How to prepare for video interviews
For decades, we have embraced the face-to-face interview, but since the Coronavirus pandemic, face-to-face interviews are often avoided or postponed. Video interviews have become common practice and we at RoS International Ltd have some top tips to help you prepare.
Video Interviews can be conducted via a number of platforms including; Skype, Zoom and Facetime. These platforms are very user friendly, and with a little practice, can be easy to navigate and are nothing to be afraid of. They are also free to use.
Below are a number of things for you to consider when preparing for your video interview.
When preparing for your interview, the first thing you need to think about is your environment. You need to find a space that is free from distractions. Common distractions may include;
- Pets – you don’t want the dog barking or the cat meowing mid-interview
- Noises from the TV
Give your family the heads up. Ask them to take the dog/cat/child(ren) out for a walk to allow you to fully concentrate on your interview in an uninterrupted setting.
Choosing the right location is vital to ensure the interview can run as smoothly as possible. Key things to consider when finding the right location include;
- Clear backdrop – Choose a neutral background with no distractions – a blank wall usually works well
- Lighting – Try to position yourself in a well-lit room with natural light if possible. If this isn’t possible, a lamp positioned behind your screen can also work well.
- Windows – windows are a great source of flattering natural light, aim to position yourself with a window in front of you and not behind you or to the side. A window behind you will put you in a shadow on the screen, and a window to the side can cast dark shadows across the screen.
*TOP TIP – Use your phone in selfie mode and walk around the house to find the best lighting and background. This saves you hauling your PC/Laptop around the house when searching for the best location.
*IMPORTANT – Ensure your device is fully charged!*
Most laptops and PCs now have built in camera and audio functions. You can also use your mobile phone if you do not have access to a laptop/PC. It is very important to test your equipment in plenty of time to make sure you know how to navigate the software you will be using for the interview. Why not have a practice with a friend or family member, they can give their honest opinion on how you come across on the camera – can they see too many shadows? Can they hear you clearly? Can you hear them? This will give you the opportunity to make any adjustments as required.
Try to position the camera of your laptop just above eye level and tilt on a slight downward angle. This is the most flattering position and will avoid any double chin moments!! You can use anything to prop up your PC Screen/Laptop, a shoe box for example. Also consider how close to the camera you are sitting. Laptop cameras are wide angle lenses to you don’t want to sit too close. Also, try to position yourself so that you appear in the middle of the screen.
*TOP TIP – Remember to test your internet connection. Dependent on your location, WIFI connections can sometimes be unreliable – if yours is temperamental, using an ethernet cable to plug your PC/Laptop directly into the router will drastically improve your internet connection, minimising interruptions in your interview.
Timing – Make sure you are set up and ready for your interview in plenty of time. This will help the interview get off to a good start and will help you from feeling flustered and rushed.
Eye Contact – Maintain eye contact with the camera. Now this doesn’t come naturally to all of us and can take some practice. Avoid looking at yourself on the screen and try to remain focussed on the camera and the interviewer. As suggested above, try a few practice runs with a friend or family member.
Avoid distractions – As with any interviews, keep in mind that you are being watched. Avoid touching your face, playing with your hair as this can be a distraction to the interviewer.
*TOP TIP – Choose a static chair for your interview. Swivel chairs can encourage you to shuffle and move around and this can be a big distraction in a video interview and make you come across nervous or unsettled.
Appearance – Dress the part. As with all interviews, this is often your first impression on your potential new employer. Please still treat a video interview as a formal interview and we suggest you dress in a business-like manner.
Have everything you need – Ensure you have everything you need ready in front of you. A copy of your CV, a couple of pens and some paper, a glass of water, the job description and a list of questions you would like to ask in your interview.
*TOP TIP – Sticky Notes – if there is a question or a reminder you would find helpful during the interview, write it on a sticky note and stick it to the side of your screen.
Remember the 3E’s
Enthusiasm, Enthusiasm, Enthusiasm.
Of two identically qualified candidates, Employers will without fail go for the one that shows interest and enthusiasm. Show them that you really want the job.
Good Luck, and please telephone us straight after your interview to let us know your views.