Video interviews have become popular over the years and especially during a pandemic like Covid-19 where we are unable to leave our homes. Companies during the pandemic are continuing their recruitment drives by interviewing candidates over video however video interviewing was also on the rise before the pandemic. It is a massive time saver for both the interviewer and the candidate. It is a win win all around!
Not sure how to prepare for a video interview, use my video interview tips below to end up landing your dream job.
1. Technical Preparation
The biggest worry is ‘what if my equipment is not working’ so prepare yourself beforehand for any eventuality. Most video interviews are on Zoom, Skype, Google hangouts, Facetime or Whatsapp so find out which platform the company is going to use and download it. Then spend time familiarising yourself with how to use the platform, ask friends or family to help you by practising with them to ensure your camera angle and audio are working. Whilst setting up an account use a suitable profile picture (similar attire to what you would wear for an interview) and profile name, being funny using a profile name like ‘He-Man and the Masters of the Universe’ might make the wrong impression!
Wi-Fi connection can be one of the biggest issues when on a video interview so if you can try and wire in your laptop or computer from your router. If you do not have a wire turn off all other devices that use your wi-fi to give you the best chance of an uninterrupted video interview. You don’t want them to remember you for being the person who kept cutting out and could not hear!
If you don’t have a laptop or computer and are going to use your phone, please ensure it is fully charged and you angle the phone to look at you and not up your nostrils. That’s right you won’t believe the amount of video interviews I have held wanting to tell people to pluck their nose hairs out so please don’t show the video interviewer!
If you are like me and worry about technology have a 2nd device ready to video interview just in case something happens with your first-choice equipment. I normally use my computer and webcam as my first choice and have my laptop ready as a backup, that way I am covered for all eventualities.
2. Environment Preparation
Background setting is crucial on a video interview, you do not want anything that will take the interviewers eyes off from you. So, set yourself up somewhere with as plain a background as possible. Make sure if you have pets, they are in another room, last thing you want is for the cat to jump on your laptop and turn off the video interview! If you have anyone else in the house with you at the time, make sure they are aware what time you will be on an interview and for them to be quiet, stick a do not disturb sign on the door.
Natural light is good however keep in mind that you want the natural light facing you. If the light is coming from behind, then the interviewer will mainly see a silhouette of you.
Make sure you have your CV and job description printed off in front of you as well as a pad and pen to take notes. Have a glass of water ready and take regular sips to ensure your voice is clear throughout the video interview. Try not to have one of those funky rude mugs saying something like ‘funk off’, the video interviewer might take offence!
3. Dress Code
Most companies will let you know what to wear to an interview and it is no different being on video. First impressions count! Apparently 30% of interviewers decided on wanting to hire based on the first 5 minutes of an interview so make sure you are in your best clobber and feeling good before you start the interview.
If you have not been provided of what to wear, then research what the attire is like by checking out their website or LinkedIn company page. You will get a feeling for what the culture is like and feel comfortable knowing if they are in smart of casual attire. Last thing you want is to be under dressed for the interview so if you are not sure always over dress. Nothing wrong with wearing a suit, shirt & tie or a professional work dress/trouser suit.
Also, I have heard horror stories of candidates only wearing their top half of their attire suitable for the interview and maybe wearing just under wear or PJ bottoms. DON’T do this. If there is a hiccup on your call and you need to get up for any reason you will be found out. At least you would give them something to keep themselves entertained!
As with a normal face to face interview do thorough research on the company you are interviewing for, understand what they do and their history. Research their competitors and the industry to give yourself as much information needed to give you a better insight into how it will benefit your career.
Knowing a little about your interviewers will give you a better understanding of them so check out the company website for their bio or LinkedIn profile of the type of individuals they are and if they follow any of the same passions or hobbies as you.
Interviewers like it when candidates mention in their interview that they have done their research and share some of the same beliefs as the interviewer.
Whilst doing your research think about questions you can ask at the end of the interview so you can find out more about the company, industry, interviewer, role etc
5. The Interview
Always be early for an interview, you don’t want to keep the interviewer waiting, so log in 5-10 minutes beforehand so they can log in and start the interview. If you are doing the video interview from home you may be feeling too comfortable so sit up right, look the interviewer in their eyes throughout the interview and smile.
The interviewer may have to attend another interview or meeting after yours so clarify how much time you have as you have some questions you would like to ask at the end. If the interviewer says they have 30 minutes, keep an eye on the time and after 25 minutes say that you are conscious of time and with 5 minutes remaining would like to ask some questions.
Don’t worry about looking at yourself in the little box in the corner worrying about what you look like, the interviewer wants to know you are engaged with them so focus on them and keep eye contact.
Body language is so important in an interview so don’t slouch or tap your feet or cross your arms. If you are nervous explain that you have a pad and pen and you will be taking some notes, that way your focus is on writing down information and not on showing you are potentially not interested by crossing your arms!
6. Be memorable!
The company is more than likely interviewing others for the position you have applied for so don’t let them forget you. Be the one that ticks all their boxes!
Make sure you are suitable for the role, showed you had done your research, showed you can engage and have a conversation and finally have personality.
Cultural fit is one of the biggest factors when deciding if you are right for the company so if you have done your research right you should know what the culture is like and you can adapt yourself to their environment.
Remember the company is interviewing you however you are also interviewing the company. You want to make sure they offer you the career progression you require and share the same values. It is a two-way process!
As you can see there is quite a bit to factor in when video interviewing so these steps will help you secure the job of your dreams. If you have done your preparation and research the rest is left to the interview. Just be you!
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Have you been involved with a video interview? Comment below and tell us your success or unfortunate stories. I promise not to laugh!