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Young man participating in a virtual video interview

Tips for a Successful Video Admissions Interview


Posted January 04, 2018 by Hannah DeBevoise - Coordinator, Social Media - AACSB International

As technology has become an integral part of our daily lives, it has evolved once time-consuming and expensive tasks into uncomplicated, more constructive endeavors. Today, many schools are conducting admissions interviews online by video interview, through telecommunication services like Skype or join.me.. These options are especially beneficial to students seeking to attend an institution outside of affordable travel range or for future students who work full-time and may not have the ability to take time off to travel.

A video admissions interview can be nearly identical, in theory, to an in-person interview, as long as you are comfortable with the video communication service and prepare yourself just as you would for a face-to-face meeting. Her are some tips to help you make the best impression in your video admissions interview:

Familiarize Yourself With the Interview Platform

Even if you've used an online video communication service before, whether to connect with family and friends or on a more professional basis, it's a good idea to ensure that you are comfortable with the video program of the institution's choice. Test out the service with a friend or family member to make certain you can connect and begin a video call with ease.

If the institution's video interview service of choice is one that you have not registered for in the past, be sure to create your profile with professionalism in mind. Your username ideally should consist of your first and last name, and your profile picture should be a clear, professional or high-quality, sensible photo. If you already have a profile on the platform and your username is something more casual, consider creating a separate account for admission interview purposes.

Seek Out the Best Location

In order to create the best possible scenario for your video interview, test locations that look clean, and professional and give the interviewer a clear, bright visual of you. You want your virtual interview to feel as personal as possible. While a home office is a great choice, you can make almost any room work as long as it is uncluttered and steers away from any distracting or unprofessional décor.

Additionally, it will be important to verify that your internet connection is strong enough to maintain an unwavering connection for the duration of the interview. If you have concerns about the strength of your connection, consider reserving a study room at your local library or a conference room in your office. It will also be important to confirm there is an electrical outlet near your chosen spot to keep your computer or tablet at full-power to prevent any technical difficulties during your interview.

If the location you’ve chosen is a large space, you might consider using a headset. While most computers and tablets have built-in microphones that pick up your voice, using a headset will ensure that you sound clear and strong and will reduce any background or ambient noise.

Treat It Like a Face-to-Face Interview

Just as you would arrive early for an in-person admissions interview, log in to the video interview platform before the scheduled time of your interview. Giving yourself a little extra time will allow you to double-check that you are in a good location, that the service and your internet connection are working, and that you will be on-time. During the interview, look directly into the webcam and not at the screen. This will give the closest simulation of face-to-face eye contact.

Even though you may be in the comfort of your own home, dress as though you were on campus at the institution for your interview. Although the conversation is digital, it is still a real interview and you want to present yourself as professionally as possible.

Further, prepare yourself for a range of questions on your motivations for attending business school and why you would be an ideal candidate for their institution, as you would for a traditional interview. Have your resume and any other necessary documents at hand to refer to if necessary.

Turn off your cellphone or leave it in a different room. Even if the interviewer can’t see your phone sitting next to you off-screen, it can still be a distraction for you. You wouldn’t have your phone out or on during an in-person interview, and a digital interview should be no different.

A video interview should be treated as seriously and as importantly as a traditional admissions interview. As with an in-person interview, be sure to follow- up with a thank you letter or email. The chief benefit of a virtual interview is that you are able to ensure that you are as comfortable and prepared as possible; you have the home-court advantage. Taking the time to practice and prepare will allow you to have the best admissions interview possible.

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