With Covid19 effecting business growth globally, more and more companies are using video interviewing as an alternative method of candidate selection. Video job interviews are now an increasingly common part of the hiring process, and these interviews can take several forms.
Here at Miller Leith, we know how important it is to make an impression, whether virtually or face to face. So, we’ve put together our top video interview tips, as a reference for candidates (and clients!), when interviewing.
1. Test your technology – be prepared!
Prior to your interview, you want to make sure you’ve got the following set-up ready to go, to eliminate any problems on the day. Make sure to check the following:
- There’s a decent internet connection (check your speed), with a modem plugged in, nearby and ready to go.
- A laptop or desktop with a built-in, working webcam or camera. A tablet or smartphone may be an alternative, but we’d recommend using a larger, fixed screen, where possible.
- Make sure to have downloaded the right application, that has been specified for the interview. These days, there are a range of popular interviewing platforms such as: Skype, Microsoft Teams, Zoom and even Facetime. Create an account, login and familiarise yourself with the right system.
- If using headphones, make sure the microphone is built-in, synced to your laptop or desktop and fully functional. We’d advice running a test call, beforehand to double check.
- Make sure your device is fully charged, or plugged into a power source – so there’s no unexpected drop-outs, whilst on the call.
2. Interview Location, Backgrounds & Distractions
It’s really important to be mindful of where you’re setting up, for your interview. Bear in mind the background, visuals and any potential distractions that may deter or distract the interviewer. Remember, you want to project yourself as professional even if you’re not in an office environment. Make sure to check:
- You’re positioned in a well-lit, quiet and simple space – against a wall, ideally or within a room that’s got plenty of natural light. A common distraction on video, is to sit directly in front of a window or door where the light shines directly on the camera and creates shade or glare, so try to avoid this. Similarly, turn the lights on if it’s too dark, or unclear on screen. The interviewer needs to be able to see you clearly!
- Have your screen at eye level, as to make sure you’re clearly in the picture
- If living with someone, make sure they know you’re interviewing as to keep the room quiet, and try to keep pets out of sight.
- Keep the background clear of clutter, and any potentially embarrassing or distracting items
- Make sure to turn off all background noise, notifications and alerts that may pop up throughout the interview. Similarly, turn off anything that may interfere with the webcam, internet connection or audio.
3. Dress code & body language
Dressing as you would be going to a face to face interview, is key when it comes to video interviews. Wear something that’s presentable and comfortable – don’t go overboard just because you’re on video! We’d advise wearing your outfit, during any practice interviews, too.
Make sure to dress suitably, and choose an outfit that sits well on camera. Avoid anything too loud or distinctive patterns, and make sure your outfit fits your surroundings and background. And dress professionally, all over. Whilst only your upper half will be visible on camera, it’s still a good idea to wear a professional pair of trousers, or skirt in case you have to stand-up. It’s also important to research and understand the company’s culture and style beforehand, as to avoid any outfit mishaps.
4. Communication on Camera
Communication on camera, whether it be body language, eye contact or timing – is maybe the most important thing to get right in a video interview. It can be nerve wracking, but practice really does make perfect. So, if you’re nervous or unsure, make sure to rehearse or trial-run an interview with a friend, colleague or family member. And remember the following:
- Maintain good eye contact! It’s easy to get distracted on camera, especially when you’re not face to face with your interviewer. Avoid moving around too much, and make sure to look directly into the camera when speaking, instead of your own self, or at the screen. You can look back to the screen when listening to the interviewer.
- Keep good posture – make sure to sit straight, and arms resting on your desk, or in your lap.
- Smile and nod when listening, and make sure to let the interviewer finish asking their question, before answering. Sometimes there will be a little delay, so make sure to pause when listening and before answering.
- Don’t be afraid to ask the interviewer to repeat a question or clarify something, if you’re not sure on what they said -it’s better to double check, then answer something incorrectly.
5. The Follow-up
Always finish the interview, with any final questions and by thanking the attendees for their time. Remember, you want to make that lasting impression.
It’s also important to follow-up with feedback after your interview, whether the interview be face to face or over video. Make sure to call your recruiter afterwards, to discuss the interview and how it went. If there were any glitches, or disruptions (on either end) – make sure to flag these, so it can be managed. If interviewing direct, it’s a good idea to follow-up with a curtsey email, thanking the interviewer for their time and reiterating your interest in the role.
One of the most important things to remember, is to have confidence in yourself, and your experience. Don’t be too critical on your technique or style, as it can naturally take a bit of time to get used to. Everyone is currently in the same boat when it comes to video interviewing and for most companies it’s still very new.
Focus on what you’re doing, prepare beforehand and enjoy yourself!