How to Prepare for a Video Interview
Increasingly, employers and recruiters are using video, rather than face to face interviews.
They follow exactly the same type of format – so you need to do all the usual preparation, but they also bring a few unique issues – we’ll take a look at some of them here:
FIRSTLY – TECHNICAL ISSUES! We’ve all experienced these at some point – from Skyping Aunt Gladys in Australia, to trying to use Whatsapp video with friends...
Before your interview you will be given details of which online platform / service to use and any access codes and further instructions etc. If you can, test as much of it out beforehand, as possible. Download anything you need to, trial it with a colleague or friend etc. Make sure your wifi can cope – or find a place where you can access better wifi. Invest in headphones if your laptop/ PC / phone sound quality isn’t great. The last thing you need are technical glitches on the day.
Having everything sorted in advance will help you to stay more calm and relaxed on the day.
LOCATION. Think carefully about where you will position yourself for the interview. We’ve all become accustomed to seeing people on TV being interviewed from home at the moment and checking out their house and bookcase in the background. Having a complicated background behind you can be really distracting for anyone – so find a blank piece of wall in your home that you can sit in front of. Then find a way to position your device in front of you so that the image of you is clear for someone the other end to see. Natural light is good if you can manage that, if not, then make sure the room isn’t too dark. Check your wifi signal is good enough there too!
NOISE. From flatmates singing, to kids barging in, to cats walking across keyboards - we’ve seen it all! And it’s neither professional or ideal when you’re trying to give your best answers to some tough interview questions. So make sure that anyone in your household knows to stay out of the room and to be quiet during your interview time. Put a note on the door and put the cat in the garden. You need to focus and you need peace and quiet.
CHEATING. Well, OK not cheating exactly – but you have a real opportunity with a virtual interview to have some helpful notes in front of you that you can refer to – without the interviewer seeing. For example, you may wish to write down your key skills and strengths as a reminder, or certain key notes about the role, and the company – as well as any questions you might want to ask them. Ideally write them on a piece of paper in large letters so that you can easily see them at a glance and you can place them to the side of your device – but out of screen shot for the other person. Check the positioning of this in advance. Better still, find a way to pin your notes up on a wall / board at your eyeline level either side of your device so that you can glance across at them without an interviewer noticing.
You may end up not using the notes, but you’ll find that this preparation alone will help to reassure you and to feel calmer going into the interview.
RELAX. In actual fact a video interview can be really great because you don’t have the stress of having to travel to an interview, finding the office, running late etc etc. You’re in your own environment, where you can have more control over what happens. You can get yourself all set up and ready to go in plenty of time, take some deep breaths and give your best performance! So remember to smile!
Oh, and please...be fully dressed – you know – just in case you have to stand up!
For the ultimate guide on ‘How to Ace the Job Interview’ – see our special e-guide here.