Check out these ten tips for video conference interviews to help with the anxiety and awkwardness they inherently produce. They are here for you to feel confident in your self and prepared for the opportunity before you. Remember you are more than your job, and most importantly they are lucky to be meeting you!
- Do your research
Study their website. Know what they are about, what their values are, what their mission statement is. Familiarize yourself with the events, workshops, products, etc. they offer. Look at their social media accounts (i.e., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) and get to know the language they use to describe their work and themselves. It is important you have a clear idea of what they do, who they are, and how and why you want to be involved.
- Review your resume
Look over the resume you sent them, and pull out the skills and experiences you’ve had that would be important for them to know. Also practice translating the skills and experiences that seem to have nothing to do with the opportunity you’re being interviewed for in a way that can be useful to the job. So for example, if you are applying to be a data analyst and that summer you were a camp counselor seems to have no use for your computer-based job, find ways to pull out the — leadership and creativity — skills you learned during camp counseling that could impact your data analysis work.
- Prepare an “elevator speech”
An elevator speech is a four-sentence “synopsis” of your skills and experiences. It is a clear and brief description of who you are, what you do, why the interviewers should care about you (aka how your life experiences will impact the job), and what you want from them (what you are looking for in return). Easier said than done, huh? Just practice writing out your reflections on all these questions, taking a look at your resume as well, and then hone down that writing exercise to a four-sentence paragraph. Make sure you hear your voice and your story in the “speech” — don’t define your self and your journey on what you think they want to hear. The “elevator speech” though awkward and business professional is an opportunity for you to highlight just how special you are.
- Interview yourself!
It is important you feel prepared for the interview, and an easy way to do this is to imagine what questions may be asked and create your own answers to them. Interview yourself! You can also have a close friend or someone at the Gordon Career Center mock interview you. Questions typically asked during interviews include: 1) tell us about yourself, 2) why are you interested in our organization?, 3) how would your close friends describe you in three words?, 4) tell us about a time you solved or mediated a conflict, 5) what are your strengths? what are your areas of growth?, 6) what do you want to learn from this internship?, 7) what skills do you have to offer our company?
- Create questions for them
You are about to enter into a relationship with this job, so it is important to know what to expect and what you are becoming a part of. In essence, remember you are interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you. Prepare at least two questions specific to their company to ask during the interview. Examples include 1) What is something you love about your job?, 2) I saw this event/statement on your website. Can you go into more detail about it?, 3) How have you as a company been dealing with this issue? Asking questions shows you have done more than just your research — you have thought critically and deeply about how the opportunity will impact you and how you will equally transform the job.
- Be ready to discuss logistics
They may ask you your availability, request when you’re able to start, inquire about how much you want to be paid or where you might be living during the internship/job. Prepare your answers to “logistical” questions like these, and make sure you ask any logistical questions you may have to them. For example, if it is an unpaid internship you may ask if they can buy your lunches or use their network to help you find a place to stay.
- Send a follow-up email
After the video conference interview is over (and you have celebrated yourself for going through that process), send them a thank you email. Make it simple: include a “thank you for taking the time to connect with me,” and something new you learned during the interview, and a “I look forward to hearing from you soon.”
- Know your worth
Having confidence in yourself, your journey, your voice, and your opinions are essential to having a successful interview. People gravitate to those who (at least seem to) have strong self-esteem, a secure sense of self. Before your video interview, write three affirmations on sticky notes and post them on your computer during the interview so you can remind yourself of how truly incredible you are. Consider these three affirmations: 1) I am worthy and deserving of this opportunity, 2) I am proud of myself, 3) I am powerful and brilliant.
- Dress professionally — Choose your environment carefully
Just as you are showing yourself in how you engage in the interview, you are also expressing yourself in how you dress and where you host the call. Make sure you are in a place with little to no distractions, and be aware of the background they will see in the video. Also, your clothes reveal part of who you are/who you want to be, so dress professionally and in a way that feels (if at least partially) true for you.
- See “the interview” as an introduction
Introduce in Latin means “to lead to the inside.” Consider your “interview” as an opportunity for you to connect with and open up to these people. Show your confidence in yourself and your journey through your actions – how do you hold yourself and your body? how do you look and acknowledge the people on the screen? how do take time respond to the questions they inquire about you? Believe in the power of yourself, and trust that the right opportunity for you will always present itself.
As my best friend Colby once said to me, “my secret is to over-prepare, so that I feel confident going into it. The point is to feel confident and self-assured, not to have all the answers ready! If you feel good, you can handle questions you didn’t expect.”
Good luck y’all!