COVID‑19 has upped the chances that you will be required to complete your interview via video. Here are some top tips of how to prepare for and present well in a video interview:
- – technology is wonderful, but it can let us down at the worst moments. Log in well before your interview and check that everything is connected, especially your microphone and speakers – a silent interview is not a good interview! If possible, do a test call with a friend to get your volume and camera angle correct.
- – don’t focus all your attention on your computer screen. It’s important to gauge the interviewer’s response, but it’s not engaging for them. Instead, alternate your gaze between the on-screen image and your computer’s camera. This will appear to the interviewer as though you are maintaining eye contact and looking directly at them.
Prepare the area – you don’t have to think about your surroundings when you go to an in-person interview, but on video you definitely do! Interviewers don’t want to see
your dirty dishes or unmade bed. Set up your computer pre-interview – check your camera angle and find a blank wall or sparse background to use as your backdrop.
• Think about lighting – if your light source sits behind your head, you are going to cast a shadow over your face. Instead, aim for a soft light in front of you.
• What’s that noise? – interviews are normally held in private rooms with peace and quiet for both parties to speak and think. Ideally, a video interview should be no different.
• Make sure you are not going to get interrupted – think children, housemates or pets.
• Check your appliances – noises you wouldn’t normally notice become loud and distracting on video. Turn off your TV and radio and avoid putting on a load of laundry or dishes until afterwards.
• Present yourself properly – it is easy to be too relaxed in a video interview because you are in your home environment. Sit as though you are in an interview room – this will not only portray the right image, but also help you prepare mentally.
• Dress appropriately – and yes, head to toe, even though your interviewer will likely only see your shoulders (better safe than sorry!).
• Organise what you’d normally take to an interview – have, for example, a pen, a notebook and a printed copy of your résumé ready on your desk. And remember: the interviewer cannot see what you are doing – let them know if you are taking notes so they don’t think you are being inattentive or rude.
• Have you phone off – out of sight and reach!
• Allow enough time – video interviews are just as detailed and comprehensive as face-to-face interviews, so be prepared for an extensive discussion about your experience and future expectations. Don’t schedule another meeting straight afterwards – allow time for an in-depth conversation.
• Have your questions ready – this one’s self-explanatory. You don’t want to be left thinking of questions on the spot. Interviewers love to see you’ve been listening throughout the interview and that you’re inquisitive.
• Don’t be put off by brief time delays – these can cause video discussions to flow less freely than face-to-face conversations.
• Be polite – Make sure to allow the interviewer to finish speaking before you start your answer.