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Given the lasting impact of COVID-19 and the current requirements for social distancing, it’s most likely your next interview will be a video interview. Make sure you’re ready to be in front of the camera.

Interviewing via Zoom or a Google Hangout is a lot different than meeting in-person. Let us prepare you for that reality — and alleviate any possible missteps — with some professional dos and don’ts.


  • Test your technology.Make sure your device is fully charged and test your equipment the day of the interview. Do a technical run to ensure everything is working properly. Check your computer’s camera, microphone, and pick a spot that has secure Wi-Fi.Also, download and prepare any apps or plugins you’ll need. Whether you’re using Zoom or another video platform, make sure you have a professional username, just as you would with your email address.And, avoid using a smartphone for video interviews if possible. Otherwise, the screen can appear shaky if you’re holding the device. If you must use a handheld device, you can rig a temporary situation on top of your laptop screen or pick up a flexible arm mount.
  • Prioritize the camera — not the screen.Prioritize your device with the best camera, not the best display. The interviewer must see you clearly, not the other way around.For instance, an HP all-in-one desktop has a gorgeous 23-inch screen, but the built-in webcam is a low-quality 1-megapixel model. Meanwhile, an iPhone’s front-facing camera has a lot more megapixels. The quality difference between the two during a Zoom meeting will be immediately apparent.
  • Master your lighting.Getting perfect lighting for video can be difficult in a home environment. You can try to get plenty of light by positioning two lamps at a diagonal in front of you, one to your right, and one to your left. And, use natural light where possible; if one of the overhead lights is a window, all the better.Lastly, eliminate any direct backlighting (like a window behind you) and avoid light shining directly over your head.
  • Keep your eyes forward.During your interview, make sure you look at the camera, not the picture of the interviewer on your screen. Looking at the camera will appear like you’re making eye contact, while looking at your screen will make it seem like you’re staring off into the distance.On a small smartphone screen, this effect is minimized. And, if you’re using a laptop, you can cheat by shrinking the size of the videoconference app’s window and positioning it near the location of your webcam.
  • Wear some earbuds.If your interviewer can’t hear you clearly, this will immediately leave a wrong impression. If possible, use earbuds instead of your laptop’s built-in speakers. Your laptop’s onboard computer audio is usually lower in quality, which is a recipe for feedback and sound distortion.


  • Avoid being late.Log in 10 minutes early so you can be calm and centered when your video interview begins. And be prepared with your resume, the job description, and any talking points printed out and nearby.
  • Avoid any distractions. Choose a private location that’s free from the distractions of pets, children, or roommates. You can even hang a sign on your door asking mail carriers and package deliverers not to ring the doorbell.Make sure your video background is free from clutter — and turn off programs that might interfere with your interview.
  • Don’t underdress.Dress professionally, like you’re going to an in-person interview. In doing so, you will feel more confident. Also, avoid wearing flashy, bright colors and choose something that looks neatly pressed while you’re sitting down.
  • Don’t forget to practice.Polish your interviewing skills. Record yourself telling your story before your interview. A strong professional story will immediately set a confident tone that offsets any awkward start on Zoom.
  • Don’t look tired.Interviewers can quickly notice how tired and unexcited you are during the interview, which gives off a negative impression. Be aware. It’s hard to answer questions energetically if you’ve been cooped up indoors for a long time.Energy, cheerfulness, and enthusiasm are some of the things we’re looking for in any recruit, so make sure you act the part. Try jogging or doing some jumping jacks before the interview to get your energy level up — and to help calm any nerves.

We Identify, Recruit, and Retain

The Newport Group is a leading executive recruiting firm with expertise in numerous industry verticals. We deploy proprietary data sets and meticulous processes to identify, recruit, place, and help retain blue-chip talent at leading companies nationwide. Turn the challenges ahead into competitive advantages alongside our help. Roles we’ve placed include CFO, VP of Construction, VP of Operations, Chief Estimator, to name a few.

Our team of recruiters is active in all sectors of real estate development, including production homebuilding, multifamily, commercial, retail, and land. Construction verticals include commercial, civil, utility, pipeline, infrastructure, as well as environmental consulting and remediation. Additional expertise covers IT sectors, including healthcare IT. Ever strategic in our approach, we present talent that aligns with our clients’ strategic objectives. Learn more about us here.

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