You just received good news! You passed the first test for what could be your dream job. Now you have been invited to the virtual or video interview. Virtual interviews via Skype, Google Hangouts, Zoom or other web conferencing technology are common these days in the job searching world.

While you may have experience face-timing or video chatting with friends, family, and even colleagues, here are some pointers to ensure you have a winning video interview that advances you to the next round during the job selection process.


1. Practice makes perfect

“A failure to plan is a plan to fail.” Let’s apply this wisdom from Ben Franklin so that it can lead to more “Ben Franklins” in your bank account by creating a plan to win. It starts with practice.

In addition to doing your research and practicing potential interview questions, you want to ensure you are set up so you come across clear and smooth. Schedule a practice video interview session with a buddy and set yourself and your space up exactly as if you will be having the interview.

During this dry-run, make sure your internet and the platform to be used are working smoothly. Ask your buddy to give you candid feedback on the lighting, sound, and your appearance.

2. Prepare for glitches

Keep in mind that technical glitches happen on either end. The more preparation and practice you do in advance, the less it will happen on your end, and the more calmly you will be able to troubleshoot and handle it during the real video interview. It is always good to have a backup plan!

Should the video connection be lost, have your phone handy along with your interviewer’s contact number to be able to connect with them about a plan B.

Breathe and put your best attitude forward to roll with what is happening and come up with a solution.

Now that you have practiced, you are well on your way to making a solid connection during the video interview.

3. Smile to boost confidence

Since this interview is virtual, smiling with making frequent eye contact is a simple, powerful and effective way to develop rapport and create a powerful interpersonal connection with your interviewers.

Why smile? Studies show that smiling can decrease your stress level. This can help you think more clearly and respond better to interview questions. Other studies have revealed that smiling boosts confidence, enthusiasm, and increases your interpersonal connection and attractiveness to others.

4. Connect with the camera

During an interview, you want to look directly into the camera to make eye contact with your interviewers. This does not mean that you have to stare constantly and directly into the camera the entire time, but make sure that you do it often.

Target eye contact during introductions, when the interviewer is asking you a question, when you are asking your questions, and during the close of the interview session.

Adjust your camera so that it is focused on your face and shoulders—not too close and not too far. Positioning your camera so that it is a bit above eye level can often be a flattering angle. Make sure that your background space is neutral and/or organized and reflects the image you want to project.

5. Follow through

—And follow up! After the interview, you have the luxury of sitting back in the comfort of your quiet space to review what you learned during this experience. This is the time go over any notes you took, reflect on the questions they asked you, and the information that they shared. 

If you're not sure if you should reach out, be sure to check out my other tips on when and how to follow up.

This information can help you follow through by crafting a powerful thank you note and preparing for the next interview. As you look over and add to your notes, ask yourself the following:

  • What did I learn about each interviewer?
  • What did they share about the current priorities of the company and the job? (Is the company growing, relocating, adding a new line of service?)
  • What are the most important skills and qualifications they want in the top candidate?
  • How is this company, its mission, and the job a fit for me?

What ways have you found to be most effective in preparing for a winning video interview? Share your comments below.

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