Smile, You’re on Camera: Dealing with a Video Job Interview
With technological advances and more companies working remotely because of COVID-19 concerns, the use of video interviewing has been expanding recently. These days, the person interviewing you might be in California and you in New Jersey, but unlike the phone interview, they will be able to see you.
For Americans with disabilities, this has leveled the playing field more with able-bodied workers. With no longer worrying about traveling to an office building, Americans with disabilities can focus on the interview itself rather than which bus stop to get off at.
Now, what happens if you are an American with disabilities and you get a request for a video interview?
“The first steps are still the same,” said Alan Hubbard, LandAjob’s Chief Operating Officer. “You want to be prepared and make sure you are dressed correctly. You should wear a nice top outfit, whether it be a sweater, or a shirt and tie. You can then leave your PJ bottoms or favorite sweatpants on, but that's not really advised. You want to make sure you are professionally dressed as it can show in your voice, and you don’t want it noticed if you have to move away from the screen.” LandAjob, a nonprofit organization, helps Americans with disabilities find jobs.
Employers like the video interview because they get to see what you look like and are usually able to schedule them quickly because there are no travel issues or having to reserve interview rooms. For Americans with disabilities, it can also be an advantage, especially if the recruiting office is in a location that isn’t easily accessible.
“This can be an advantage for the person being interviewed,” said Hubbard. “You are eliminating the stress of traveling there and can focus more on the interview itself.”
With the video interview, the first thing you want to make sure of is that the online connection has been tested and is working well. This should happen well before the interview, so you can call the hiring manager if you run into any issues. If you are applying for a call center job showing you can communicate when you have a problem should be a good sign to the interviewer because in remote call centers, being able to troubleshoot and let people know about any problems is a must.
Once connected, make sure you have muted your email and social media accounts “You don’t want any interruptions,” said Hubbard. “That is going to reflect badly on you and will take away from the interview. You should always make sure your cellphone is off, so you are just focusing on the interview.”
Getting the right positioning of the webcam is very important as you want to be looking directly at the person who is interviewing you. You don’t want to be far away from the camera, so the hiring manager is straining to see you.
When the interview starts make sure you are smiling and making eye contact. You don’t want to be moving around in the interview or talking with your head down. Make sure you convey the message of wanting to work at the company.
"You want to make sure you are professionally dressed as it can show in your voice, and you don’t want it noticed if you have to move away from the screen...”