Making a Good Impression in a Video Job Interview

Making a good impression in a video job interview can be more challenging than in an in-person interview. Although the content of a video interview is much the same as an in-person interview, the execution differs.

Consider these sample reactions:

  • A candidate, a cool 20-something manager who isn’t easily thrown off center, told a magazine that his video interview was “kind of nerve-wracking” and a totally different feeling from sitting in front of someone for a live interview.

  • An employer reported on a message board that a lot of things don’t come across the camera and that certain factors are accentuated: “Posture, dress, comfort with uncertainty, facility with technology — all those things get highlighted and bolded during a Web interview.”

Online, you can’t use handshakes and ingratiating small talk as you enter and leave an interviewer’s office to help imprint favorable memories of you. To compensate, include a memorable statement — a sound bite. Somewhere near the end of the interview, an experienced candidate might say something like this:

Of the many things I’ve accomplished in my career, (name a top achievement) stands out as the most significant. Do you see a strong connection between my favorite accomplishment and what it will take to be very successful in this position?

An entry-level candidate can aim to become unforgettable by saying something unexpected like this at the end of a video interview:

I know that many employers consider my generation to be lacking in writing and critical thinking skills and are not pleased that some of us write company e-mail as if we were texting cell-phone messages with our thumbs. That’s not me. I’m good with technology but I’m old fashioned. I spell my words correctly and include all of the letters. And I believe you will be happy to know that I use my head when I write — not just my thumb. When can we get together and speak face-to-face?
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