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10 top tips for video interviews

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In 2021, 79% of companies conducted their job interviews with candidates via video interview due to the need for social distancing.

However, we’d actually seen a trend towards using online meetings in recruitment for some time prior, due to various reasons including the ease of setting up a meeting with multiple people in multiple locations, less costs, less travel time needed etc.

Even when the pandemic finally becomes a thing of the past, video interviewing shows no signs of abating.

As a job seeker though, online interviews can be an alien experience, we often get asked by candidates – how do you prepare for a video interview?

We’ve put together our top tips on video interviews below. This will help you prepare, feel confident, perform well and give yourself the best possible chance of securing your next role.

How to prepare for a video interview

1. Do your research

Just as you would for an ordinary interview, make sure you prepare in advance. Knowledge is power so look up the company website and check their social media feeds, this will help you get a feel for the culture and environment of the role. Review the job description or job advert and prepare any questions you may want to ask. Research your interviewers in advance too on LinkedIn to get insight into their backgrounds.

2. Don’t read from the screen

Do not skip point 1! Reading from your screen during the interview will not only be obvious to the interviewers, but it will also prevent you from listening and engaging in the conversation.

3. Location, location, location

Think about where you will set up for the interview. Make sure you are in a quiet space where you are unlikely to be interrupted or distracted. Make sure whatever is visible in the background is presentable and will not distract your interviewers.

4. Test out your webcam

You’re probably wondering how you may look to the interviewer and it is definitely worth considering in advance. You can check what your background looks like, but also see the camera angle (not too low or too high) or how close or far away you are from the camera. Also, have an appreciation that if you lean forward then the interviewer will get a great view of your forehead.

Mac users can use QuickTime player while Windows users can use the Camera app to check. You can even record yourself to see how it all looks. Usually these programs are already installed on your computer/laptop. If you have a computer and no webcam, I recommend requesting a telephone interview. Facetime, for the time being, is best suited for social calls only.

5. Check the connection

Check your connection in advance; a rush or panic to connect when the interview is due to begin will not only frustrate the potential employer, it will also mean you are starting the interview in the wrong frame of mind.

6. Arrive ’10 minutes early rule’ still applies

Remember that it can take 5-10 minutes to go through the motions and join a video call. You want to be dialling in at least 5 minutes in advance. It’s best to have your mobile phone ready in case you are unexpectedly having trouble connecting – a quick call to explain that you’re having to update software is forgivable, but no call looks like a no-show.

7. Be professional

We’re all used to using video chat in a social context these days but remember, this is a business scenario. Use the language and behaviour that you would if you were physically attending an interview at the client site. Dress appropriately for the occasion, make sure you are presentable. First impressions count, even if they are on camera.

8. Be engaged

Almost every job nowadays requires interpersonal skills and it’s important these come across in a video interview. Smile, make eye contact, still use your hands and body language to help you to express yourself and communicate (don’t keep your hand on the mouse) and engage with the people you are speaking with. Let your personality come through.

9. Normal interview rules still apply

Practice your answers beforehand as part of your preparation but make sure you really listen to the questions being asked, try not to anticipate too much and read what is happening in the moment. Wherever possible, use scenarios to illustrate your answers. Providing examples makes you more credible and is more interesting for the interviewers.

10. Ask questions

It’s easy to forget that an interview is a two-way process. Yes, you may want the role, but it is also important that you have all the information you need to make sure it is the right opportunity for you. You may have questions ready to ask that come from your preparation and research but also if topics come up during the discussion, it’s ok to ask for more information.

Not only that, but asking questions helps demonstrate your interest in the company and culture and will show your enthusiasm, something all potential employers want to see.  Following tip 2, if you want to write questions down and refer to them during the interview, put them into a physical notepad – it will make much more sense to the interviewer.

If you need any help with your recruitment, setting up online video interviews, more on how to prepare for video interviews or with your job search please get in touch with the team. Register your CV or vacancy on our website or give us a call. We are here to support you.

Good luck with the interviews!

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Jayne Wogan

Jayne Wogan

Solutions through understanding