With a global pandemic to work around and the task of continuing effective recruitment whilst working from home, video interviews became an essential part of most companies’ recruitment process. Video interviews took a little bit of getting used to but soon became the norm, along with online meetings and any mishaps going viral.
With more people working remotely, a mutual agreement arisen from workers asking for more flexibility and companies identifying an opportunity to reduce costs by reducing office spaces, I believe that video interviews are here to stay, at least for first stage interviews if not for the entire process.
In the past year and a half, I have held a lot of video interviews, and most interviewees have not been prepared. I have had people not fully dressed, some lying in bed and others walking around the house doing housework, so believe me when I say if you follow the tips below and prepare for it properly then you will really stand out. (Obviously, those other people were not successful!)
Here are my 10 top tips for increasing your chances of success in your video job interview:
- Although you are at home, still dress as if you are going to a face-to-face interview. Look smart, groomed, and friendly (smile!). First impressions still count. Oh, and dress fully! You never know whether you might need to stand up to grab a pen or check a date.
- Pick a quiet area of your home that is unlikely to be interrupted by anyone else at home, or any external distractions such as road noises. This ensures that you can focus and that your answers will be heard clearly.
- Ensure wherever you set up and the device you are using allows for a stable internet connection. If there is a room where your WiFi is less reliable, do not use that room.
- Have a simple and tidy background that is not distracting. You want them to focus on you, not what’s behind you on screen.
- Look at the camera rather than at the screen when listening and answering. This is tricky to do as you also want to see their reactions and body language on screen, so practice it with someone if you can. This will give the same feeling of proper eye contact for the interviewers watching you on their screen.
- Have the camera of whichever device you are using at eye level.
- If you want notes to hand, keep them within easy reach and somewhere that means your eye line does not wander too far from the camera so that you continue to look engaged. These notes should include your CV and covering letter in case they reference them.
- As well as switching off your phone, turn off notifications/alerts on whichever device you are using for the interview. The last thing you want is a notification popping up on screen with a big PING.
- Practice the day before with someone to make sure you know how to set everything up and that you can be seen and heard properly. Test the following:
- Location (WiFi, background visible on screen, road noise, your comfort etc)
- The software – have you downloaded it, can you log in, do you know how to use it, etc (most likely Zoom or Microsoft Teams, both of which are simple to use but take some familiarity for some features)
- The camera – you can be seen clearly with no light blur from indoor lights or windows etc
- Microphone – you can be heard clearly
- Treat it like any other interview – it holds the same weight as a face-to-face interview. Research, prepare, have some questions ready and arrive (log-in) early.
The above 10 tips for how to pass a video job interview might seem basic but I’m confident that they will make a huge difference to your chances of success. From a recruiter’s point of view, someone that has clearly made the effort will always stand out.
For more tips, including advice on how to create a CV, be sure to check out the rest of our posts by clicking HERE.
Please also feel free to check out our latest job vacancies.
Written by James Tomlinson, Recruitment Consultant at J & J Recruitment Solutions.