How to Succeed in a Video Interview
Everyone has heard of face-to-face interviews and telephone interviews, but what about video interviews? Keeping in-line with the advancement of technology in modern businesses and workplaces, video interviews are now a popular addition to many employers’ hiring processes. There are several reasons that a business may request a video interview, as opposed to a standard one. Firstly, it’s a great tool to screen potential candidates; they can gain an understanding of your communication skills and chat about your work experience, without having to arrange a formal meeting right away. Another common reason for a video interview is if the employer has advertised a remote working position. Instead of asking you to travel across the country or to the other side of the world, they can simply emulate a face-to-face interview using video calling software. Video interviews are generally streamed live in real-time (which may or may not be recorded), however it is possible for an employer to ask you to pre-record answers to a list of questions. Most live video interviews will last around 30 minutes, depending on the employer’s preference. If you have a video interview coming up and you aren’t sure how to act, here are a few top tips to succeed.
Choose an appropriate background
One of the biggest differences between a face-to-face interview and a video interview is that you can choose where the location of your interview is. This does mean, however, that the employer will be able to see it behind you. This will be the employer’s first impression of you, so it’s crucial that you choose clean and tidy surroundings. If you decide to have your interview in the kitchen, make sure there aren’t piles of dirty plates in the sink. If you choose to sit at a desk in your bedroom, it’s a good idea to pick up the mound of clothes on your floor. That brings us to our next point: room decor. Our rooms are an extension of our identity; some of us heavily decorate our walls with tributes to our favourite bands or films, while others will display artwork. But the thing is, if you set your laptop up in front of an A1-sized poster of Michael Jackson and a framed cabinet of MJ collectibles, it doesn’t look overly professional for an interview. You don’t want to distract the interviewer from your fantastic potential with irrelevant personal belongings that reflect your interests. Instead, choose a quiet room that’s clean, uncluttered, and has neutral or plain walls.
Not only do your surroundings have to look professional, but you must present yourself in a professional manner, too. The rules of face-to-face interviews and video interviews are pretty much the same here, so you should wear whatever outfit you’d wear to a regular consultation. Dressing this way will help to make you feel more professional and show the employer that you’re serious about the job on offer. We know it’s incredibly tempting to put your best shirt or blouse on with a pair of joggers (they’d be none the wiser, right?) but you should really think twice about that. Anything unexpected could happen during an interview. Say, for example, you accidentally knock your glass of water over and need to stand up to get a towel. What should be a small nuisance and a bit of embarrassment could turn into an utter disaster. Do the smart thing.
Go over some interview questions
Practise makes perfect; that’s why it’s important to rehearse questions for a video interview, as you would with any other type of interview, but in front of your webcam. That way you can make sure everything’s working, you have presentable surroundings, and you know what you’re talking about. Video interview questions pretty much follow a similar route to face-to-face interview questions; the interviewer wants to know about your life goals and work experience. The only difference is if you’re interviewing for a remote working job – the employer needs to know that you’re trustworthy and self-motivated. If you want to get practising for the big day, common interview questions include: ‘What is your perfect working environment?’, ‘Tell us about a time when you’ve failed; how did you cope with that?’, ‘How would rate your —- skills out of 10?’ and ‘How do you deal with change?’.
Be aware of your body language
An interviewer will not only listen to what you verbally say in response to questions, but they’ll also observe your body language. Your body language essentially lets the employer know whether you’re enthusiastic and excited about their company, or whether you’re just applying because you need a job. You’d honestly be surprised by how much you can give away – there’s a reason we aren’t all poker players! First and foremost, make sure you don’t slouch. Keep your back straight and try to smile as much as you can. It’s good to use hand gestures to make a point – we all do in everyday conversation – but don’t cover your mouth while you’re talking. Imagine how difficult to it is to hear someone talking while they’re covering their mouth in person, then multiply that by ten for a video conference. Lastly, look at the camera when you speak; if you look at the interviewer while you’re talking, all they’ll see is you looking down. In person you’d make eye contact, so why not do the same during a video interview? Make it seem like you’re looking at them, but don’t let it get creepy.
Remove any possible distractions
Video interviews allow you to be in your home or another place of your choosing, instead of in a formal meeting room. That means that there is a whole world of distractions that could make you lose concentration. Number 1: kids and pets. Number 2: your phone, the radio, or a TV. Number 3: housemates, family members, or a partner. All-in-all, there’s a lot that could distract you during the interview. For this reason, you should make sure that all distractions are removed prior to it. Inform anyone else in the house that you have an interview and shouldn’t be disturbed or, better yet, ask them to pop out for an hour. Take pets out of the room, turn off your appliances, and close any internet tabs or software on your laptop or computer (other than the video software). The last thing you want is an embarrassing interruption from the cast of your favourite TV show!