Nailing the Video Interview and Virtual Veteran Career Fair

It was the viral video interview seen worldwide and captured for eternity on YouTube. It began with professor Robert Kelly talking to a BBC anchor in his office/bedroom. An unlocked door led to his young daughter, his baby, and his wife carrying on a frantic and hilarious sideshow and exit strategy worthy of a "Saturday Night Live" sketch.

What can we learn from this epic fail? Like it or not, video interviews and virtual career fairs are being used more frequently, as they provide a timely and cost effective way for candidates to get in front of decision makers and potential employers.

##**Try these tips to make your best virtual impression:**##

**Dress from head to toe**

You don’t want to be the person who looked great from the waist up, only to shift in your seat and reveal that you’re wearing sweatpants. Just because you’re in the comfort of your own home doesn’t give you a pass from dressing professionally from head to toe. Another tip: light colors work well against a darker background and wear dark colors against a light background.

**Find a suitable location**

Turn the tv off, take down your sports posters, move away from your Christmas tree, and lock up pets. Remember, you want to keep the focus on you, not your environment. Keep your background as plain as possible. The interviewer wants to see you, not your room, so set yourself up so that the video will show you from the shoulders up.

**Practice makes perfect**

If you take care of the setup ahead of time, you’ll be able to focus more fully on your conversation and answers. Arrange the recording environment in advance, and practice how you sit how you look, and how to face the camera. The company you’re interviewing with may offer practice questions – take advantage of them. Have a friend coach you through a dress rehearsal, where you can work out any kinks with the technology and your answers ahead of time. Some people talk a mile a minute when they are nervous. Practicing will help you slow your speech.

**Smile and make eye contact**

Pretend the webcam is the interviewer. This will force you to look at the camera instead of the screen. Don’t forget to smile – it’s important that your personality shines through since you’re not in a face-to-face setting.

**Timing is everything**

The interviewer may be on a tight schedule, and if you take too long in your answers, that’s less time to answer other questions. In some instances, such as a one-way interview, your response time may be limited. Therefore, be aware of how long you take to respond. Practice how to answer succinctly while still providing enough detail.

Video interviews and virtual career fairs let you connect directly with employers from anywhere, and offer a faster turnaround time from interview to hiring. Plus, they allow you to showcase your skills and talents from the comfort of your home. Smile, be confident, and remember that “Today's preparation determines tomorrow's achievement.”

RecruitMilitary now offers virtual career fairs for employers and veteran job seekers. Learn more at