Video Interview Tips for Your First Sales Job Application
Early in your career, especially in a sales or business development role, it’s unlikely that you’re going to get the VIP treatment when it comes to job interviews. Though the hiring team might not be flying you across the country to meet up, they’re still going to want to have some face time with you — which means you need to be on your A-game for a video interview.
In the digital age, it’s necessary to arm yourself with the strategy provided in these video interview tips:
How to Prepare for a Video Interview
Step one for your upcoming video job interview is just being prepared for the interview itself.
You want to stand out from the crowd by having done your research and knowing as much as possible about the company, industry, and area you might be moving to. You don’t need to develop a powerpoint presentation sharing all the information that you’ve gathered, but you do want to show that you’ve done your research as part of your conversation with your interviewer.
Demonstrating that you’re prepared quickly builds a positive relationship with the company you’re interviewing with, and lets them know that you’ve put in some effort beforehand. This helps your interviewer see that you take this opportunity seriously.
Technically Sound Tech is Vital
As unfortunate as it is for everyone involved, any tech issues during your video interview are going to have either a conscious or unconscious impact on the hiring team. They might not think they’re holding it against you if your mic cuts out a few times, but somewhere in the back of their heads, they might be thinking that you’re not as put together as you actually are — or they might misinterpret something you said.
To ensure that there are no issues, get a friend to help you test everything at least a day before your video interview. During this process, download any necessary apps or browser extensions you’ll need, turn off alerts, update software, and silence any notifications that might pop up and distract you during the interview.
Additionally, do a sound and video check to make sure everything is loud and clear.
Setting the Stage for Your Video Interview
Astute interviewers will be taking in everything during your interview — including what else is on the screen. Because of this, you will want to find a distraction-free background to act as your backdrop. Though a poster of Godzilla situated behind you isn’t going to get you into trouble, it’s certainly not helping you ace your job interview.
"The main thing you're trying to do in an interview is communicate on a human level, so you have to make it easy for people to focus in on you. I like to tell my clients to watch '60 Minutes'—there's nothing glorious about it; they're really just talking to you”.
Another part of any video set is good lighting. With this in mind, you’re also going to want to make sure the lighting in the room allows the interviewer to clearly see your face and that there aren’t any strange or unflattering shadows being cast.
Dress for Success
There’s a reason that there is an entire industry behind deciding what people wear in commercials. Simply put, the choices these people make impact the sales of a product. In your video interview, you’re selling you, so make sure you present yourself in the most appropriate packaging.
Though there isn’t a hard and fast rule about what to wear, a good rule of thumb is to dress as if you’re actually meeting the hiring team in person — so yes, that means you’ll want to wear pants or a skirt.
Not only do you want to wear all the appropriate clothing for the interview in case you need to stand up and take care of something — you also do it because dressing like you mean business is going to give a boost to your confidence. This confidence will be translated in the way you answer questions and act on screen.
Keeping Good Eye Contact
A very popular question from those preparing for a video interview is, “Where do I look during my video interview?”.
So here’s one of our top video interview tips: when you’re part of an in-person interview, you want to make a natural amount of eye contact with members of the hiring team. To do this during a video interview, however, it can feel a bit more unnatural, because you need to look at the camera, not the screen.
For optimal eye contact, you’re going to want to position your camera at eye-level. There is a lot of subtle psychology behind how you position your camera. But keeping the camera at eye-level is the easiest way to keep things simple and the power balance neutral.
Listen, Don’t Just Wait to Talk
As you’ll find early in your career, it’s best to start with listening. This also applies to our list of video interview tips.
Absorb what the hiring team is telling you and give yourself time to really understand any differences between what they’re asking, and what you thought they might ask, so that you can better answer their questions.
As with any job interview, you’re going to want to have some questions prepared to ask the hiring team. It’s as much about them finding a fit as it is about you finding a fit at their company. These don’t necessarily have to be questions about compensation (especially during an initial interview!). They should demonstrate your interest in growing and how the company can help facilitate that.
The opportunity to secure a mentor who will help facilitate your professional growth can make all the difference, so don’t be shy about asking who you’ll have the opportunity to work with if you’re offered the position.
Final Thoughts: Video Interview Tips for Your First Sales Job Application
Early in your sales career, there’s a lot to be learned and there are myriad pitfalls. Nonetheless, you will survive — it just comes down how hard you make it on yourself to be constantly improving.
Taking the time to hone your video interviewing skills can help you land a position that will put you on the right track to accomplish your career goals. Thankfully, you don’t need to go to film school or be a thespian to have a strong game during a video interview. What you do need is to care and be prepared.
Have any other video interview tips for those just starting out with their first sales job interviews? Post them in the comment section below!