Posted on Apr 8th, 2020 by Natalie
If you’ve got a job interview coming up, first of all congratulations! And secondly it’s likely it’s going to be via video link, even before the CoronaVirus outbreak and government enforced lockdown video interviews were quite commonplace in the tech space, saving time, allowing face to face connection and other useful options like screen sharing. But in the current climate they’re pretty much the only way to have an interview - and they can work, really well
It’s important however that you don’t go into a video interview unprepared and we know what you’re thinking ‘ why would I ever be unprepared for an interview’ but in this case we’re not talking about shining your shoes (but do that too if you it makes you feel good) there’s tech to contend tend with and a whole other set of skills to consider.
Here we share our top tips on nailing that video interview every time.
Get to grips with the tech before you have to do it for real, whether you’re using Zoom, Teams or something else, be sure to check your internet connection under the same circumstances as the interview will take place, so if your kid is streaming Disney Plus and your partner working online too? make sure your internet connection can cope with that and your interview at the same time.
Check the position of your camera and also your audio, is it better with earphones for example or without, do you have a mic to plug in which could make the experience better? Gaming headset with a mic? That will work too just find the best solution which provides clear audio and cuts out background noise. And on background think about what the interview will see behind you, platforms like Zoom allow you to put in place backgrounds which can help provide a more professional look to your interview which is helpful when we are all at home/working around others at the moment.
If you’ve never done a video interview before or much video communication before, we’ll level with you, it’s a bit weird to start with, particularly if you don’t know the person, but there’s nothing stopping you connecting to them beforehand, say hello, that you’re looking forward to the interview and ‘meeting’ them and start to build a rapport, you can also use this opportunity to make sure you’ve got all the right details and maybe even set up a test connection on the required platform ahead of the interview so there’s no technical hitches on the day.
Been wearing gym gear for weeks now or your ‘ best’ PJS - we feel you BUT this is a job interview so dress the part and do it properly. Wear what you would wear to the interview if it were in person and no half measures, if you wouldn’t wear jeans to the interview then don’t do it for the video interview either. There’s also a mental element to all of this too, if you dress the part you’ll feel more prepared and serious about the interview too.
Even if you’re one of those people who ‘lights up the room’ video has a tendency to dull that brightness so it’s time to amp up your energy, whilst not appearing unnatural you do need to focus on smiling more, making a lot of eye contact and speaking clearly and enthusiastically. In an interview setting there is nothing better than a candidate who brings bagfuls of enthusiasm so let your passion shine through.
A small advantage over the physical interview, you can keep reminders on screen or next to your screen if you prefer, of the things you want to focus on, which might help to keep the interview on track and to ensure you don’t miss anything out. We’re all nervous when it comes to interviews but here you can give yourself a helping hand to cover all the important points. Just remember not to read directly from your list or notes as this will be obvious to your interviewer - in fact you might want to reference at the beginning that you’ve made a few notes to ensure you cover everything, don’t think of this as a negative, if anything it shows you’re prepared and serious about the interview.
This may be a video interview, but the usual rules apply be sure to follow up, thank your interviewer for the opportunity and don't be afraid to ask about timescales, when you're likely to hear regarding a decision and so on, whilst the interview may have felt less formal in every other respect it's business as usual and your interviewer should be able to clearly communicate with you about expected outcomes.