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The Employee Experience Platform | Culture Amp
6 tips for remote video interviews

Matthew Parker

Senior Recruiter, Culture Amp

Remote interviewing plays a key role in hiring at Culture Amp. Given the recent transition to work-from-home requirements, many other companies are adjusting their interview format. 

Many candidates and interviewers are likely to experience video interviews for the first time. But whether you are a seasoned or a beginner remote interviewer, Culture Amp’s pro tips will help you make sure you’re at the top of your game, even from the comfort of your home. 

1. Find a quiet place

Find a calm, quiet place that is free of distractions like roommates, pets, dirty dishes, or a television. This may be difficult at times, so if you need to take a call in a more public or loud place, let your interviewer know in advance. Make the other people around you aware of it so that you can create mutual respect for the fact that you’re sharing space during an important meeting. 

To keep things quiet, you can moderate the noise with good equipment and techniques. Try to use decent headphones. It helps reduce the noise and distractions around you. Even more importantly, it signals to the interviewer that no one else can hear their voice and that your conversation remains confidential. Also, when possible, mute yourself while your interviewer is talking so they aren’t distracted by any background noise coming from your end. 

2. Interruptions happen

No matter how well you prepare your space, interruptions do happen. There’s no need to feel embarrassed or annoyed. This is an opportunity to show a bit of vulnerability and authenticity, and it could create a moment of connection with your interviewer outside of the standard interview interactions. Any interviewer at Culture Amp would absolutely understand and probably enjoy discovering a part of your true self that exists outside of the camera’s view.

3. Clear space, clear mind

Get into the space you’re using for the interview 10 minutes before the call. Do a little tidying - the things behind you say something about you and removing some clutter will help you think more clearly and minimize distractions. This also reduces the chances of your interviewer being distracted by anything untoward in the background. 

4. Lights, camera, action!

It can be challenging to get a deep personal connection via video. To ensure you make an impact on your interviewer, make sure your face is well lit. This will allow them to more easily see your facial expressions and read your body language. 

When setting up, take the time to try a couple of different positions. To help with lighting, try not to sit with a window or source of light in your back, which would leave your face in the dark, or a bright lamp to the side, which would only illuminate one side of your face and cast a shadow on the other side. The best option would be to sit facing a window or source of light, as long as it isn’t blinding or bothering you. Once you feel comfortable with your setup and your face is lit to a Spielbergian level, it’s time to shine. Sit close to the camera so that your face fills most of the screen, and look straight down the barrel of the camera as much as possible. 

5. Practice active listening 

One of the downsides of video interviewing is that it’s harder to come across as deeply interested. To show that you’re engaged in the conversation with your interviewer, practice “active listening” where you can. In short, this means actively listening and responding to what they’re saying. 

If you’re not usually overtly physically expressive, try to summarize what you’re hearing from your interview to demonstrate understanding. This can also help you develop insightful follow-up questions.

If you want to learn more about active listening, we recommend these resources by Indeed and Lifelabs.

Video interview skills for now and for the future

These are uncertain times that require many of us to adapt both the way we work and the way we get that work. Building your video interviewing skills will be important not only to get your next job but to succeed in an increasingly remote working environment.

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