One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.Arthur Ashe
Over the past year, our lives have changed in countless ways, and that includes how we show up for interviews! Like many of our social interactions, the in-office interviews of the “good old days” have been swapped for a more digital affair.
From online applications to online interviews, employers are looking for ways to get to know their prospective hires without ever getting to sit with them in person. That creates a challenge from both sides of the desk. This creates a challenge from both sides of the desk.
One way that many employers have adapted is to ask for a recorded introduction video. In some fields, having a recorded personal video on your LinkedIn page or other job search sites is now even an expectation. These personal videos give the employer a chance to get a feel for your personality, confidence, and presence and gives you a chance to shine beyond your cover letter.
If you’re on the lookout for a new job, nailing this personal video is an essential step in creating a great first impression. And it could be your ticket to earning that next interview!
For many of us, showing up on camera is nerve-wracking. Even the thought of recording and submitting a video may feel daunting and unfamiliar to some.
Whether you’re feeling nervous about creating your personal video, or simply want to make the best personal video you can, this article is for you. We’ll review some simple ways to make your video interview seamless, eye-catching, and (most importantly) effective!
Three Steps to Create an Effective Personal Video for LinkedIn
Before you even think about shooting your video, it’s important to set your purpose and get in the right mindset to be your most confident self.
Consider what questions you need to answer for the company you’re interviewing for, how you can best help them, and what makes YOU stand apart from the crowd.
- Cool, Calm, & Collected.
If you’re nervous on camera, you’ll want to get mentally prepared, too. Practicing and feeling prepared for your video is a great start to quell the nervousness of being on camera. Consider doing a calming pre-interview meditation to focus your mind or strike a “power pose” to give you confidence.
- Dress for Success.
Think about your personal video like a job interview. After all, it is a pre-interview-interview, so dress the part! Avoid wearing loud or distracting outfits, as these can take away from your message. This doesn’t mean you can’t show off some personal style (especially if you work in the creative field), but keep it understated and refined.
For more advice on what to wear by industry, here are some additional pointers that will help you look and act the part and strike the perfect balance!
Aside from your outfit, make sure you feel fresh inside and out. Get ready for the day as you would if you were going to an in-person interview: do your hair, brush your teeth, eat a nutritious breakfast. Not only will this help you feel more put-together, but that subtle confidence will shine through in your video.
Prepare Your Recording Space
Now that you are prepped, you’ll need to prepare your space. Any space can work, as long as it follows these simple rules:
- Simple Background.
Make sure you have a simple background with minimal distractions, such as a blank white wall. This keeps the focus on you and your message.
Natural light is best for recording videos. You may need to create a temporary set-up near a good window. If you must record in the evening, make sure you are well-lit or invest in a ring light. Whether you use natural light or artificial light, be sure you are not backlit. This makes it harder to see your face and can look unprofessional.
- Quiet & Distraction-Free Space.
The best videos have no noise distractions such as dogs barking, traffic noises, or kids in the background. This way your voice can be heard clearly. You may need to alert others in your house that you will be recording briefly or pick a time when you’re alone.
- Professional Atmosphere.
To look most professional, record in a clean, clear space at home. Avoid recording your video in your car, on your sofa, or a local coffee shop.
Prepare Your Video
Now that your mindset and recording space are on point, it’s finally time to record! Luckily, recording your video is fairly simple. All you need is a computer with a built-in webcam (or a webcam attachment) and an internet connection.
While each employer may ask for different video requirements, here are some tips to keep in mind:
How long should your video be? Well, it depends. You may be given a recommendation, but if not, follow industry standards and read up on current best practices.
Typically, your video should be no longer than three minutes for question-answering videos and no longer than two minutes for get-to-know-you types of introduction videos.
Remember, you do not need to tell your life’s story. Rather, focus your video on how your skills will benefit your potential employer. They will be more concerned with your qualifications, confidence, and body language than lengthy explanations.
- Poise and Body Language
It’s not just about what you say but how you say it. In fact, researchers find that body language is incredibly important, with up to 55% of communication being transmitted through how you carry yourself. After that, 38% of communication is transmitted through tone, and only seven percent is perceived through your actual words.
As you move your first impression from paper to video, tone and body language are crucial considerations. Stay confident and focused by practicing your script and remain relaxed by pretending you’re speaking to a friendly person, not a camera.
And remember the basics! Look at the camera, smile, don’t rush, and breathe naturally.
In your video, you should start by introducing yourself, where you’re located, and your credentials or areas of expertise. Here’s an example of a clear and confident introduction video script:
“Hi, my name is Monica. I’m located in Los Angeles, California. I have a Masters Degree in Business Management, and for the last five years I have been working for a tech start-up where I was coordinating and organizing business activities as well as planning, organizing, directing, and controlling the business’ resources so that they could meet their objectives in a timely manner.”
After your main introduction, you can get a little more personal. Talk about why you would be an asset to this specific organization, and what makes you qualified for the job at hand. Don’t be afraid to get creative or show your personality – you want to be memorable.
Lights, Camera, Action! Create Your Personal Video.
Recording a personal video is quickly becoming a must-do for anyone who’s on the job-hunt or looking to up-level their LinkedIn profile.
These basics will help you create a personal video to be proud of and help you stand out as a truly memorable and high-quality candidate.
Remember, don’t stress, show your creativity, and be confident! You’re going to be great!