5 tips on smashing a video interview

Coming out of the first 5 weeks of lockdown I have noticed already some key changes in recruitment processes and companies trying to adjust to our new reality. This is a new way of working that no one was expecting and so from both a client and candidate perspective it’s going to take some iterations to perfect. I wanted to give candidates in particular some useful tips on how to get through a video interview process, without having the face to face opportunity to make your mark on the interviewer.

1. Prepare with the necessary visual documentation you would have in face to face interview. If you would normally bring documentation and evidence of your experience, this is no different to any other interview. It might require some organisation to share documents prior to the interview or even get accustomed to the sharing screen option with Zoom so you can show things on different tabs but there are many ways to still show evidence of your experience so don’t be afraid to try it

2. Make sure you don’t have distractions – I know this has been one of the tougher parts to working from home but it is imperative you don’t have any distractions in your immediate vicinity throughout your first and follow up interviews. Close/lock doors to ensure no wandering children or spouses pop up at the wrong time. It also allows you to stay focused and in an interview frame of mind. First impressions are still as important if not more than before so create a professional environment that helps you get your head in the game.

3. Look the part – It’s easy to get into a more relaxed dress code when working from home and whilst that’s ok when there are no video meetings, I definitely advise you to wear what you normally would for a face to face interview from head to toe. Not only does this give them a great first impression but you’ll be amazed at how it transforms your own mindset and approach when you are in your ‘work’ outfit. Look the part, feel the part.

4. Body language is key – Stay positive in both body language and communication. It is just as important over video to create a sense of confidence, positivity and professionalism. Of course we are in a unique situation and it is inevitable that the conversation will turn to the current crisis and how it has been for you. I think it’s important not to get caught in the trap of oversharing too much and bringing your personal life too much into the conversation. Always keep in the back of your mind this is a perspective employer, not a personal friend you’re catching up with. Eye contact is also important. I advise keeping a balance of looking directly at the interviewer on the screen as well as directing your gaze to the camera itself. 

5. PRACTICE USING THE SYSTEM – If you haven’t used a video system before or if they are using something different to what you are used to, try and practice beforehand. Make sure you are set up and ready to go with no audio and visual issues. Especially if the client is looking to consider you as a remote employee they want to have confidence that this won’t impact your ability to do the job and hinder you.

Don’t just hope for the best, make sure you are ready and able to conduct the interview at the right time. Be ready 10/15 minutes before as you might a face to face interview. Never rely on being there a minute before you’re due to start. It’s amazing how setting things up can take longer than you anticipated and it’s never a great start when you’re flustered from getting your audio to work etc and starting on the wrong foot. 

Hopefully these tips are a help and remember there are plenty of benefits to a video interview, including not having to worry about traffic and parking. Keep that in mind, allow yourself a few minutes to breath and settle your nerves before you begin, and you’ll be flying.