Businesses all over the world are making adjustments to the way they work, in reaction to the coronavirus outbreak. With many people now based from home to avoid unnecessary interaction, video interviews are more popular than they’ve ever been.
At Forward Role we’ve been arranging video interviews between our clients and candidates for a number of years now, many of whom utilise innovative technology in their everyday working lives. However the increase in use over the last couple of weeks has been seen across every single industry and so we’re sharing our top tips and advice for how to prepare for a video interview.
How to prepare for a video interview
Test your tech
It may sound obvious but it’s vital that you know which platform your video interview is taking place on and that you’ve tested it well in advance of the scheduled time. Finding out 15 minutes before your interview that Skype is not compatible with your laptop or not giving yourself enough time to create a Zoom account is going to cause you all kinds of unnecessary stress!
Regardless of whether you’re using a computer, laptop, tablet or your mobile; ask a friend or family member to help you test that your camera and microphone both work and make sure that you’re based somewhere with a stable internet connection. If your WIFI at home is known for being a little slow, close down all other programmes and browsers to give it the best chance.
Make sure the device you’re using is fully charged and that you also have a phone number for the interviewer to hand, in case your video interview loosing connection.
Choose your setting
If you’re planning on being at home for your video interview, make sure that you’ll be free from any possible interruptions. We’ve all enjoyed the hilarious video of the children that gate-crashed the BBC News interview but I’m sure their poor Dad didn’t find it quite as funny at the time! If you’re going to be having your video interview remotely, make sure you’re in a quiet, private, well lit location.
If possible, try to sit yourself at a table as this will give the most professional look and avoid any backgrounds that are too dark or too bright - a plain, neutral background is ideal!
Look the part
Even though you’re not meeting the interviewer face-to-face, you should still dress professionally for a video interview. Depending on the type of company, smart casual may be more appropriate, but unless you’re told otherwise, dress smartly! Avoid wearing very bright colours or large prints, which may be distracting.
To get the best angle, a good trick is to raise the camera on your laptop or mobile, slightly higher than eye level. Not only is it much more flattering but it’ll also stop you looking intimidating on the other person’s screen.
Use positive body language
During your video interview look interested in the conversation and maintain eye contact by looking into your camera, rather than down at the bottom of the screen. Make sure that you smile, but not too much that it looks unnatural, and try not to slouch or fidget.
When talking, be positive and enthusiastic about what you’re saying, speaking clearly and making sure that you don’t rush your answers. It’s much easier to interrupt someone during a video interview, than it is face-to-face, as there can be an internet delay so wait a second longer than you would normally before you speak.
As you would in a face-to-face interview it’s a good idea to prepare some questions before your video interview. Have these written down separately in a notebook so that you don’t need to make any changes to the screen you’re already using. Having a copy of your CV to hand is also a good idea to help jog your memory when answering those ‘tell us about a time that you…’ style questions. Make sure you’ve also got a pen and a glass of water on standby.
If you have a video interview coming up, the main thing to remember is to try and act as natural in front of the camera as you can. Practice by recording yourself answering a couple of questions so that it doesn’t feel quite so awkward.