Career Advice for Job Seekers

Top 7 Zoom or other video job interview tips for diverse students, grads

Courtesy of
Courtesy of
Steven Rothberg AvatarSteven Rothberg
May 26, 2023

Video interviews are increasingly popular with employers as they typically provide an efficient and effective way for employers and candidates to connect remotely. But video job interviews, like telephone job interviews, require meticulous preparation and savvy execution. Here are some tips to help you shine:

  • Set Up Your Space: Ensure your interview space is quiet, well-lit, and free from distractions. Check your internet connection, camera, and microphone for optimal performance. Always have a contingency plan in case of unforeseen technical glitches. Consider what is in the background. If you’re in a bedroom and don’t feel that the interviewer seeing the made or unmade bed should be a problem, think again. That will make many individuals uncomfortable and you’re not applying to work for that individual so their discomfort shouldn’t cause you to think less of the company. The people you’ll work with may not have a problem seeing your bed, but the person screening you might.
  • Dress Professionally: Just like an in-person interview, you should dress appropriately from head to toe. Opt for neutral or solid colors that show up well on camera. This not only makes a good impression but also boosts your confidence. If the job you’re interviewing for will have you wearing smart casual clothes like khaki pants and a polo shirt, dress that way. If you were to dress in a suit, you’d be overdressed. But being underdressed such as in shorts and a T-shirt will also send a bad message.
  • Master Your Body Language: Good posture, eye contact, and occasional nodding can convey confidence, attentiveness, and agreement. Although you’re communicating through a screen, your non-verbal cues are still significant. If you’ll be on a laptop, put it onto a box so that the camera is at eye level. Shrink the video window so that when you’re looking at the person’s image on your screen, your eyes are almost pointed at your camera. It will then appear to the interviewer that you’re looking at and not down at them.
  • Research the Company: Understand the company’s goals, values, and work culture. Delve into their commitment to diversity and inclusion. Show your enthusiasm about how your unique background and experiences can contribute to their growth.
  • Emphasize Your Unique Traits: Highlight how your diverse background has equipped you with unique experiences, perspectives, and skills. Employers value candidates who can bring a new viewpoint to their teams.
  • Prepare and Ask Thoughtful Questions: Ask questions that show your interest in the role and help you assess if the company aligns with your values and goals. You could inquire about their diversity initiatives or support structures in place for diverse employees. Come into the interview with an example or two about their values and goals and ask questions about those. For example, “I see that your About Us page mentions that you’re proud that in the past three years, you’ve increased the percentage of your female leaders from 20 to 40 percent. Are there plans to increase that further or is that about the percentage that would make sense in your industry?”
  • Send a Follow-Up Note: An emailed or handwritten thank you note post-interview expressing your gratitude for the opportunity goes a long way. It demonstrates your professional etiquette and keeps you at the forefront of the interviewer’s mind.

Remember, the goal of a video interview is to secure an invitation for a more formal, in-person interview or the next round. Highlight your strengths and qualifications, communicate effectively, and show your genuine interest in the role and the organization.

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