How to have a Winning Video Interview

Looking for a Job Requires knowing the Game

As you’re out looking for a job, you need to know the tools interviewer are using these days.

Virtual Video Interviewing; video interviews are becoming an increasingly important part of the Video Job interviewjob search process. Using this technology, companies can more easily screen candidates regardless of their geographic location, which is especially useful for military personnel who are stationed around the globe. In fact, companies will soon be conducting “live” video interviews through Corporate Gray Online.

These “live” video interviews allow for a virtual face-to-face conversation between a recruiter and candidate. Some companies also use one-way video interviews, whereby the candidate answers a set of pre-screening questions that are recorded and viewed later by the recruiter. Whichever type of digital interview you encounter, preparation is important for a successful experience.

Interview Preparation

The following recommendations apply to any type of interview, whether it’s in-person, phone, or video:

a) List the possible questions you’ll be asked, and create a script of clear, concise, and well thought out answers to practice and prepare.

b) List questions you want to ask the interviewer, in case they offer this ability at the end of the interview. Research the company so your questions and answers are relevant to the recruiter and the firm. The best candidates ask the best questions.

c ) For two-way interviews, give the recruiter your full attention with absolutely no distractions that could be detected or deter from your performance.

d) After the interview, contact the recruiter to thank them for the opportunity to interview, and recap your skills and interest in the job and their company. Don’t be afraid to ask for the job at the end of the interview!

Video Interview Tips

But what about preparing for a video interview in particular? You should expect to participate in video interviews at some point during your job search. “We’ve been using digital interviews for the last three years, and the process is becoming more and more common,” says Lisa Carroll, Search Executive for Kopplin & Kuebler.

They can seem daunting, as many people are not comfortable in front of a webcam and are not familiar with using the technology. However, with a few tips and some practice, you’ll be on the right track for acing the video interview…

Dress appropriately from head-to-toe. That’s right, even from the waist down! You don’t want a recruiter to catch a glimpse of inappropriate clothing in case you adjust your position. Plus, you’ll feel more professional and in character. Avoid patterned or white clothing. Patterns can often give the illusion of movement on camera, and white can be unflattering and add glare.

1) Test the Internet connection, lighting, video, and sound. If possible, use a wired (vs. wireless) Internet connection. This provides a stronger and more dependable connection. The best webcam placement is just above your sightline. Looking up slightly is a more flattering angle and it encourages you to sit up straight.

2) Being in front of a camera can be intimidating and uncomfortable, especially if you don’t have much practice. So practice, practice, practice, and remember to smile – it goes a long way on a digital interview. If a one-way video interview allows for practice questions, take advantage of them to check your settings and get more comfortable with the process.

3) Choose a quiet place to interview. Have a clean desk and simple background so that nothing distracting is picked up on the audio or video. Put pets away, and let everyone who is home know that you will be interviewing. If necessary put a do-not-disturb sign on the door as a reminder. Ms. Carroll had difficulty evaluating a candidate whose interview included a chirping bird in the background.

4) Close other programs on your computer so the interview is not interrupted by a signal, such as a message on Facebook or an incoming email. Remember the interviewer should have your undivided attention.

5) Remember to look into the camera, not at the screen, when answering questions. The camera is your target for making eye contact, which is just as important in a video interview as in-person (consider taping a sign next to the camera to remind you). It is okay to look at the interviewer when they are asking the question, but direct your responses directly to the webcam.

6) Seeing yourself on camera is helpful to check how you appear to the recruiter, but don’t let it distract you during the interview. If you find your own image on the screen distracting, close that window if possible, or cover it with a post-it note.

7) Be aware of the timing so that your answer is not cut short on a one-way recorded interview.

8) Don’t be afraid to make a mistake and start your answer over. Everyone makes mistakes, and it’s better to fix your answer than continue with a poor choice.

9) Avoid using hand movements, which are more distracting on video than in-person.

10) Use the notes you prepared, but don’t rely too heavily on them for your answers. Prepare them so they can be quickly scanned for thoughts and ideas, but don’t use them like a script.

Although some of the tips above might seem obvious, they are not to be taken lightly. Don’t risk a negative evaluation just because you didn’t properly prepare!

Contributor: Lisa Carroll, Search Executive for Kopplin & Kuebler, conducts General Manager, Executive Chef, Assistant General Manager, Clubhouse Manager, and Chief Financial Officer searches in the private club industry.

Advice for Work and Life

Advice You Can Put to Work in Your Life

An article by Martin Bjergegaard talked about consider the saying, “knowledge inwork life balance and of itself isn’t power. Instead, knowledge is potential power.”

I think the way we choose to make use of it is what makes all the difference.”
Look for ways to apply what you learn below.

Steps to a Great Work-Life Balance

1. Make a decision
2. Believe it is possible
3. Create the playing ground you need
4. Focus on the wildly Important
5. Optimize hours in flow
6. Do the worst first

Success Requires Sacrifice.

We hear it over and over again: “Success requires sacrifice….You can’t have it all”.

If you want to be successful with your business or career, you will have to buckle down and get ready to pay a steep price in your personal life.

This is how most people think and live. Yet there’s a minority of people, let’s call them role models, who have found a way to end this age-old and unforgiving compromise. Martin Bjergegaard knows this because he searched the globe for them. He wrote a book about what they can teach us – and this is how he has chosen to live my own life.

Within the last decade these role models have each created amazing companies from scratch. They’ve built multi-million, if not billion, dollar fortunes, and they’ve done so in a respectful and sustainable way. The interesting part is that WHILE they have built their businesses, they have found ways to enjoy life, stay true to themselves, and in general have enjoyed a healthy work/life balance.

Regarding myself— Martin work an average of 45 hours per week. He has six weeks of vacation every year where I travel the world. He spend tons of time with his daughter, wife, family and friends. He run marathons and work out 4 times every week.

During the last seven years, he co-founders and has built start-ups that currently employ over 200 people. He had a couple of really nice exits, created Europe’s leading accelerator, Startup bootcamp, and his co-author Jordan Milne and he have authored the afford mentioned book, Winning Without Losing –an international bestseller translated into 11 languages, and winner of the “Management Book of the Year” award by Chartered Management Institute and The British Library.

Success and a Great Work/Life Balance

According to Martin Bjergegaard, Work/Life balance are definitely more compatible than most of us would think. But it does require some intelligent strategies. Here are six of the most important ones:

1: Make a decision

What’s most important in your life? Ask that question, and many of us are quick to answer our health, loved ones, and well-being. But what do we do when we get stressed about work? Most people are much more inclined to cancel their work out or the trip to the zoo with the family, than to miss a deadline. Of course, it’s important to do the work you have promised to do, but if you don’t stick up for your work/life balance, you are not going to have it.

2: Believe it is possible

The big problem is that deep down most of us don’t believe we can be both successful and balanced. If we don’t believe it, we don’t stand a chance. Perception becomes reality. That’s why we need inspiration from those brave few that are already living this new paradigm—those who are enjoying balance while being immensely successful. Keep imposing such people’s wisdom on yourself until you truly believe that work/life balance is possible. Winning Without Losing is one source of such inspiration.

3: Create the playing ground you need

I will be the first to admit that not all circumstances allow for work/life balance. Ten years ago I was a management consultant with a successful global consulting firm.

No matter what I did, balance there was impossible. You can almost say that “non-balance” was built into the DNA of this particular firm, and there was no way a junior consultant could change that. So I quit, and started my own company. Since then I have had more fun and success than I could have achieved at my past position. I am not saying you need to quit your job, I am only stating that some circumstances are impossible for balance, and if you are stuck in such a scenario, you might want to re-evaluate your options.

4: Focus on the wildly important

It’s amazing how much we all get trapped by the idea that everything is equally important and needs to be done right now. In reality, one or two things are absolutely critical to our progress while the rest of our tasks might only be of marginal relevance. When Richard Branson is running a multi-billion dollar empire, it’s not because he has found a way to do thousands of more actions a day than you can. It’s because Sir Branson knows what truly matters, and that’s where he allocates his attention.

5: Optimize hours in flow

Many of us aim to optimize the amount of hours we are working. This approach will never bring us a good balance or out-of-the-norm efficiency. Instead optimize on the amount of hours you are in flow.

Flow is the state where time and place ceases to exist because you are fully present and excited about the task in front of you. In this state it is not unusual that we are up to 10 times more efficient then when we semi-distractedly slave through our to do list. Tony Schwartz explains in “The Power of Full Engagement” how we can only be the flow state for 90-120 minutes at a time.

Then we need a break, like for instance a 10-minute meditation, a 30-minute run, or a walk around the block.

6: Do the worst first


Say the word. It’s a productivity killer and an enemy in our attempts to get a great work/life balance. If it’s something that needs to be done, and you dread it, there’s really only one strategy that is sufficiently effective: do it first.

Before checking your mail, before the first meeting, and before anything else that will suck you into the daily abyss of activities. Do it now and get it over with. You will be proud, relieved and full of energy for the rest of the day.

These are just 6 of the 66 pieces of advice that make up Winning Without Losing. If you are hungry for more, join the thousands of other readers from around the world who are taking their lives into their own hands. Get the balance you deserve.

Who is Martin Bjergegaard

Martin is a serial entrepreneur, co-founder of sustainable Scandinavian non-fiction publisher Pine Tribe, and author of the successful management and work-life balance book ‘Winning Without Losing’.