Some people like them, others hate them. Regardless of how you feel about video interviews, they are here to stay. Several days ago, one of my candidates had a video interview using MS Teams. The interview was with a $3 billion technology company for a Director level position. The candidate prepared, knew the job description, was ready for the basic questions and probably would have performed well, except for one thing. When he clicked into the meeting, the interviewer was already waiting for him. She was early. This gave him no time to test his video and audio output and, as luck would have it, he could not get the video to work. They could hear each other, and he could see her, but she could not see him. After a few minutes of trying a few things and getting increasingly frustrated, he asked if the interview could be conducted with sound only and the interviewer complied.

The next day, I queried the interviewer about how the interview went. Her reply? “I would have greatly preferred if the candidate had checked his video output before the call.” And it got worse from there. His failure to produce a video transmission started the interview out on the wrong foot. The candidate spent the first minute or two apologizing for not being able to connect the video and frankly, the interviewer never got past this.

Not checking your audio and video output before an upcoming video interview is inexcusable. In addition to researching the company as you would for any interview you must now add “check audio and video output” to your preparation checklist.

Some people wonder if checking output is necessary or even how to do this. I can tell you from experience it is necessary, and it only takes a moment. Ask a friend to send you an invite using the same program the company uses, which is in your invitation. Connect with your friend and make sure the person on the other end of the call can see and hear you and vice versa. While you are at it, make sure your camera is positioned correctly, your backdrop looks just right, your desk is neat as a pin, your microphone is functioning properly, and the quality of your transmission is ideal. Experiment until you are satisfied you look and sound great and that you can make adjustments on the fly, seamlessly.

For the record, the candidate in this story has participated in 100 video calls since Covid. But he just wasn’t ready. So, beware of interviewers that are early and make certain everything is set properly and that you know how to make adjustments quickly. I know it’s a simple thing nowadays but a person with 25 years’ experience and extensive experience with video calls destroyed his only chance to join the company he has been targeting… just yesterday. Please be ready. Enjoy the Holiday Season and Happy Hunting!