​Your guide to video interviews

4 days ago Graham Peck

Headway 5 Qg Iuu Bx Kw M Unsplash

There’s no denying that COVID-19 is making the recruitment process more complicated, but that doesn’t mean it’s grinding to a halt. In fact, there are many companies out there who need remote assistance with business-critical tasks. Although you can’t physically get to meetings, the interview process doesn’t involve anything that can’t be done over video. Here are our simple tips for succeeding in video interviews.

Don’t be over-friendly

Many of the visual cues that help to guide a physical conversation – subtle expressions, body language etc. – aren’t as prominent when you’re sat in front of a screen, but they’re still there.

Maintain eye contact to show that you’re engaged, but don’t glare at the interviewer from beginning to end. Think first impression, not first date. Similarly, smile politely without being creepily enthusiastic, and maintain an upright yet relaxed posture. What you have in your favour is that you’re picking your battleground – so you should be comfortable with your surroundings.

Keep your background clean

You’re a professional. Companies rely on you to give them the skills they need, so they want to get an understanding of your capabilities and who you are as a person. They don’t want to see your washing hanging from a line in the kitchen. Find a comfortable and tidy corner that’s free from mess or distractions. This is your workspace after all.

Dress the part

You really don’t want your interviewer to see you in your superhero pyjamas. Make sure you look smart and professional, as you would when having a meeting in the office. A good rule of thumb is to think about whether you’re happy to conduct a meeting the way you look. Dressing well will also put you in the right mindset for the conversation.

Be prepared – but not too prepared

It's important to have notes ready as handy prompts, but don’t write out pages and pages of text so you end up mechanically reading your answers. Jot down the key points and give yourself the chance to talk freely, showing you’re an expert in your field and can think on your feet. Practising also helps you remember everything you want to say about each point.

Control your environment

Don’t be anywhere too noisy – next to a working washing machine or TV, for example. Be wary of housemates or family members wandering in. You need to maintain a professional environment.

Make sure the light source in the room is in front of you, not behind you, or it’ll blur out your face. For example, don’t sit with your back to a window with bright sunlight pouring through. The interviewer will want to have some vague idea who they’re talking to.

Get your tech ready

Make sure you download any necessary apps or software well in advance, familiarising yourself with them so you know how to join the meeting. You don’t want to get to meeting time and discover you still need to download something before you can actually join. Test everything beforehand to make sure you know what you’re doing.

Cutting out the hassle of travelling around and waiting in office reception areas for hiring managers to come and meet you, video interviews provide a useful forum for talking about your skills and capabilities in a relatively relaxed environment – so make the most of the opportunity to show your best self.

If you need any more advice about video interviews or you just want a chat about your career, please contact one of our experts.