As more and more employers take their interview process online, the chances are that you’ll be interviewed via video at some point during your job search.
Whether you’ve had previous remote interviews or if this is a completely new experience for you, these seven tips will help you avoid the pitfalls and take the stress out of video interviews!
1. Test Your Tech
Is your internet connection fast enough to chat in real-time? What room do you have the best reception in? Does your webcam work? Have you checked if your microphone picks up your speech well? Make sure to check these things well in advance of your interview and do a trial run with a friend or family member beforehand to make sure everything is working as it should.
Your interview could be taking place on a variety of different platforms such as Skype, Zoom, Google Hangouts etc. so find out which one they’ll be using. Then get signed up to it and have a play around to make sure you know how everything works before your interview. Don’t forget to send them (or your recruiter if you’re going through one) your contact details so the interviewer can set up the call.
You may want to share your screen during the interview (e.g. to show your portfolio or to complete a live tech test), so double-check that there are no other irrelevant windows open on your desktop.
2. Set the Scene
Before your interview carefully assess the background that will appear. Are you in a messy room? A neutral background with plenty of natural light works best. Have a play around to find what computer height and angle looks the most flattering and raise your laptop on some books if needed.
How’s the lighting? Arrange some lights so that your face is lit and there are no major shadows, but avoid placing lights directly behind you, since they can interfere with the camera’s ability to focus.
Seeing yourself on video can be distracting so practice looking straight at the camera for that all-important eye contact.
Finally, keep a pen (that works!) and paper close by in case you want to make any notes or write down any questions you want to ask at the end.
3. Avoid Distractions
Your interview is not the time to replicate the famous BBC live interview that went viral for all the wrong reasons. So, if there’s anyone else in the house make them aware of your interview. Be sure you schedule the interview for a time when you will have some privacy, and when any children or animals are out of the house or are being supervised in a non-adjacent room.
Remove any distractions such as children’s toys or personal items that may distract from your interview. Also, make sure to either switch off your phone or put it on silent. This also goes for your radio and/or television.
4. Look the Part
Even if you’ve spent all day in your loungewear, you want to make sure you still dress appropriately for your interview. Dress as if you were going to meet your interviewer face to face. Not only will this leave a much better impression but also gets you into the right frame of mind.
Do your research into the company to establish their dress code (if you are working with a recruitment agency, you can always ask your recruiter for this information). Remember, your appearance also reflects your attitude! Practice speaking clearly and, calmly, and rehearse a bit in the clothing that you intend to wear so that you can spot any potential wardrobe issues ahead of time.
5. Do Your Research
Research and prepare for the interview as much as you would for an in-person interview. Delve into their website, look at their social pages and their company news – dig up as much information as possible! Not only will this make a good impression on your interviewer, but it will leave you feeling confident and prepared. If you need to refer to any notes, keep them as minimal as possible so that your eyes aren’t always flitting away from the screen.
Are you working through a recruitment agency? Make some time to speak to your recruiter before and after your interview (a good recruiter will schedule these with you).
6. Ask Questions
Make sure you go into your interview armed with questions for your interviewer. As a rule of thumb, you should always have at least five questions prepared as some might be forgotten or answered during the interview. If something about the role is unclear now’s the time to ask. You’ll find more great questions to ask in this blog.
7. Show Your Personality
Showing enthusiasm about the company and the role in your interview can go a long way. Think about your posture and your tone when speaking to your interviewer – if you are perceived as being bored or restless, it will seem like you’re not interested in the role. Remember - employers want to hire people who want to work for them!
Of course, it’s important to be professional and get your points across succinctly but you also must make sure your personality shines through.
Wasting time badmouthing your former manager and the company you worked for is a massive no go. Instead, take the time to highlight your successes and contributions and how you can apply these to your new role.
As with any interview, make sure to thank the interviewer for their time and express your interest in the company/position a final time. Finish your interview on a positive and don’t forget to follow up with a thank you message.
If you’d like any more help with prepping for remote interviews please get in touch to schedule a call with one of the team. Good luck from all of us at Acceler8 Talent!
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A version of this blog was first published on the Understanding Recruitment blog.