In recent years, telephone and video interviews have become increasingly common and in the challenging times we now live in, they are now a necessity. If it is your first time doing a video interview or you are worried you will not perform to the best of your abilities on screen, fear not! Here are some key tips for you to nail your video interview!
Prepare the equipment
We can never say it enough, preparation is key! In this case, it is not only preparing to answer the interviewer’s questions, but getting your equipment ready:
- Familiarise yourself with the software used by the interviewer: whether it is Zoom, Teams, Google Hangout or Skype, make sure you know how it works
- Test your equipment beforehand: are the video and sound both working (or do you know how to turn them on!)?
- Check that your broadband speed is high enough
- Do a test call with a friend or family member (or your recruiter!)
Dress smartly and tidy up your surroundings
This is an interview, so do approach it as you would a face-to-face meeting. If you don’t have a home-office/desk, prepare your surroundings to make sure they look professional:
- Opt for a neutral background and make sure the lighting is suitable – not too bright or dim
- Sit up straight, ideally at a desk/table (not slouching on the couch!)
- Test out your webcam in advance and get an image including most of your top half. This will allow interviewers to see any hand gestures and overall body language.
- Dress professionally from head to toe (in case you have to stand up during the interview)
Try to eliminate possible interruptions
- Unplug / turn off the ring on your landline and mobile
- Close any doors and windows and make sure you won’t be interrupted by anyone else living with you
- Put a note on the door (and front door) to say no interruptions, in a meeting
Prepare for the interview itself
- As you would do for any other interview, do some extensive research on the company before your interview
- Read the job description thoroughly and have some questions ready
- Make a list of your achievements/examples to show the interviewers that you are the right person for the role
- Have a copy of your CV and cover letter handy so you can refer to it during your interview
- Make sure you have the email address and telephone number of your interviewer in case you need to reach them by another mean
During the interview
- Do keep a glass of water next to you if you need a sip/take a pause during the interview
- Don’t interrupt the interviewers or talk over them: this is true in a face-to-face meeting but even more so in a video interview where communication is slightly more tricky
- Take your time: it’s perfectly acceptable to take a moment or two to collect your thoughts
- Have a notepad and a pen next to you in case you need to write down a question or take some notes
- Answer the questions with strong examples but keep succinct, go to the point
- Look at the camera, not yourself: this will give an appearance of eye contact – otherwise you’ll appear to be looking down
- Try to relax and smile!
Things do sometimes go wrong, it happens, but do not panic!
- Try to remain calm and calling again
- If the problem can’t be fixed, suggest using a phone to speak while still using the camera or try a phone call instead
- If you cannot hear/see the panel properly, do mention it straight away to the interviewers
- Use this to show the panel that you can remain calm under pressure J