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How to prepare for a video interview


Everyone is adapting to working and running businesses remotely, and that includes hiring. Many of our interview processes have simply turned in to virtual ones, so there is no need to panic if you cannot personally attend an interview.

In fact, lots of larger corporations include video interviews in parts of their hiring processes, so if you haven’t come across one yet, now could be the perfect time to brush up on your video interviewing skills. 

We have gathered our top tips based on advice from our candidates to help you sail through a video interview. 

1. Tech – Download and test

Whichever tool your interviewer has chosen for your interview, it could be Zoom or a What’s App call, ensure you have access to it and download the software to your laptop and the app to your phone. You never know when you’ll need back up.

Then test it, and test it again. Use a webcam on your laptop if you can, as this will free up your hands and hand shake from your phone. Sit square to the camera so that your head and shoulders are in view – you don’t want to appear either too close or too far away.

Check the sound levels on your device. You can usually do this in your PC’s ‘sound settings’, or some video conferencing tools allow you to test your microphone when joining the call. Log in to the meeting prior to the interview time to ensure that you can access it with the information you’ve been given, and test your sound. Remember to do this with enough time before the call to allow you to remedy any issues.

Ensure that your phone and computer are fully charged.

2. Environment

You want a calm, quiet space to conduct the interview, where you will be heard and have no interruptions. Where will you sit? What is behind you? This is especially important if you’re at home; ensure there is nothing in view of the camera that you wouldn’t want your future employer to see. Zoom even lets you choose a virtual background. Have a drink of water with you, but clear your desk/table of any other food or drinks.

Ideally sit against a plain, light wall with minimal eye distractions.

Check the lighting so that you don’t appear as a dark shadow. Plenty of natural light is good if you have it, but if not position lights either in front or above you, not behind you.

3. Dress for success

You should still wear sensible interview attire even though you’re not travelling to an office. And not just the top! Dress as you would usually to make a good impression, head to toe. That way you won’t be caught out if you happen to move and flash your pyjamas or slippers! 

4. Eye contact and pause

It’s easy to look directly at a person’s face when responding on a video call. But this can make you appear as if you’re speaking to someone else. Look directly in to the camera on your device when responding to questions, that way it will look like you are responding directly to the interviewer.

With virtual connectivity comes time delay – remember to pause after you’ve spoken. This will indicate that you are finished and it is the interviewer’s turn to speak. It’s very easy to end up talking over each other and, especially on voice activated tools such as Zoom, this can create real confusion as to who is meant to be speaking.

5. Practice

You may not usually conduct practice interviews, but when joining a video interview a practice run with a friend, family member or your recruitment consultant is essential. Ensure that the technology is working properly, that your position is perfect and practice speaking directly in to the camera and pausing.

We are helping lots of candidates with virtual interviews. If you need any help please feel free to contact us here.

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