them. Finally, there are desktop microphones like this one I show in the video. You can set it on the desk in front of you off camera and sound like a pro.
Tip #4: Eliminate or mitigate distractions. There will always be things that pop up you just can't avoid. We all understand that. I have had any number of things happen outside my home office during interviews. Emergency vehicles going by, neighbors using leaf blowers or hedge trimmers, unexpected people ringing the doorbell, or kids or spouse walking into the room. There is not much you can do about those things, but you should take the time to make sure you will not be interrupted. While your little pug puppy may be irresistibly cute and your four-year-old wandering into your office to see what you are doing. Sure, it is precious, but they also prevent you from being as focused and present as you should be during an interview.
Tip #5: Attire. Dress for a job interview. While you do not necessarily need to go all the way to suit and tie, or it's gender equivalent for you, I would suggest that you dress at least one level up from your typical office attire. If I were interviewing, I would choose something like this (as I show in the video), you may very well be the best dressed person on that video interview, and that is okay. You are the one being considered for the job. Show your interviewer that you care enough to dress for the opportunity.
Well, that's it for now. Please check out my other videos on best practices for preparing to interview. Thank you very much for watching and we will see you next time.
Partner & Search Practice Leader
About Valtas Group
Valtas Group works as Interim Executive Directors, supporting organizations in times of transition and helps organizations navigate uncertainty during leadership change.
Valtas Group also leads the search process in partnership with the board and staff leadership, as consultants for recruiting and search to support organizations identify the ideal Executive Director or leader.
Valtas Group partners with board members and senior nonprofit leaders on a variety of strategic consulting assignments. Valtas Group has a variety of comprehensive resources to guide your transition needs. Contact us to learn about executive interim and placement services.
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