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HOW TO ACE YOUR NEXT ZOOM INTERVIEW!

By: John Scerbo

How to “Ace” Your Next VIDEO INTERVIEW

While some companies still opt for phone screening, more and more organizations are using video interviews, as an excellent way of sizing up a candidate before an in-person meeting. There are numerous visual cues that are completely lost in a phone interview, and this can make or break a decision on the interviewer’s end. Of course, that means that you, as a candidate, have to bring your A-game and treat it as if it were a “face to face” interview.

While a video interview can seem extra stressful, it can actually be easier to pull off than a phone screening. Just as those visual cues can work against you, they can also work for you if you know how to use them. You’re putting a face to your skills, and a phone interview is a prime opportunity to wow your recruiter. Instead of being a faceless candidate, you have the invaluable opportunity to show your recruiters how charming and likeable you really are.


Scoring your dream job out of the many food and beverage manufacturing jobs on FoodEmployment.com’s website is no easy feat. Employers in the food industry want to hire the best, after all. With a few simple tips though, you can totally “wow” your interviewer on the video interview showing them what a great candidate you are!


Practice, Practice, Practice

It might feel a bit goofy, but one of the best ways to prepare for a phone interview is to practice with a trusted friend. Choose someone who you respect – someone who presents himself (or herself) well, and who you can count on for valuable feedback. Get on Skype with your friend and run through some practice questions that you might be asked.

During your practice interview, try to mimic your real interview as closely as possible. Wear your planned interview outfit, set up your lighting, and conduct your practice run in the same spot that you plan on using for your official interview. This will help your friend to give the best possible feedback.

If possible, try to schedule your practice run at the same time of day as your scheduled interview. For example, if your interview is scheduled for 4 PM on a Tuesday, run through your practice interview at 4 PM on the previous Monday. This will give you a good feel for your lighting, appearance, etc. and will help you to preempt any problems or interferences.

Prepare Your Space

You’ve probably planned your outfit and your answers; but have you planned where you’ll be sitting for your interview? Prepare a distraction-free space with good lighting. Choose a spot where dogs, cats and kids won’t interfere, and make sure that your surrounding space is de-cluttered.

Pay special attention to the space behind you, because even little things can be very distracting to your interviewer. Definitely clear away any distracting artwork, knick-knacks or junk; but also carefully consider whether you want anything behind you at all. Even a tasteful picture might work against you if it’s distracting to your interviewer.


Pay Attention to Lighting

While ambient light might suffice when you’re video-chatting with family, it really won’t fly in a professional interview. Try to set up your computer near a bright window for nice, natural lighting. Just make sure that there’s enough light coming in – and if not, make sure to set up some supplemental lighting.

Interviewers aren’t expecting professional-grade lighting, but they should be able to see your face clearly without distracting shadows. Avoid overhead lighting, because it will make you look tired and drab. If there’s not enough natural light, grab some lamps to get good lighting from your front and sides.


Angle Your Camera – And Your Eyes

Before your scheduled interview, make sure that your webcam is set up at the right angle. Your face should be centered in the middle of the screen, so take a minute to angle your camera correctly before your interview begins.

Along the same lines, many newbies make the mistake of staring at the screen during an interview. Instead, try to create the illusion of eye-contact. It’s a good idea to look right into the webcam, but if this feels too awkward, you can position your interviewer’s “window” right below your webcam. This way, your eyes will seem to be looking at the interviewer rather than down at something else.


Remember Your Visual Cues

Treat your video interview as you would an in-person meeting. Dress sharply, pay attention to your hair, makeup and grooming, and don’t forget to SMILE! Pay attention to your posture and mannerisms throughout the interview, and use natural hand gesture as you speak.


Finally, remember that even if you don’t feel confident, you can come across confidently. With the right preparation and practice - and a bright, confident smile – you might just score the food and beverage job of your dreams. If you have questions or need some last minute coaching before your interview, feel free to call me: John Scerbo at 239-839-2914, jobs@foodemployment.com


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