In the current situation, video interviews have really come into their own, providing a safe way to interview for future roles, doing away with unnecessary travel and expenses and connecting employers and candidates who may be overseas.
Unlike face to face or telephone interviews, video interviews require different preparation techniques as well as dealing with technology, so here are our top tips when it comes to video interviews.
Preparation is Key
Before the interview takes place make sure that you have checked your internet connection strength, the last thing you want is for your video to freeze or the signal to drop. Likewise, on the day of the interview close all other tabs so that nothing will interfere with the quality of the call and consider asking the rest of your house to refrain from all downloading/streaming at the same time as your interview.
Once you know the platform that you will be interviewed on make sure you set up an account before the interview so you can sort out any problems that might arise and make sure you connect to your interviewer beforehand so you’re not scrabbling around trying to find them. Before your interview, it is worth asking a friend for a practice call so that you can check your webcam display and to make sure you can both hear and be heard clearly.
You want to be as confident as possible going into an interview, so if you find yourself getting camera shy have a couple of practice runs. Get used to talking about yourself and your experience on camera, consider your body language, practice a comfortable position that shows you’re engaged and practice answering questions just as you would in a face to face interview. However, unlike a face to face interview, you can surround your screen with reminders on Post-It notes so you can refer to them if necessary.
Consider Your Surroundings
On the day of your interview find a quiet place where you won’t be interrupted. Consider the lighting as well, you want to make sure you are presenting yourself, quite literally, in the best light. Choose a neutral background, you don’t want your interviewer being distracted by posters on the walls, a messy kitchen or an unmade bed. And remove any distractions for yourself too, switch off your phone and don’t have music or a television on in the background. It may feel like a more casual interview but these are your potential future employers so you want to come across as professionally as possible.
The same applies for dressing, it is still important that you dress as you would for any other interview. This will not only encourage you to get into an interviewing frame of mind and signals to the interviewer that you are taking this seriously but also stops you from making the same mistake as so many have recently of not realising that their webcams do in fact capture that they are only dressed from the waist up…
If Things Do Go Wrong
Sometimes things are out of your control there could be a siren going off outside or your child might start crying and ignore the fact that you told them not to come into the room. When this does happen rather than trying to deal with it subtly and most likely coming across as distracted, apologise to your interviewer and ask if you can deal with the problem. Mute your microphone and switch off your camera if necessary, sort out the problem and then return to your interview.
It’s always worth asking for a phone number at the start of the interview so that if there is a technical glitch you can call them and either resume the interview on the phone or reschedule.
Treat the video interview as you would any other interview, thank the interviewer and send a follow-up email the same day to help build a stronger rapport.
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