Video Interviews, love them or hate them, they’re here to stay
In the world we live in, video interviews are becoming the norm and although they may feel a little sterile or uncomfortable with practise and some preparation you’ll be a pro in no time.
We have written a blog on face to face interviews which covers the key components of interviews to ensure you’re set up for success and I suggest reading that blog in conjunction with this one. This blog’s focus is on the practical considerations you’ll need to ensure your video interview goes off without a hitch.
More often than not, you may be interviewing at home. I suggest finding a quiet location, free from any possible interruptions, ensure you have good internet connection and your webcam is working. Remove any inappropriate items that might be visible once you are on screen and close any unnecessary web browser tabs and applications. Don’t forget to switch your phone to silent and have a pen, notepad and copy of your resume handy. Take the time to familiarise yourself with the application you will be interviewed on. It’s best to ask the interviewer if it’s teams, zoom, google hangouts or another platform.
In in-office interviews, you’ll typically be led to a room with all the equipment you’ll need. Before your contact person leaves, ensure everything is working and you understand how to navigate the relevant application.
Method and Approach
Some employers will ask you to interview via a pre-record function. With this approach, you will be prompted to answer interview questions that have been pre-recorded or appear in writing on the screen. More often than not, you will be given more than one chance to record, and don’t be surprised if you’re asked to answer within a time limit. These can feel a little sterile and awkward, I find the best way to approach these is to imagine that you are having a live conversation.
Some interviews will be live via a link that the employer shares with you or you might receive a call via Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts or another video conference provider. Be sure to review our blog on face to face interviews for some guidance on how to approach these.
Preparation and Looks
What to wear
When it comes to interviews, I find it best to dress professionally and avoid bright colours in the same way you would for an in-person interview. They will predominantly see your upper body, which means they will see your jewellery and accessories. Choose these accessories and jewellery wisely.
Eye contact is very important during an interview regardless if this is on video. Your interviewers might be located to the left or right of your screen, when talking and looking at your screen, direct your gaze at the webcam, this will ensure you are looking at them. Ensure to keep your mood upbeat and convey optimism with your body language by listening, nodding and smiling and using hand gestures when it feels appropriate.
Practice makes perfect
I strongly suggest running some trial video calls with friends or family members as practising can make all the difference in your interviews. As they say practise makes progress. And sometimes no matter how much you plan, things can and do go wrong.
What if sometimes goes wrong?
If your video or audio stops working? Before the interview starts, ask the interviewer for a phone number where you can reach them if you experience technical difficulties.
If noise interrupts the conversation? Apologise for the interruption and ask for a few moments until the noise has subsided. You may want to mute the microphone if the noise is severe.
If someone enters the room unexpectedly? Apologise to the interviewer, ask for a few moments, mute your microphone and turn off your camera and then step away to deal with the interruption. Try to ensure that the room is secure before beginning the interview again.
As with all interviews, practise and preparation makes progress. With the preparation out of the way, take your time and enjoy the journey, you’ve got this.