We live in a digital age and an increasing number of job interviews are now carried out via video. Part of that is to do with remote working, and the geographical aspects of working life being less important than it used to be. Not all employers have to stick to local candidates and it’s easier for everyone if job seekers don’t have to travel to a face-to-face interview when video platforms can be used just as effectively.
It's important to remember, though, that to succeed in a video interview, the candidate must take their preparation just as seriously as if they were visiting a prospective employer in person. It may feel more casual, but it isn’t, and everything from your dress code to your body language should be just as professional as if you were there in person.
This guide has some tips for how to succeed in a video interview to help you present your best self and leave a lasting impression, maximising your chances of landing the job you want:
Make sure you are familiar with the video call platform that will be used for the interview. Popular video platforms include Zoom and Teams. Set up a practice call with a friend or family member if you need to. That way you can make sure your internet connection is stable and powerful enough to get a good connection. This is also the time to check your camera, microphone and speakers are working well and are ready to go.
The camera should be positioned so that your face can be seen clearly, to highlight your facial expressions. Allow it to capture your upper body, your hand gestures will look more natural if they can be picked up by the camera too.
Pick the location you want to use. The room should be well lit, and your background should look professional and tidy – the more neutral and distraction-free the better. Natural light is better than artificial light but if you do need lights, position them in front of you rather than creating glare behind your head.
Choose what to wear for a video interview in the same way you would if you were attending an interview in person. Something smart and relatively neutral is best for a recorded video interview, even if you’re not going to have to dress like that should you get the job.
Try to get into the habit of looking at the camera rather than looking at yourself on screen, it invites eye contact and makes you look more engaged and attentive.
Remember to smile (at the right times) and nod when another person is speaking to show that you are listening and interested. Sit upright and try not to move around too much, even if you are feeling a little on edge or uncomfortable.
Speak slowly and clearly, video calls are not always as clear as face-to-face interactions. Concentrate on what your interviewer/s are saying and pause before answering to make sure they have finished speaking, that way you will be more likely to avoid accidentally interrupting them. Paraphrase their interview questions and points when you reply to show that you were listening and have understood.
Most importantly, make sure everyone else in the house knows you have an important video interview and that you must not be interrupted. Turn your phone to silent and turn off notifications on your computer to minimise disruptions. It’s also worth having a backup plan just in case there are any technical issues.
Don’t panic if things go wrong, it may not be your fault a connection has been lost but keep the number of the interviewer or their company to hand so that you can call them if the connection is unstable. That way, you can agree what you can do to continue the conversation by phone or on another platform.
Behave as you would if you had attended a face-to-face meeting. Send an email saying thank you for the opportunity and recap some of the key points. This reinforces your interest in the position and shows that you are keen to move to the next stage.
Think about what went well and what you could work on. Consider how you think you came across on the interview and if there is anything you could improve for future video call interactions. Get active on social media platforms and interact with the company as much as possible, liking posts, commenting where appropriate and sharing content that demonstrates your interest in what the company does and the messages it is putting out.
Those are all tips specifically for video interviews, but don’t forget that all the usual interview rules still apply and are worth looking at again to make sure you’re fully prepared. As with a face-to-face interview, you should always research the company as thoroughly as you can and, when you are preparing responses to common questions, think about how you can tailor your answers to the company and to the role for which you are being interviewed.
Excelling in a job interview, particularly one carried out by video, requires a combination of technical preparation, good communication, a calm head and a professional demeanour. Give plenty of thought to these strategies before you embark on the call, and you will be ready for what can be a unique challenge – the virtual interview.
For advice on how to prepare for a video interview, contact the team at ACS Staffing Solutions online or call 01604 704058.
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