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07 Jan 2021

Video interviews are now commonplace and they can feel more nerve-wracking than a face to face meeting, but they needn’t be. We’ve collated some tips on how best to banish those nerves and ace your video interview!

 

An interview is an interview – the same rules apply.

 

Just because your interview is over video rather than face to face, you shouldn’t treat it any differently. The key things still apply:

 

Be prepared – Research the company, prepare some questions for them, ensure you know your CV inside out and practice some competency-based questions.

 

Dress smartly – dress exactly as you would if you were meeting them in person. Our advice is to go one notch above what you think their office culture attire would be. And put your shoes on! It sounds silly, but there is a psychological element to being dressed the part – you’ll feel confident and that you really mean business.


Don’t act differently or do anything differently to what you would do in a face to face interview.

 

Prepare yourself and your technology

 

Preparing yourself for the interview is essential, but so is preparing your set up and technology. All good work and good impressions can easily be undone by technical issues.

 

Your Technology

  • Ensure you have a good WiFi connection.Check the software required for the video call, are they using Teams, Skype or Zoom? Ensure you have an account with whatever platform they are using and test it!
  • Double check the time and timezone of the meeting – if you are interviewing with a global business, don’t assume the meeting time is in your time zone.
  • Check your microphone and camera are working.
  • Wear headphones or ear buds – good quality sound is essential and relying on inbuilt laptop speakers for example is a risk.
  • Test everything! Do a practice run through with a friend or relative.


You

Remove any distractions – ensure you are in a quiet space, no pets, no kids, no partners! Definitely no TV or radio in the background.

 

Try to set yourself up with a neutral background and don’t wear anything that is too heavily pattered or distracting. Softer, solid colours work best.

 

Make sure you frame yourself properly, don’t cut your head off!

 

 

 

The more flattering angle is always from above, so try raising your laptop or computer as much as you can using books or stand.

 

 

Ensure you are lit from the front not from behind and use more than one light if you can.

 

 

Don’t sit yourself too close or too far away from the camera!

 

 

Think about where you want to be looking and use a post it note to mark it. It can feel quite unnatural, but in order to make eye contact, you’ll want to be looking into your camera as opposed to at the screen.

 

 

Final preparation

  • Check your tech and internet connectivity!
  • Have a glass of water nearby.
  • Have a cheat sheet or some post it note prompts out of shot but in sight. Do not rely on these though; it will be obviously if you are constantly looking at notes!
  • Get in the mood to talk! It sounds strange, but getting in a positive and chatty mood ahead of the interview, perhaps arrange a video catch up with a colleague or friend half an hour before the interview.

 

During the interview

  • Nerves are normal, just remember to take deep breaths, listen to the questions and take your time to answer.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask them to repeat a question if you’re unclear or can’t hear them.
  • Smile! And remember to focus on the camera not the screen, make eye contact as much as possible without it being weird!
  • Don’t fidget or move too much.
  • Just like any normal interview, be prepared with some questions to ask them at the end!


Final thought; as we said right at the beginning, treat a video interview just like you would any other. Prepare yourself and your technology, be professional and try to be as composed and engaging as possible!

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