How to Master a Video Interview

Video interviews are becoming more of a common practice in the world of hiring, and the marketing industry is no different. Marketing firms accept applications and resumes from around the world and, especially for the first round of interviews, choose to interview potentials through a video call.

Nailing a video interview requires you to be charming, smart, prepared, and focused. Your interviewers are going to spend 15 minutes to an hour staring at your face, talking and analysing what you say, and making a first impression of you. Make sure you follow these tips below to crush all of your video interviews.

Setting Up and Testing Your Equipment in Advance

Having a video interview relies on having the right equipment able to capture live video and stream it in a video call. To be able to do this, you will need a camera, a microphone, and either speakers or headphones. The two major choice for this is to use either a smartphone or a computer.

If you have one, use a computer on a stable surface for your video interview. Holding a smartphone means you’ll cause the camera to shake, which could get annoying for people on the other side. Also, if you hold your phone vertically, the video will get streamed vertically, which can be annoying if your interviewer is using a computer and can only see a thin strip down the middle of their monitor.

As soon as you learn you have a video interview, test your set up. Make sure your video camera, microphone, speakers, everything works. Have a test call with a friend or family member around the same time of day and location you’ll have your interview. That way, you can test the lighting, check how sensitive your mic needs to be so they can hear you clearly, and make sure everything look clear.

All of this stuff is part of that first impression you’ll make, but it also shows your interviewer that you are a planner. A major skill needed in marketing is being able to plan ahead, identity potential problems, and fix them before they cause an issue.

Dress to Impress

In any interview, what you wear reflects what kind of person you are. A large portion of a first impression is based off of what you wear. Dress like a slob, people will think you are a slob at work. Overdress for the interview, they might think you’re pretentious. Wear professional clothes, your interviewer will think you will be professional in the workplace.

So, when it comes to getting a marketing job, a safe bet is to dress somewhere between business formal and business casual. If you are unsure, more towards business formal, or comb through their social media for photos of employees.  

While it might be tempting to only dress the top half of your body, dress like you are going to an in-person interview. During your appointment, you might need to get up and adjust the lights or fix a problem, and wearing pyjamas on your bottom half might be a little embarrassing.

Spend a lot of time on your face, as your interviewer is going to be staring at it. Comb your hair to a professional style, shave or trim your facial hair, and just make sure you look good.

Where to Look and How to Talk?

Minimising distractions should be a priority in an interview, and your screen is a distraction machine. If you often watch yourself during a video call, minimise or eliminate the part that shows what your camera sees. When your interviewer is talking, look at them on the screen, and then when you are talking, look directly at the camera.

When speaking, talk at your microphone and be sure to speak clearly and enunciate. When testing your equipment, make sure your mic isn’t too sensitive and talk at a normal volume. If your mic is too sensitive, normal talking will cause it to peak and sound really bad. The ideal setting is that they can hear you talk, but not hear you breathe.

Don’t control the conversation; be willing to stop and listen to your interviewer. Being a good listener is an essential trait to working in marketing because good ideas require communication.

When you do talk, try to convey confidence, avoid filler words, and be aware of your word choice. Being too formal in your word choice feels stuffy, but relaxing your grammar will come across as unprofessional.

Preparing for Your Interview

Going into an interview unprepared is preparing to fail. Study up on the company, their history, how many employees they have, and most importantly, what kind of marketing they specialise in.

Once you figure out what kinds of marketing they do, brush up on both the basics and the newest updates in that field. Marketing is constantly changing, so you can impress your interviewer with a firm understanding on what they do. That means finding examples of best practices or even creating some mock examples of what you could bring to their marketing.

Prepare for the Unexpected

Crazy things can happen during an interview. Maybe you’ll have a coughing fit. Your interviewer could be out sick and you are instead chatting with the CEO of the company. They might have to delay your interview for an hour, or ask to move it up by two hours. Try to be ready for anything and everything.

One common thing that people don’t expect is talking about compensation in a first video interview, yet it happens quite often. While it isn’t an exact wage negotiation, an interviewer might ask how much you want to get paid or tell you what they plan on paying you.

If you were there in person, you mind will be racing to do the math, but on a video chat, you have the power of the internet on your side. If this happens to you, discreetly pull up a paycheck calculator so you can figure out exactly how much they are offering, and if it will work for you. Your answer to this singular question could lead to you getting hired, but underpaid, or not hired because you want too much money.

Video interviews can be pretty intimidating, since it changes up the interview process. Instead of being able to get a feel for an office or having a few minutes to get comfortable, you are instantly thrown into an interview. The rhythm of talking online versus in person is different, and can throw off your groove if you aren’t prepared for it. By testing your setup, doing your research, and trying to prepare for a little bit of everything, you’ll be sure to rock any video interview you’ll have.

If you found this article helpful you may like to apply to be part of the DigitalGrads Career Accelerator and create your very own video interview for our Hiring Hub. 

About post author

Devin is a freelance writer from Daly City, CA. He writes about small business marketing and SEO. On his downtime, he enjoys experimenting with car modifications and collecting vinyl records. He also enjoys researching and writing about auto history. If you want to contact Devin, message him at his (rarely used!) Twitter account: @DevMorrissey
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