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10 tips to prepare for an IT job video interview

Rich Hein | Sept. 25, 2013
Learn what it takes to set up and be ready for your video interview, so you can focus on what's important -- getting the job.

Two-Way Video Interviewing
Live interviewing helps an employer remove geographical barriers when looking for potential employees and is normally used later in the interview process right before hiring managers are about to fly in their top picks as a way to justify money spent on travel.

This isn't a substitute for a face-to-face interview, according to Young. In the ideal situation an employer would fly in only their top two candidates. "It's simply a more efficient and cost-effective way to get to the final stage," Young says.

The important things to remember as a candidate, according to Young, is that although you're doing a video interview all of the prep work involved with a typical interview still applies, but there are some extra things you need to do to ensure the best possible outcome.

Create the Right Video Environment
The first step is to find a suitable place and then remove and all distractions from that area. Eliminate background noise in this area. Your dog may be adorable, but you don't want him barking at a passerby as you're interviewing for you next job. Put your pet in another part of the house.

Ask the other people in your vicinity to be as quiet as possible during your interview timeframe. Get rid of any digital distractions as well, your mobile device or applications like email that could be running on your desktop or laptop PC.

Young says that if there is some disruption, don't dwell on it. "If something does go wrong, remain calm and poised under the pressure."

Setting the Shot
When you interview in an employer's office you're entering their environment, but the video interview gives them a glimpse into yours. Look carefully at where you will be shooting your video and what can be seen in the background. "Be sure to check your own video playback and see how you and your surroundings look. I conduct many practice interviews via Skype video. It looks bad when your surroundings are cluttered and disorganized. I discovered this about myself: I think I'm pretty neat and organized, but my background looked cluttered. I just cleared out everything behind me, just a white wall behind me now," says Burns.

Check your Lighting
Lighting is critical, so make sure your placement is optimal. One of the things that can work against you is that you may appear as a silhouette because you're sitting next to a window or there is a lot of light behind you. "Getting the light in front of you can be challenging to a lot of people," says Young.

"Your best bet is to check your own video playback and make adjustments, according to Burns. If you turn on an incandescent lamp, the whole scene might look redder. Turn on a fluorescent lamp, and you see more blue. The camera perceives light differently than the human eye," says Burns.


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