Due to an increase in remote working, many recruiters and employers are resorting to video interviews to support their current and future workforce. As a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic, there has also been an upsurge of candidates searching for a new job, therefore its crucial to familiarise yourself with new virtual recruitment methods to enhance your chances of acing the interview. Video interview planning can appear very similar to preparing a face-to-face interview, however, there are many more factors to take into consideration to ensure a successful virtual meeting.
Read on to find out our top tips to a successful interview, from the initial preparation stage to the elements you need to consider during the meeting.
The most important step towards a successful video interview is making sure that your device is set up correctly and fully prepared for the big day. You should test your technology a few days before the interview to not only give you peace of mind that everything is working as it should be but also buy you some time if you need to make a few adjustments.
Your device should be connected to a stable internet connection to avoid interruptions and remember to fully charge this device prior to the interview. A low internet connection can, unfortunately, cause the video image to appear blurry and even distort the voiceover causing a time lag, so it's important to position yourself in an area that offers a speedy bandwidth.
Whether you are using a desktop, laptop or tablet, spend some time testing the webcam with friends or family by jumping on a quick call with them. This gives you the opportunity to adjust your hardware, check that your microphone is cooperating and testing your own sound to ensure you can hear the interviewer loud and clear. Being comfortable and confident with the technology you are using will allow you to focus solely on the interview itself, eliminating any extra worries that you certainly don’t need on the day.
An aspect that most people forget when joining a video call is what’s behind them! Wherever you decide to set up your interview equipment, its important to take into consideration what the interviewer may be observing in the background. Visually, the space around you needs to be completely free of distractions and clutter, ideally in a neutral space with minimalist décor. The focus should be on you!
Once you’ve sorted out your suitable backdrop, its time to consider background noise; something that that can be more distracting than aesthetics, as this can interfere with voiceovers and affect the sound transmitting to your interviewer. It's important to position yourself in a quiet room, free of interruptions such as family members or pets.
Where you sit within your quiet space is also a crucial factor to consider and natural light can either be your saving grace or worst enemy. You should position yourself in an area which is bright and clear of shadows, this is usually easiest to achieve by sitting facing a window instead of with your back to it. Test out a variety of positions a few days before your interview to get it just right!
You probably don’t notice it, but many of us may start to fidget with items around us when we're nervous and sadly, this can be a big turnoff for interviewers. Spend some time clearing the area around your device that could be distracting to ensure you are concentrated and focused on the interview. Make sure your mobile phone is on silent and out of reach to eliminate being side-tracked by notifications or unexpected phone calls.
Even though its vital to reduce distractions, don’t forget to keep the interview essentials to hand! This includes a notepad and pen for detailing important information throughout the call, the latest version of your CV to revert back to when asked about previous experience and achievements, and even the job description so that you are hitting all the right notes on how you would be a perfect match for the role. Take advantage of this luxury and prepare your essentials as much as you need – after all, they won’t be able to see what you have in front of you!
As much as we are all used to sticking on a comfy pair of joggers and a sweater after being at home for what seems like a lifetime, its important to dress for the occasion! Dressing in casual wear often influences your mood and tone, making you come across uninterested and not serious about the position. Think about what you would have worn if it were a face-to-face interview and replicate that on the day.
You should consider your colour scheme too. Think about your background and try not to wear a similar colour to your walls unless you want to look to like a floating head! Your attire should be subtle, avoiding loud patterns and bright colours that could be distracting to the interviewer. You should be smart but comfortable enough so that you can still feel relaxed, as well as making sure it sits well when seated.
The way you conduct yourself during a video interview should be the same as you would at a normal face-to-face meeting. Convey a comfortable yet confident posture by sitting up straight, facing your device and keep your hands placed on the table or on your lap. If you lounge back in your chair, interviewers interpret this as a sign of disinterest, or that you’re not taking the interview seriously. One important point to consider is not to look at the interviewer when either of you are speaking, sounds strange right? In fact, you need to look directly into the webcam and not at the screen, to achieve and maintain eye contact with your interviewer.
Always keep in mind that the interviewer can see you at all times so nodding occasionally and smiling goes a long way, which helps you express your personality. You need to make it clear that you are listening to every point and are acknowledging what is being said. It’s essential that you look engaged, enthusiastic, and serious about the meeting just as you would in person.
Once your interview comes to an end, remember to politely thank the interviewer for the opportunity and their time. It may also be appropriate to follow up the next day with a thank you email, emphasising your interest in the position and that you are looking forward to hearing from them. These small steps can make a huge impact in the recruitment process as it proves to the employer that you are genuinely interested, potentially boosting your chances of making it to the next stage.
Do you have a telephone interview coming up instead of a video call? Check out our top ‘do’s and don’ts’ to help you ace your telephone interview