Video Interview Tips for Job Seekers


I want to get into the video interviewing,
because this is pretty fun, and I get a ton of questions about this one, and more and
more companies are using this now. They’re using it, honestly, because it’s convenient,
and they got executives flying all over the world. Sometimes you’re in different cities or states
than they are. It’s a lot easier for them. They can pile a bunch of people into a room. I know it’s a little less comfortable than
actually being able to engage with somebody. So, I thought it was about time. I get so many questions about this. I figured, “Let’s do it.” This past weekend, what I typically do on
Fridays or Sundays, whenever I have time, depending on what my schedule looks like is
I think about the week that I’m about to go into. And actually, I get excited to do that stuff. I mean, I love Mondays. I don’t know if you saw my I Love Mondays
video — my little vignette the other day. But I thought about video interviewing and
I wanted … I didn’t want to just tell, you know, “Do this. Talk into the camera. Here, put the lights on,” and so on. I literally thought about, “What do I do every
Thursday with you?” I go through a checklist like this. I literally do this every week. So every week, you have a video interview
with me. I need to be prepared, and these are the kind
of things you’re going to need to be able to do. So let’s go through them. I have 20 of them. Most of them will apply to virtually everybody. But if you do these 20 things, I guarantee
you’re going to come off looking pretty good, pretty good. I broke these up into five categories. The first one is the prep. I’m talking about the interview prep. You need to do all the same stuff. I want you to do everything I’ve already told
you. In the previous 17 live office hours, in the
previous 100 recorded videos, in the 400 posts and all the things that I’ve shout out into
the world that I’ve taught you, do those. All the same principles apply to video interviews. It’s no different. Just understand that the interview is about
just having a different medium. It’s not about you behaving differently. So that’s the first thing. Step number one to give us a little warm-up
and a running start, do all the things that I’ve instructed. It’s the same techniques. Now, let’s get into to the setup. So the actual … the setup and the environment
that you’re going to go into, one of the things you need to be really careful about is your
webcam. So I’m using a Logitech 1080 922 or something. It gives us a pretty good picture, but you
certainly can use your laptop or your phone, or there’s a number of different things that
you can use. It’s all okay. You don’t need to worry about how clear you
are, as far as the level of granularity. Your webcam on your computer or your MacBook
or your Dell or whatever will be just fine. The most important thing about the camera
is, do you notice that when we have our live office hour sessions, I’m even with the camera? More or less, more or less. The big mistake that people make is, you know,
they look down at the camera. How many times out there are you on a web
chat with somebody or a webinar or something in that nature, and they’re looking down and
they’re talking down to you? They’re not probably not really talking down
to you, but it gives off that impression. So I don’t want you to run the risk of that. You don’t want to be looking up either. You want to try to get it on the right plane
with your eyes, so that you’re looking at them level when you’re … and we’re going
to get to how to talk to the camera here in a few minutes. But just kind of get in eye level. There’s nothing wrong. There’s nothing wrong with stacking your laptop
on some books. I have a little … Before, I have a wide
monitor. I have a 27 … basically, just my setup. I have a 27-inch monitor. Some of you probably seen it. When I shoot videos facing the sunroom, you
probably we see it in the background. But when I had just a 13-inch little MacBook
Pro or something, and my mine is behind there. But I would just put it on a little stand
or a little stand, and it raised it, and it worked great. So this is important. You got to get that webcam in the right spot. The next thing is your lighting, so you can
have lamps or you can have sun. Either way is okay, and it obviously depends
on what time of day you’re doing this. The important thing about the lighting is
that the lighting needs to be behind the camera facing you. So I don’t know if you … When we do this
every week, my setup is, there are lights on the side of me. Depending on the time of day, because I’m
in an office that has a lot of lights, sometimes it wreaks a little havoc and I have a little
difficulty with the lighting, which varies. But in your environment, wherever you are,
as long as you’re facing a window and the camera is in front of the window, that’ll
work. Some of the videos that you guys have probably
seen from me running around the last couple days, I stand right there, and I look at the
camera that’s right in front of me, and I don’t even have lights in front of me. I just have the sun, or you can be sitting
near a window. That all works. The important thing is you want the light
behind the camera. If I didn’t have lights behind that camera
and I was shooting like this out of my webcam, it would be blistering white because of all
that light behind me. So you just want to be careful that the sun
is in front of you or the window’s in front of you or your lamps or lights are in front
of you. You don’t need big, powerful, expensive lights. Most bright lights will work. You can put a lamp in front of you if you
want. So that’ll work. I just want to make sure that you’re mindful
of that. Then we want to talk about behind you. So, behind me, there’s not a lot of commotion. You see some books over there. This is part of my desk here. It’s a built-in area. There’s not a lot for you to see. There’s really not a lot to distract you. The room in the back, you can’t really see
a lot of the furniture. Actually, I’m still waiting for furniture
for that room. But you want it clean, so you don’t want a
lot of stuff behind you that is going to draw their attention away from you. So you don’t want pictures with prints, posters,
all that other kind of stuff that could be distracting, and you want to be careful if
you have a window behind you, if there’s anything going on behind you as well. So you just want to be careful of that. That’s number four. Number five, the audio. Now, I have a microphone here. It’s an Audio-Technica. It’s a fairly powerful microphone. You don’t need anything like that. I assert unless you have one. But there’s a lot of inexpensive microphones
that you can use. You can also use your computer microphone,
as well. Sometimes, you see people, they’ve got the
earbuds in. That’s okay. I don’t mind it for a casual webinar. But for an interview, I would prefer that
there’s nothing around you, and I also don’t want things falling out of your ears, things
of that nature. I would just either use your computer microphone
or get an inexpensive one. Here’s another one that a lot of people forget
about — the internet. Obviously, you’re going to need the internet
and a good download speed. My guess is you’re doing this in your home
or maybe your office, depending, but the thing that you want to make sure is that you are
etherneted into the internet. Don’t rely on WiFi. Every time I set this up for you, I actually
turn off my WiFi so I’m wired in, so I can give myself the best signal strength. It’s really important that you do that. I want to make sure that you’ve got the best
speed that you can, because nothing is worse. You know when you’re on a cell phone and the
sound keeps breaking up? It’s the same kind of thing. The screen will start to freeze. I do coaching calls. Whenever I do coaching calls with somebody
who is in my one-on-one coaching, and they’re out of town and they don’t live in my area,
we do Google Hangouts or Skype or whatever they like, and it becomes problematic sometimes
if they have a lot of apps running. We’re going to talk about that in a second. But just make sure that you are wired in,
your internet speed is good, and one of the other things that can help is shutting all
the apps on your computer. You would be amazed at, like my time machine
back up, that auto backs up that you forget is on Dropbox, other things that are running
in the background. So I turn all that off when we do this. The other thing that I do is I actually … I’m
watching to make sure that all of this is working properly and where I see you in the
chat. I’m watching to make sure that my signal strength
is solid. I’m using a Google Chrome browser and I have
an empty browser basically. I don’t have a lot of widgets or extensions
or other things on it that are running that will interfere. All of these little things contribute to stuff
that can go wrong, right? Nothing breaks my heart more than when the
internet craps out or my computer craps out on you guys. So just be careful. You want to make sure that you shut your apps
and unplug the telly. Unplug the telly. I know it sounds silly, but the telly starts
ringing or your phone’s buzzing or whatever, and it can become extremely distracting. Let’s roll on number nine. Make sure you’re sitting in a comfortable
chair. I don’t know if you know this. I don’t sit in a chair. I’m actually on a Swiss ball right now. It’s my favorite purple Swiss ball. It’s been with me for a long time. I haven’t sat on a desk chair since 14 years
now, 15 years, something like that. But just something comfortable so you’re not
moving around, you’re not slouching, but it’ll keep you pretty consistent with the camera
so that there’s not a lot of variance and there’s not a lot of distractions between
you, the chair, the table and all that good stuff. Then, let’s talk about the table here for
a second. One of the things that can be very you know
distracting is your table or your desk. You want sure that it is clutter-free except
for the things that you need that we’re going to talk about here in a second. But just make sure that your desk is spotless
except for your notes and don’t do not forget your resume. Do not forget your resume. I want to say that twice because it’s easy
to do. You assume that they have it. When somebody says to you, “Hey, can you walk
me through your resume?” and you don’t have it, or, “Hey, I was noticing on your resume,”
and you don’t have it, it’s a little embarrassing, and it’ll make it a lot more difficult, and
in a lot of cases, you’re going to start to panic. So have your notes, have your questions, have
your resume, cover letter, anything you’ve sent them and anything on them, anything on
them. The other thing you can do, if you’ve got
little bios or whatever, you could tape them up or whatever, put them on the wall so that
you’re not noticing. Aside from these note cards, I don’t use notes
for these. I know what I want to tell you. But I know that you know it’s a lot for you
to handle what you need to say to them, what you want to ask them and then remembering
their backgrounds, if you’ve done your research and the things about the company. So, you can have some notes there if it doesn’t
get too distracting for you, but you want your desk to be very clean. You don’t want to be shuffling around for
stuff that you cannot find. Then you know I play with the chickens, before
we start this, and my dogs have to go in the crate. Well actually, they’re with my wife in the
living room right now. She’s home ill today, but your pets. I don’t care if they’re cats, dogs, fish,
whatever. Just make sure they’re in the right spot and
just keep it so that they are out of the way and will not barking when the UPS guy comes,
like they’ve done a few times for me. But anyway, just lock them up. All right. Let’s get you camera-ready. So you got the setup. You’re prepped. You got the setup. You know the environment. Let’s get you camera-ready, and I wore a black
shirt for you today. Your dress. This is kind of an interesting thing. Most of the time, I wear solid color, and
I generally … so man or woman, doesn’t matter. Solid colors appear better on the camera. What I also have noticed is darker colors
generally are better. It doesn’t mess with the camera. If you wear whites, it typically washes you
out. If you were stripes, it can be a little noisy. Now sometimes, I wear stripes because I only
have so many shirts that I can put on and I’m in front of you a couple times a week
every week. But for you, just dress in solids. Dress in solids. Try not to have too many colors on. If you got a jacket on or something, that’s
cool too. I would just try to make it as neutral as
possible, and I would make it darker rather than lighter. When I do television shows and when I actually
go on TV, the producers always tell me, “Hey don’t wear white.” So I never do. So, you’ll never see me on TV with white ever. So just watch the dress now. So, ladies, on this one, you ain’t going to
need to worry, but makeup. Your makeup is going to be just fine. But dudes, my brothers, I’m telling you … you
know, I’m not saying you got to put makeup on. I don’t wear makeup. But you want to make sure if you have lights
on that you need in the house in order for you to do this, and the lights are right over
you, you are going to be very shiny. I remember one time, a year or two ago, I
was doing something with The McQuaig Institute, and I was their recruitment expert on a show,
and I was doing this in my house, and it was about 5:00 and it was dark out, and my setup
at that time was much different than my setup now, and I had light, just like a light in
the middle of the room, and my face was all shiny, and it was about 10:00 to 5:00. I called my wife. She was on her way home from work. I called her up and I said, “Oh my God, honey. I’ve got a shiny face. I need some of that rouge or whatever you
have, powder.” So I went into her bathroom and sure enough,
I dabbed a little on my forehead and nobody can tell. If you need to put it on, go ahead, but it’ll
be more disruptive if you got lights over you, and everything will become much more
shiny even if you don’t have very oily skin. So you want to be careful and you might have
to get in touch with your feminine side, guys, but do it if it helps. Then another thing about shininess, glasses. It’s okay to wear glasses if they are glare
proof. If they are not glare proof, you’re going
to have a lot of rainbows and a lot of other stuff. So I’m always careful about … Sometimes
I’ll use my reading glasses, but just you want to be really careful with your glasses. Now, let’s talk about practice. All right. So, next section. Let’s talk about how to practice for this. So you’re doing all your prep. You got all your notes. You know, you’ve gone through, you’ve rehearsed
your question, and you got all that stuff going on. The biggest thing for you is to talk to the
camera. You are going to blow away any interviewer
and all the other candidates if you can actually talk to the camera and not talk to the screen. So if I sat here and looked at you and did
all this all day, that wouldn’t be nearly as effective for an hour as me looking at
you and talking into the camera and explaining that I want you to talk to the camera. You will be amazed at how quickly you get
good at that. Just make sure that when you are responding,
you are talking to the camera and you are looking at the camera. As matter of fact, you also, if you can look
at the camera when they’re talking, if you can get your set up so that you can catch
them in your peripheral vision and they’re speaking to you and you’re looking at them,
that’s your home run. Trust me when I tell you, you will come across
much more effective. They will feel much more connected to you
than the other candidates if you can maintain that eye contact through the camera. This is a big deal. It would probably be the single tip I would
give you to say this is what will score you the most points. So practice that and then what I would do
is get a buddy or a spouse or whoever, family member, and actually get them in another room
or across town or wherever they are and practice. Have a little Skype call or Google Hangouts
or whatever, but you want to you want to practice with your computer and your computer lens. FaceTiming and all that other stuff is cool,
but this will be much more effective. So you want to make sure that you’re practicing
with a buddy or a spouse. I would definitely, definitely do that. Now, let’s get into the actual execution. I mentioned this one. When you do this, so I want you to practice
the eye contact, and I want you to make sure that you maintain the eye contact through
the session, through the session. Big, big deal. Big, big deal. Then I want to make sure you’re wearing your
best smile a lot. It’s okay to be serious. I’m serious with you sometimes, but you got
to make this as fun as possible and you need a real smile and it needs to come off as though
you’re enjoying this. I love this and I want you to love the opportunity
to interview with that company through the camera. I know it’s not the same as being there, but
smiling a lot … Trust me. I mean, this is a huge, huge deal, huge deal. So make sure you’re smiling. Then number 20, don’t end without getting
their email address. It’s easy to forget. It’s easy to forget. You got them, get it, have them spit it out
to you, and then make sure you jot it down. And then within 24 hours, like I taught you,
make sure you send that email to them, copy the HR person or the recruiter or whoever
and just … But don’t forget it. You’re obviously not going to get their business
card. If they escape and you don’t get that email
address, now you have to contact the recruiter. You have to get it that way or you have to
take guests, which is worse. So just want to make sure that you are doing
that. So keep in mind, there’s a practicing to this. There’s a setup to it, right? You want to make sure you got the right kind
of environment. You want to get camera-ready, you want to
practice, and then you want to execute it effectively. So those are my tips. That’s what I go through every week. And so, that’s where this stuff comes from. I hope you liked that.

46 comments

  1. Great tips as usual. Job seekers really need to study up on your content!! I agree that the looking down can be distracting – and also when people aren't looking at the camera. Cheers!

  2. Hi Andy, I've been working on listing my accomplishments into the 'Career Achievements Journal' template that you provided and it is AWESOME. Would it be appropriate to refer to this list for inspiration during the interview (not reading from it but referencing for appropriate stories to answer the questions)? My employer exclusively uses Performance Based Interviewing, with all candidates asked the exact same questions. I get nervous and my mind goes blank when asked these questions as they are complex, multi-part, and often difficult to decipher what they are truly needing. I am studying the questions and my stories but would like to have a safety net if it would not detract from my competence. πŸ™‚

  3. GREAT tips, Andy! Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. πŸ™‚ Logitech 922 Webcam that Andy's using = plenty good. I have the same webcam. Set it up (software) prior to going "live" with it. Keep the built-in software filters to a minimum, as it will cause additional lag. Try to create the video lighting/color you want naturally, if at all possible. His tips for freeing up memory & speed to keeping your computer from lagging = priceless! Rewind. Listen again. Make notes. He breezed through several important things that many may not have considered before.

    AUDIO: Andy uses an Audio Technica condenser in front of him, but used to use a clip-on "lapel" condenser mic (he mentioned the wires hanging down, which are for in-ear monitoring of what's going on). Either works great, but if you listen to Andy's older videos compared to these.. the audio is much richer, fuller, louder, cleaner. Here's a cheap, affordable solution if your computer's mic isn't hitting on much. YouTubers swear by it. The Blue Snowball ICE = $50 on Amazon. You won't need a pop-filter or extras as long as your mouth is approx. 1 ft or more away from the mic. Well worth the investment. If you use a mic like this, make sure to TURN OFF the mic playing back through your speakers (or turn it way down, as to stop feedback). The only thing you want playing back through the speakers is the other person (the interviewer).

    Andy's SKYPE CALL practice = absolutely essential before a big web interview.

  4. Great video Andy. These tips are really helpful for video interviews ..and yes need to remember to put the dog in his crate! πŸ™‚ Thank you for sharing!

  5. Yes! I think it would be SUPER easy to forget your resume in a video interview…great reminder, Andy!

  6. Another great video, Andy. Thanks again for the reminders. I have another video interview on Friday morning. The prep list is awesome!

  7. So when I was in corporate I frowned upon this, but now I would use video interviewing all the time. It saves me hassle and lets me vet people in advance.

  8. Andy, fantastic tips on how to do a video interview. These types of interviews are becoming so popular. They are pretty nerve wrecking too. I LOVE your flash cards btw!

  9. Wonder if i would be more nervous on camera or in person with video. Both sound tough. Your videos are good. You speak well

  10. Hey! Andrew LaCivita
    I attended the video webinar on August 20th, 2018.
    How do I get those free e-books or printed ones with paid shipping?

  11. I have 5 video interviews coming up where I will go to one of their corporate offices, but all the interviews will be done over video and they are back to back with a lunch break. I'm not sure what the set up will be – I assume it is ok for me to have notes even if they can see them? I will be the last to interview as other candidates interviewed in person – they were flown in but I couldn't do that as I was out of the country that week. Any tips for me besides what you said in your video? I will wear black or navy so thanks for that advice.

  12. Thanks man, this is super helpful. I have to record a 2 minute video answering to questions to send in after today for a game design company since I am a 3d Artist and I admit I am super nervous but so excited and wanting it.

  13. VIs are horrible! I miss the old days where you got to meet and talk to someone one on one. Wish I had a time machine.

  14. Great video. Need a little help. I have a very first video interview coming up that is pursuant to an initial interview with a recruiter. If this one goes okay, an in-person interview will follow so I was wondering how I should dress for the video interview. Isn't a suit and tie too much since the video interview itself is somewhat an informal technique?

  15. I would also advise to turn the computer on and leave it running for at least 2 hours in case there are any updates, windows updates, firewall etc that require rebooting.

  16. At 13:25 mark: Does this also apply to darker complexion individuals? Or does wearing white/lighter colors still have a negative effect on the camera regardless of skin tone?

  17. Hi Andrew! I have a one-way interview I have to complete by a certain date. This is the first interview of this type I have ever done, and i'm not really sure how to go about it. I've done Skype interviews before, but the one-way interview is a new thing for me. I am supposed to use a link they provide and answers to timed questions that are recorded through video/audio. There are no people on the other end. Do you have any insight for this type of interview? Thank you very much! Dustin

  18. I have a video interview soon (2nd interview in the hiring process) but I will be doing it in the office I had the 1st one, so, there will be things I can't control. Maybe the two persons that interviewed me will be there (extra pressure), maybe not, I don't know. Any special advices for this one? thanks so much, and let you know that I have your book and it helped me to get insight in these hard situations.

  19. Thank you! I have a zoom interview tmrw morning for a virtual job. I have a new laptop and a home office, hopefully, with your tips, I can do this

  20. I just did my first on-demand video conference (Montage). It literally took me about 10 hours to complete. I was able to re-record unlimited times so that was a life saver. It's very non personal. The only benefit I can see for this is for the hiring manager can view you anytime they want. It doesn't save money as it didn't cost anything for employers to interview in the first place. It does however eliminate the job seekers cost for travel and perhaps an outfit. It actually cost the company money to buy the software. I'm not a big fan of talking to yourself in your phone or laptop. A Youtube star I am not!

  21. One more thing, I do believe its discriminatory. Legally, EEOC says it's not however, when was EEOC ever on the job seekers or employees side?

  22. What's ailing my job search is peer sabotage. I recently went on an interview with the person I would be replacing. She was promoted to an EA to support the Senior VP which left her position open. At one point in the interview, she said, "wow, you do have a lot of experience"? I felt, I did a really good interview and she just confirmed it. After, getting the dear John no thank you email I started thinking about what I could have done wrong. My experience is where I should have been the Senior VP's EA not her and she got threatened.

    I have had this happen to me in the past too. So, corporations are not getting the best candidates at all and the peers have no interviewing skills whatsoever and hold all the power. It's very discouraging to me. Is there anyway around doing peer interviews? I think it's the hiring manager and HR being lazy. The issue is, how do I get a job when I have to interview with my peers?

  23. Eye contact! Thanks for that tip. A few adjustments to my setup and I can maintain eye contact with the other individual.

  24. Kudos for the Video! Apologies for the intrusion, I would appreciate your initial thoughts. Have you researched – Schallingora Information Investigation Scheme (erm, check it on google should be there)? It is a great exclusive product for learning what you need to say to get hired in a job interview minus the normal expense. Ive heard some unbelievable things about it and my cousin finally got excellent success with it.

  25. man i hate video interviews with a passion, id rather do 10 in person interviews than 1 video. I guess just practice till i get comfortable.

  26. Video Interviews are STUPID DISCRIMATORY and very PREJUDGING. This is why everybody is staring at phones now instead of actually communicating. Companies wanna see how you live and judge you based on your environment.

  27. A great video overall. Just a couple of additional thoughts: Although in this video you’ve used some lighting for your face, I would suggest not speaking in front of a window like this. Some cameras will actually try to autofocus on your background so the distance between where you are and what’s behind you should be quite short. An additional tip I would have included is for people to test their sound. I just did two room tests and found one to have a lot of echo. As well, I would not suggest a built in computer mic, as the sound quality may be horrible, especially a built in laptop mic.

  28. I miss the old days of looking for a job. Nothing beats a paper application and a phone call, that leads to a face to face interview.
    This whole digital process and these video interviews are dehumanizing and disgraceful.
    A background check is one thing, but the whole hiring process through machines or empty video interviews is just disrespectful and rude!

Leave a Reply

(*) Required, Your email will not be published