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Pre-COVID-19, most job interviews were conducted in person. You may have had an initial phone interview, but having your second or third interview on video wasn’t generally done.

Welcome to a whole new world.

If you haven’t regularly used video or just want to get some good tips/strategies for looking and doing your best, we’ve got you covered.

Dina Neilsen, PhD, Senior Manager, Learner, Career and Alumni Services of Nightingale College, took some time to answer our questions about what nurses can do to improve their video interviews.

What is the first thing nurses should do when they find out they have a job interview via video?  

Think about what you want to accomplish in the interview; carefully review the job description and then perhaps make notes about those qualities and skills that might set you apart in the interview.

How can nurses properly light themselves for an interview? What should they use for a background?

If possible, try to set up your computer so you have natural light on your face. This is better than electric light for keeping your skin a natural color.

Consider background. Is there an open closet behind you? Are there stacks of boxes? Does it look like you are sitting on your couch in your living room? An “office” type of setting is best, but if you don’t have a space like that, a neutral wall in the background is better than something that appears to be too “homey.”

To prevent noise, pets, and children making entrances, what should they do?  

Be sure you will have quiet, uninterrupted time during the interview. If you have family or roommates at home, be sure to let them know what you are doing and that you need privacy for that time. Coffee shops, parks, etc., can be problematic because you won’t have any control over noises or interruptions.

Are there any colors/patterns they absolutely should not wear? Any recommendations on what to wear?  

Wear colors. Computer cameras tend to wash you out, so having some color will help you look healthy and engaging. It may be worth applying some make-up, particularly to your eyes and mouth, to avoid looking washed out.

Should they rehearse? How should they do this?

A tech rehearsal with a friend or family member can be very helpful, though it could be just as helpful to simply do a mock interview. Prepare the questions you think you might be asked and then run through them a couple of times. But remember, you’ll probably be asked something you didn’t anticipate—relax and remember your interviewer wanted to talk with you.

What are the biggest mistakes they could make that they should be aware of and try to avoid?  

Becoming flustered or nervous is common—something that might help would be to tape the job description, resume, cover letter, and questions you have for them on the wall behind your camera so you can review them without looking down at papers.

In terms of the interview itself—is there anything different they should do as opposed to if they were on an in-person interview?

Make sure you continue to make eye contact and keep your body language still and relaxed.

Because you are not meeting in person, it is important to remember to still be engaging with the interviewer as if you were face to face.

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