Your phone beeps, and congrats—you’ve received great news! The application you sent to a job posting was reviewed, and guess what—you have been called for an interview! Before you could scream in excitement and tell your spouse that you have an interview for your dream job, you noticed that it is neither an in-person nor a live video-call interview. They have sent you a list of questions and have asked for a pre-recorded interview.
All of a sudden, your excitement blew up, leaving you in anxiety and nervousness. Worrying is the typical process people go through when looking for pre-recorded interview tips. If you are a person who has a phobia of facing the camera, a pre-recorded interview is like going to a dentist for a root canal treatment, or even worse. But don’t worry, we have your back.
YOU ARE A WINNER
Before we proceed to pre-recorded interview tips, it is essential to help you relax, calm, and think positively. Remember, you are a winner because your resumé has brought you up to the point of applying confidently to this job. In other words, you have crafted your resumé so well that it won you an interview call. You already have your foot in the door and have a powerful opportunity to leave an even greater impression to your potential employer.
WHY ARE PRE-RECORDED INTERVIEW TIPS IMPORTANT?
Let’s talk about an interview, in general. When you are called for an interview, you have been shortlisted out of dozens of candidates whose resumés were not as impressive as yours. Your resumé is meant to win you an interview. When you have won it, how persuasively you crafted your resumé and how well you present on paper immediately matter less. It does matter how well you present yourself in an interview, whether it be pre-recorded, live, or in-person.
PRE-RECORDED INTERVIEW—THE EASIEST FORM OF INTERVIEWS
Believe it or not, pre-recorded interviews are the most straightforward kind of interview. If you think it is difficult, it is primarily because there are few available resources on pre-recorded interview tips. It is easier because you do not have to worry about saying anything mistakenly. On the other hand, once you have spoken in an in-person or a live interview, you have given a lasting result with your words. You cannot undo it!
Secondly, you can record the entire interview, watch it, and create a retake if you want to improve how you come across potential viewers. One thing worth mentioning is that many people dislike even their most remarkable traits. We have seen ‘Miss universe’ award winners complaining that they are not looking good enough. Be prepared to feel cringy about your first few videos. It is vital to start improving your presentation skills on camera unless you start loving the videos you take regularly.
WHY DO PEOPLE FIND IT DIFFICULT?
It may sound unusual to those who crave the limelight, but the fear of being on camera exists for most people. Particularly during COVID19, when classes and meetings shifted online, we witnessed many great teachers and negotiators struggling to adapt to telecommunication.
In the same way, one can be great at one-on-one interviews but may struggle in a pre-recorded interview. The reason being it is unnatural. Yes, you have to look into the camera and talk to it, assuming that a real person is listening to you attentively. Many great communicators struggle to face the camera without proper preparation.
PRE-RECORDED INTERVIEW TIPS
These pro tips will make pre-recorded videos one of your favorite forms of interviews. Remember, this skill is less developed in most individuals; hence these tips are non-familiar to most competitors for any given position. These simple yet effective tips are going to set you apart from your competitors. To make it more comprehensible, we have divided the tips into two parts—things to do before and during the pre-recorded interview.
THINGS TO DO BEFORE A PRE-RECORDING INTERVIEW
Every successful execution requires strategizing and planning. Just like preparing for war is as important as fighting during the war, it is essential to pre-plan your pre-recorded interview.
WHAT TO WEAR?
The following question boggles every mind out of confusion, “What should I wear for my interview?” The answer is more straightforward than many people think. Interviewees should wear what they would wear if they already had the job they are applying for. For example, for a company with its IT workers wearing T-shirts and jeans, you do not have to be overly formal. For a museum with its member kitted in tuxedos, make sure you wear a tuxedo for your interview.
The idea is not only to look good. Though we want you to look good, it is more important to look organized, confident, and comfortable.
Under most circumstances, it does not matter what you are wearing on the bottom. You can position your camera or webcam to only capture you up to your chest. You can wear a dress shirt, tie and a blazer with your PJs as bottoms! But do consider dressing formally from top to down and position your camera to capture your full-frame while standing. This can be highly advantageous for positioning yourself as a worker who presents themselves with high energy levels and vigor.
PRACTICE THE QUESTIONS
The invitation to the pre-recorded interview always comes with a list of questions. You can follow these steps to ace these questions. Check out the questions and write down the answer to each of them. Read out the answers loud so that you develop a basic theme of every answer. Of course, you are not going to MEMORIZE your answers.
POSITION OF YOUR CAMERA
Video influencers and their audiences have extensive confusion in their minds. They think that it is crucial to buy a 2,000 dollar camera to shoot a good video. No! Videography is all about lighting, contrast, and focus. And the best part is, you can use your cellphone camera or laptop’s webcam to record a winning interview.
What matters the most is the position of the camera. THE CAMERA SHOULD BE A FEW INCHES ABOVE YOUR EYE LEVEL. If you are using a laptop’s webcam on your desk, the lens is often below your head, and it looks wrong when the HR manager has to look up your nostrils while listening to you. Use books to elevate your laptop webcam to at least your eye level. This will also improve lighting, as ceiling lights also can cause exposure issues with your video.
EXPLORE THE SOFTWARE
This is particularly important for live interviews. Please do not assume that you know everything or that you will figure it out during the interview. Whether thier HR uses Zoom, Skype, or Google Meet, make sure you have explored the software properly. If you keep asking, “Can you hear me?” you will be portraying yourself as a non-technical and irresponsible person. No one prefers someone who cannot even do essential computer tasks. It does not matter if your job is IT-related or not; unfortunately, no one would hire someone who cannot use a computer properly. Make sure you give an impression that you are tech-savvy enough to carry out your daily tasks.
DECLUTTER YOUR BACKGROUND
There are two basic rules for what to have in your background. First of all, make sure that your background is decluttered and tidy. We do not expect you to have a lavish living room with houseplants. Rather it is highly recommended to make your environment simple. Something that does not distract or look weird.
While we are talking about distraction, it is important not to have something in the background that might be confusing or controversial. For example, if your background has a kitchen, it should not have a lot of vodka bottles which will make the interviewer think that you drink uncontrollably. If you apply for a multinational firm, do not portray religious kinds of stuff in your background (like a frame or holy books).
The purpose is not to hide your reality. We want you to be real, authentic, natural, yet diplomatic. After all, it is the job that matters to you the most. A bookshelf with professional literature is an excellent thing to have as your background and helps for applying to any type of knowledge worker position.
THINGS TO DO DURING A PRE-RECORDING INTERVIEW
Before you start shooting your pre-recorded video, keep in mind that you have to get noticed, remembered, and hired. To that end, you must apply these while shooting your pre-recorded interview:
Almost every interview is based on one question, “Why should we hire you?” They want to hear from you what extraordinary results you can bring to the table if they hire you at a specific position in their companies. Whether this question is asked directly or indirectly, this question is the central idea of the interview.
TELL A STORY—BE MEMORABLE
When the interviewer has asked you why they should hire you, tell them a story. Many people make a mistake. They start telling the interviewer how amazing they are. The interviewer has no reason to listen to anyone boasting about themselves. If they have asked you to share an example of how you showed your leadership skills in the previous company, they expect you to tell a story.
But make sure you stick to your point and do not say unnecessary things. The best way to tell a story is to explain the problem and how you solved it. What plans you made to fix it, and how you applied your creativity in acting on that particular solution.
Another factor is to tell an exciting and memorable story. You do not have to exaggerate or make up a story. But you have to portray your experience in a form that is fascinating. You want to be remembered by the interviewer. People who are forgotten are never hired!
Psychology says that when you are hiding something, you find it harder to make an eye-contact. We know that you have not done anything wrong, but it is an issue if you cannot make an eye-contact with the camera! Well, you had adapted yourselves to several things that were unnatural when they were launched. You learned to talk to someone over a phone which is miles away. It was not natural, but your mind adopted it. Similarly, you HAVE to adopt the habit of making an eye-contact with the camera rather than looking at your screen or the papers.
Many spokespersons in their videos either make a lot of movement or freeze their movement. They watch their video once, and if it feels like they are not moving at all, they try to move unnecessarily, which looks unnatural.
On the other hand, if they are moving their heads too much, they will try to freeze their head, giving off an impression of fear and nervousness. Hiring managers do not love to work with people who are stiff and uncomfortable. Make a conscious effort to move your head and hands naturally. It is an essential tip for your pre-recorded interview to help you look confident enough to be hired.
When you shoot a video, lighting is the most important aspect you have to consider. In order to create the best video, make sure that there is no light or window behind you. Ambient lighting coming through the wrong positions will shift the camera’s focus to the light. People will see your face as either being too dark or over-exposed. You have to place a couple of lights in front of you, behind the camera. This is because you want people to see your face clearly and be well-lit. For this purpose, you can consider buying a pair of LED lights for a few dollars through Amazon. (Note: this is not an affiliate link.)
The quality of your voice is essential, and the built-in microphones of smartphones and laptops are inadequate. Period. Why not have a decent microphone attached to your collar in just 15 bucks? This will not only improve the quality of your voice but also reduce the background noise. The more audible you are, the more likely you will be to get noticed, remembered, and hired.
A THANK YOU NOTE
It is an excellent idea to say thanks to your HR Manager for considering your resumé and calling you for an interview. This is a polite way of expressing that you are a good person. Who does not love having good people around them?
A “thank you” message can be the last phrase of your video or in the form of an email in response to the interview invitation. This will make you stand out from the crowd as many people have a mindset that if you are bothering the HR team, they will probably get irritated. However, the truth is, the more you connect, the more likely you are to have good terms with them. If you get hired, those people will be your lifelines at that company.
ACE EVERY INTERVIEW
Are you looking to land your dream job and are not satisfied with your current job? Or have you fallen victim to the “unemployment drive” during the pandemic? In both cases, it is okay to keep looking for a better job. Media training Worldwide has a lot more resources on job interviews than what you just read. We are an online firm that offers media and presentation skills, helping you face the camera and the public, whether for winning a job, speaking on behalf of your company, or talking to a vast crowd.
We wish you all the best in landing your dream job!
TJ Walker, CEO
Jake Senn, Senior Trainer
P.S. If you haven’t had an opportunity to book an appointment with us during 2021, then give us a call at 1-212-764-4955.