Video Interviews… A few years ago these were not too common but in life following Covid19 and with more and more international career opportunities opening up again, digital and remote interviews have grown in popularity and reached a new level of confidence with employers, really feeling that they can successfully place a new colleague with interviews online alone.
We often get lots of questions asking how best to apply for jobs in different continents, time zones and across the globe and the good news is it’s easier than ever with the rise and normalisation of video meetings and virtual interviews.
However whilst we know that nearly everyone has gotten to grips with Zoom and video calling throughout the pandemic, video interviewing can be a little different and has a few of its own challenges to adapt to, so we have worked to collect our best tips to help you ace a remote video interview with as much confidence as you would face to face.
Do your research
Just like a face-to-face, preparation is key and is what will set you apart from the competition. The more research you can do ahead of an interview, the better. Make notes on the company, research potential questions such as shift patterns, company culture, and a typical day in their practice and, if you can, research your interviewer.
In our experience, video interviews tend to contain less small talk and be shorter than in-person meetings. So, it even more important that you make an effort to form a bond with the person on the other side of the screen. It’s a good idea to look for things to talk about on the interviewer’s LinkedIn profile, for example. Or, you can mention something they said on a podcast, twitter or elsewhere.
Prepare your space
Unlike in-person or telephone interviews, those done by video often open a window into your personal life and you shouldn’t let recruiters or hiring managers see a messy environment filled with mountains of papers or crooked picture frames! Keep the background neutral and make sure you are the focus on the interviewer’s attention. If possible, set up the camera in front of a blank wall and sit close to the camera, so the interviewer sees just your head and shoulders.
Find a good camera angle. Place the webcam at the same height as the top of your head and point it slightly downward, which is generally the most flattering angle. (It will force you to sit up straight, which is also important). Use a good-quality microphone so your interviewer can hear you and beware of noises in the room in addition to your voice which a microphone will pick up.
In advance of the video interview day, have a practice in front of the camera. If you’re feeling confident, use Skype, Google+ Hangout or a similar tool and ask a friend to give you a mock interview so you can practice answering questions. It can be really useful to record the interview and then review it, looking closely at your body language, posture, articulation, the physical environment and, of course, your responses.
Even though there is no commute for this interview, don’t rush in at the last minute. Make sure you are well rested, sharp and interview ready. Choose your outfit carefully for the day to ensure that you look professional – smart/casual dress in neutral colours usually always works best for a video interview.
Also, make sure you are ready for that invite link and it is working OK. Some of the video meeting providers now require logging in or registering and the last thing you want, is to turn up late after needing to create passwords. Another top tip, if it is a provider you’ve used before, check your settings, with the increase of social online meetings there has also been common incidents of candidates turning up to interview with their last amusing profile name still set up, never a great idea for first impressions.
Although it won’t be quite as easy to have all your talking points laid out as it might be in a phone interview, you can have some notes in front of you or around your workspace. Also, if you have dual monitors, you can have one for the interview and one for your notes. Just be careful to make the conversation natural and don’t give the interviewer the impression that you are reading from a script – keep notes nearby for an occasional glance, but they should be there mostly to give you confidence and kept out of the sight of the camera.
During the interview
Make eye contact and smile. Look at the interviewer, not off into space or down at your notes. Lean forward slightly to show you’re engaged and actively listening.
Don’t do anything else while interviewing – Quit out of any distracting applications, turn off notifications and the ringer on your phone, so you can give the interviewer 100% of your attention.
It is a good idea to ask for specific information about the company’s hiring timeline during the interview and to ask whether
It’s also important during a video interview to tell the recruiter or hiring manager how interested you are in the opportunity. You should thank the person for their time, tell them how impressed you are with the team and say how happy you are to be considered for the position.