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Video interview top tips

Video interviews are very similar to face-to-face interviews and should be treated with the same level of professionalism and preparation. Make sure you’re ready to get in front of the camera by following these video interview tips.

Test your technology

Before the interview (ideally a few days before), do a technical run through with your recruiter or a friend/family member to make sure your equipment is working. Download any apps or plugins you will need and ensure you have a professional username.

Test your set up the day before to ensure the picture, sound quality, volume and speaker is clear and working. Check your internet connection is stable and ensure everything is fully charged or plugged in. Close unnecessary web browser tabs and other applications so you don’t risk getting distracted.

Prepare your location

It sounds obvious, but making sure every visible part of the location you choose is tidy, will help you make a good first impression. A plain neutral wall is advised to avoid any distraction, ideally with at least 2 feet distance between you and the wall. Ensure the lighting allows you to be properly seen. Use natural light by sitting near a window or pick the brightest room available.

Dress for success

Dress professionally, in the same way you would for a face to face interview. It’s always a good idea to research the company culture before the interview to give yourself a good idea of what’s appropriate.

Avoid bright colours or patterns as this can be very distracting on-screen.  If you wear glasses then adjust the light in the room to reduce the glare from your lenses.

Body language & eye contact

When you are speaking to someone via video call, you want to convey a level of connection, but naturally our eyes want to focus on the face of that person which can appear on-screen as if you are looking down or away. To avoid this, make sure when you are speaking you direct your gaze at the webcam as this will likely align with the interviewer’s eyes on the other end.

Throughout the video interview, keep your mood upbeat and hold good posture to convey optimism, confidence and a good level of social awareness. While listening, make sure you are smiling and nodding, to show that you are engaged in the conversation and use hand gestures when it feels appropriate while conveying a point.

Plan and preparation

Spend at least one-hour learning everything you can about the company from as many sources as you can such as their website, social media, media publications etc.

Find out who your interviewer is and learn more about them, including what type of behaviour might intrigue them or turn them off. Prep some questions that are specific to that interviewer or interviewers if there a multiple, and try and bring up a common interest to build rapport.

Just as you would turn up to an interview 10 minutes early, make sure you are logged in and ready to go early. Have your CV to hand, along with the job description and any speaking points you have prepared. You won’t want to be seen looking down and reading from pieces of paper, but having them close by will take away some stress. Don’t forget to keep a glass of water nearby. Digital connections can sometimes be delayed so to avoid talking over the interviewer, let them finish the questions and then pause for a few seconds before delivering your answer.

Be prepped and ready for the following common questions:

  • Tell me about yourself?
  • What do you know about us?
  • Why do you want to work here?
  • Why are you leaving your current job?
  • Talk to us about 1 or 2 challenges you have come up against and how you managed to deal with them
  • What do you consider to be your biggest professional achievement?

Don’t be thrown off by the classic, “What’s your biggest weakness?” Think of something that you struggle with but that you’re working to improve. For example, maybe you’ve never been strong at public speaking, but over the past few years, you’ve taken on leadership roles and hosted an event to help you grow your confidence.

After the interview

Just as you would with any other interview, thank the interviewer for the opportunity. It’s a nice touch to also follow up with a post interview thank-you email within 24-hours. You can also reinforce why you’re interested in the job and why you would be a great match for the role and the company.

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