Recently a friend told me that she had an upcoming video interview with a great nonprofit organization.  I asked her where she was going to be actually doing the interview.  I knew that her home office was in a cubicle she had created in the laundry room.  Which means that what the interviewer would be seeing behind her would be her washer, dryer, and bin for dirty clothes.  This woman has three children. Which means there’s a lot of dirty clothes. The laundry view is not a recipe for interview success.

Be Careful About What Is Viewable 

I advised my friend that she needed to stage the background for video interviews. Yup, I said it –  staging.  Just like your clothes and attire in personal grooming create a first impression, so does the background of wherever you are interviewing when you’re doing a video interview.  My friend got it immediately, maybe because she’s a huge Property Brothers fan.

Create An Interview Environment At Home

The first thing she did was create a viable office looking background in her finished basement.  She had three framed silkscreen prints that looked very corporate, which is perfect for an interview.  She told me she even put a plant behind her to make it a little bit warmer.

Finally, she put on business casual professional attire and confirmed that she had good lighting.  Many people don’t realize how dangerous bad lighting is for people over 40.  In person you can look fabulous but if you put yourself in a bad lighting environment for a video interview you could look worn out at 47.

Video Interviews Are An Assessment

Sometimes I think candidates forget that every component of the interview process is an assessment. The video interview is an assessment.  When you’re meeting not in person, it’s much more difficult to build rapport.  So even more reason not to cut corners on the visual components of the video interview- background, attire and personal grooming – to ensure that you make a great impression.  Even more importantly, once you get a job, you will be using even more videoconference technology for your meetings.  The interview is a realistic job preview that you will be able to handle yourself in a professional manner in a video conference setting.

My friend rocked her interview and was advanced to the next stage, which was an in-person interview on site at the organization.  That is your goal with each and every video interview – to get to the next level to meet these people in person. As a candidate, she shared that the interviewer’s background was completely hideous.  Dust, piles of books and papers – not optimized to create a good impression.

About The Career Launcher

After spending years managing Talent Acquisition for Fortune 500 companies, The Career Launcher created the CareerRx™ program along with ResumeGenie™ for resume optimization.

In the CareerRx™ online webinar, she reveals how recruiting and job search has been transformed by recruiting technology including applicant tracking systems, social media, LinkedIn Recruiter, and how we must change our definition of  “job search” to launch and continuously promote an Online Career Brand.

With over 20 years of hands-on direct recruitment experience, The Career Launcher demystifies the online job application process and offers job seekers a comprehensive program to jump start their job searches. She provides an insider’s perspective to what companies are seeking from candidates in the interview process.

It’s time for you to go beyond the resume.  When it comes to your career, you can’t sit on the sidelines in the social media revolution.