QUESTION: I’m deathly afraid of video. How can I still do well in video interviews given my fear of the camera?
The only way to become more comfortable in front of the camera is to practice. Invite friends to chat via Zoom, schedule a Skype session with a family member and play around with Microsoft Teams. After engaging via video enough times, the camera will be far less intimidating. You may also want to work with an Interview Coach to conduct a mock video interview. Practice is the key!
Reservations about video are normal, but practice can help you overcome them. Instead of a phone call, use Facetime or Google Meet to communicate with friends and family, or even use Marco Polo to leave yourself messages. Experiment to find a place where you like the lighting and background. Remove the other variables so you can focus on the conversation instead of the camera when the time comes!
If you’re focusing on the thing that scares you, find something else to focus on—such as a friend you can ask to stand behind the camera. Practice with them. Address them, not the camera. If the video interview is to be two-way, have them ask you questions. Over time, you’ll find your fear diminishes, because you don’t focus on the camera.
Video is here to stay. Practice recording yourself on your mobile device; upload it to YouTube (you can keep your video private) and share the link with friends and family for feedback. The more you practice recording yourself, the better you will get at it. Keep your answers concise and smile during the video.
Employers have been using video interviews for some time. Now is a great time to familiarize yourself with insider tips for a strong on-camera presence. A simple online search for “video interview tips” will yield plenty of best practices, including tech troubleshooting, attire, backgrounds for a professional image), and more. Be sure to practice, which will help bolster your confidence.
Develop a strategy, prepare, and breathe! Nerves are normal and with practice, they can be channeled to help your interview performance. Make sure you are comfortable with the technology before the interview. Use a setting free from distractions with an appropriate background. Keep notes with CAR stories available to jog your memory. Look into the camera and remember to smile!
Here are my best tips to help you feel more confident: Test your connection, computer camera and lighting ahead of time. Avoid loud spaces and use an appropriate background. Be early, and have your resume, cover letter and job ad in front of you. Dress as you would for an in-person interview. Look in the camera, not at your picture in the monitor/screen. Have a glass of water nearby. SMILE!
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