Are You Prepared For A Video Interview?

Careers in public finance are still flourishing with video interviews as the new interface.

The future of careers in public finance rely on video interviews.

Can you get hired strictly by a video interview? This is a question I pondered, and the answer is yes. Recently, I had a candidate, who never had a face-to-face visit with the company or the hiring manager, get offered a position within three weeks of his first interview. Another candidate of mine was hired after an extensive interview with the president of the firm. So, the answer categorically is a resounding yes. It is possible and probable getting hired through a video interview. However, the purpose of writing about this topic is to share techniques and suggestions of how to maximize your video interview experience for your future careers in public finance.

The Whole Package: Your Outward Appearance

There are certain “givens” that must occur for you to be seen in the best light while you are on a video interview. First and foremost, you must treat this as if you were face-to-face with the hiring manager and not simply over a video call. What exactly does that mean for careers in public finance? You must dress for the interview. If you would have worn a blue pinstripe suit with your yellow power tie, then that is what you should wear in your video interview.  If you would have shaved your beard (in the case of a man) or curled your hair (in the case of a woman), then you must do that also for your video interview. I’ve read about a man who wore a suit, tie, and shorts to his video interview. He was thinking that only his top half would be visible. Do not do this! Interviewers are getting smart by asking people to stand throughout the interview process for health purposes such as proper blood flow. If the interview is going for 45 minutes or longer, they may suggest you stand up and stretch. This would reveal the entirety of your outfit.

In addition, it is not only what you are wearing that matters for careers in public finance. It is how you are feeling about what you are wearing. Take a page from John T. Molloy’s 1975 best seller book “Dress For Success”, where he iterates the idea that if you dress for success then you will feel successful and you will interview much stronger.

The Look: Your Setup

When setting up for your interview, your camera is best placed at eye level or higher. This will help cast you in the best possible light for your future interviews in careers in public finance. If need be, place a book or two underneath your laptop if you do not have a camera mounted onto your monitor. When you look at yourself, you want to be in the center of your screen. Do not be at the bottom or at the top. Adjust the height and/or the angle of your monitor to meet that need. You also want the lighting in front of you, not coming from behind you. Natural lighting can usually suffice; however, when you are looking at your own video, if you appear dark then definitely get additional lighting to highlight your features on the video.

The Verbal & Nonverbal Elements: Your Habits

While on the call, speak much slower than you would in person. It may come across rude if you end up talking while someone else is trying to speak. The speed of your Internet may cause some delay; therefore, be sure to practice with someone else to determine how much of a pause you should take when speaking to ensure that you are not stepping over your interviewer. You also want to keep your hands at your side and only use them to emphasize a point. In addition, feel free to approach the screen as well as move back from the screen to emphasize a thought you are trying to get across. Sitting like a statue is not recommended for careers in public finance, neither is talking with your hands and waving them out of control.

Practice Makes For A Better Experience For Careers In Public Finance

Lastly but most importantly, you need to practice. You need to practice responding to questions and getting comfortable with a video interview interface. Ensure that you have a room secluded from the rest of your family available. It may be cute while you are having a family video call to have your pets roaming around and appearing on the screen. However, in a professional interview for careers in public finance, it does not come across well. You need to make sure that there are no outside sounds such as gardeners mowing lawns, children playing loudly beneath your window or any other noise that will become distracting for both you and your hiring manager. Controlling your environment is paramount to having a successful video interview.


If you would like to discuss your options, please reach out to me for a confidential conversation at 760-477-1284 or email me at [email protected]. He can also be reached on LinkedIn

About Harlan Friedman, JD & Founding Member, H. Friedman Search LLC. Harlan is a thirty-year veteran Public Finance Banker turned recruiter who specializes in the placement of all level Public Finance Bankers, Health Care Bankers, Municipal Financial Advisors, Compliance Officers, Issuers, and Bond Counsels.