How to Prepare for a Video Interview
Video interviewing is by no means a new concept, however since COVID-19 they’ve become far more popular amongst hiring managers and recruitment agents. While more traditional face-to-face interviews are not possible right now, many companies have now realised just how convenient and time saving video interviewing is.
We use industry-leading video software to make sure you have the best experience, but still know it can be a little intimidating to have your first interview over video. We’ve pulled together our top tips and a bit of background information on how to ensure you’re putting your best foot forward when the time comes for that first video interview!
Why is it so popular?
Video interviews are far more flexible than a typical on-site, face-to-face. There’s no traveling to and from involved and no time off work required. Simply open a link and you’re good to go. This means you can complete the video interview anywhere, anytime and on any device.
Types of Video Interviewing
There are a few different ways of conducting video interviews. The most common is a live, two-way video call. In this case, you’ll likely be sent a link which you simply click on to enter an online ‘interview room’. There you’ll come face-to-face with the interviewer(s) via a split-screen. The process of a live interview thereafter is exactly the same as it would be in person, only you’ve got a screen between you.
Another less common but increasingly popular method of video interviewing is known as a Solo Interview. The main difference is that instead of coming face-to-face when you enter the virtual room, you’ll be taken on a journey through a number of questions. The questions appear on screen for you to answer one by one and you’ll be able to review your finished responses before submitting it for the recruiter and client to watch back.
While you can start over if you feel you didn’t give your best answers, we’d recommend keeping the attempts to a minimum as the more versions you do, the less natural you’ll come across. Also avoid writing all your answers out and reading them, as you’d never attend a face-to-face interview and read off answers.
Preparing for an Interview
Prepare for your video interview in the exact same way you would for a face-to-face interview. Think of quality answers for any and all situations, do your background research on the company and compile some questions to ask the interviewer at the end.
Specifically for video, here’s some last minute checks to do beforehand.
- Set up – test that your microphone, speakers and camera all work properly.
- Connection – check your internet connection, close-down unnecessary programs and web pages and make sure you aren’t downloading, installing or about to run updates.
- Surroundings – be mindful of your backdrop in terms of what’s in the frame. Consider your position and check your lighting. A plain background is ideal.
- Where to look – This can be a bit awkward, but look into your camera, rather than at the interviewer. This way it’ll appear like you are looking at them.
- Do not disturb – unlike in a face-to-face interview, you’ll likely be at home or even on your lunch break at work. It may seem obvious, but make sure people around you know not to disturb you. Ideally, find a place where you feel completely at ease and where you can speak freely and comfortably without fear of interruptions or distractions.
- Appearance – just because you’re at home doesn’t mean you don’t need to look the part. You should dress exactly as you would for an in-person interview. Psychologically, you’ll feel more ready too.
- Stay focused – Because you’re not face-to-face, it can be easier to become distracted and do things you wouldn’t do in a face-to-face setting.
- Notes – avoid reading off notes. It’s okay to refer to notes but don’t try to be sneaky about it. Equally, avoid taking excessive notes. And definitely do not try to Google during the interview, no matter how subtle you think you’re being they’ll definitely be able to see.
- Smile and engage – a tendency on video versus face-to-face is that candidates are less focused on being engaging and less aware of ensuring their personality comes across. Avoid falling into this trap and bring as much to the video as you would if you were sitting across from the interviewer.
While video interviewing may be new to you, try and treat it like every other interview you’ve done before. While you may feel a little unnatural and out of your comfort zone, with these quick tips we’re sure it’s nothing you can’t overcome.
Just like any normal interview, practice with friends and family or even just record yourself and rewatch it to get a feel for how you come across on video. As with anything else, the usual combination of research and advance prep will go a long way.