In the current climate, many are unable to travel and interact face to face, but this doesn’t mean that interviews can’t take place. Many employers are utilising digital channels to conduct job interviews via video.
But there are many things to be aware of in order to project a good impression of yourself during a video interview – here are our top tips to ensure you’re thoroughly prepared for your video job interview.
Research the company!
Even though you’ll be interviewing online rather than face to face, you should still prepare as you usually would. It’s vitally important to spend time researching the company and making sure you fully understand the job description. Don’t forget to make notes on how you can evidence your capabilities when asked.
Test your electronic equipment
Even though you’re not leaving your home, you could still be late to the interview because of technical problems if you don’t test your equipment first.
Do a full hardware check in advance, making sure your camera, speakers and microphone are functioning correctly.
Check that you can use the software - once you’ve received the interview details and know which platform it will take place on (for example Skype), test your setup on a friend first to rule out any technical glitches.
Don't forget to test your internet speed! Generally, most video calling software doesn’t require a huge amount of bandwidth, but the greater your internet speed, the better quality the call will be. If you do struggle with your internet and it fails on the day, ensure the hiring manager has a phone number for you so they can still reach you.
Practise with a friend
Video interviewing is new for many of us so don’t worry if you are unfamiliar with the technology.
If you are unfamiliar with video interviewing software, consider practising using the software as early as possible so you can learn how to use the basic functions. If there’s a desktop app available you could consider downloading it to ensure a smoother interview. Once you have familiarised yourself, try testing the platform with a friend.
If you still struggle to operate the platform, there are plenty of tutorials online – it’s better to spend time understanding how to use the technology in advance, rather than struggling on the day.
Don’t be tempted to use your mobile for the interview
Unless you’re unable to access a computer or laptop, don’t be tempted to use your mobile phone. Phone connections can drop easily and have a tendency to produce shaky footage which can be annoying for the viewer. Where possible, always use a computer or laptop for your video interview.
Think about how to get the best out of your equipment
When positioning your laptop or camera, ensure you situate it at eye level so it’s easier to make eye contact with the interviewer. Although it may feel unnatural, you should aim to look directly down the camera for maximum eye contact.
You should also consider using a headset – laptop microphones don’t always produce the best sound and it’s important you’re heard correctly and clearly. Using a headset microphone ensures better sound transmission and will improve communication.
Consider your surroundings
It’s important to consider your surroundings before you sit down for your video interview.
Make sure that the room you pick has adequate lighting – improving the lighting is an easy way to help your space look more professional. A dark, dingy room where your face is barely visible will make it difficult for the hiring manager to make a connection with you. But be wary of too much light! Sitting with your back to a window may mean all the interviewer will see is your silhouette. Instead, sit with your back to a wall or with a neutral background, windows to the side or in front of you are perfect. If you have no windows consider more lamps to brighten up the space.
Don’t forget to tidy up your surroundings! Check before the interview begins what the hiring manager or recruiter may be able to see. You want to avoid having a background that could distract them from you.
If you can, pick a quiet space where you’re unlikely to be interrupted and keep pets or children away from the room. But try not to be too worried if you’re interrupted by something beyond your control like a noisy lawn mower or car alarm. Hiring managers will understand that these things happen – excuse yourself, wait for the noise to calm down and then resume the interview.
You could consider recording a test video to see how the space looks and if any unwanted noises can be heard in the background.
Dress to impress
A simple way to ensure professionalism is to dress appropriately. You might be at home but this is still a formal job interview. Choose your outfit wisely and like you would for an in-person interview. Plan your outfit the night before so you’re not rushing around before your interview to find the right look. Avoid wearing busy or loud patterns – you want the focus to be on you and what you’re saying rather than your clothes.
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