Before a video interview
Find out what sort of computer program or application will be used and download it if necessary. Make sure you have a professional-sounding online name. Test out the program and organise another place for the interview if you find your home internet connection isn’t strong enough.
If possible, use a cable to connect to the internet instead of wifi, especially if others are using the wifi. Make sure your battery is charged. Exchange phone numbers with your interviewer in case the video link fails during the interview and you need to switch to a phone.
Make sure that your webcam is adjusted so that you show up clearly and in focus. If you have a headset and microphone, use them for better sound.
Remember it’s still an interview, even if it’s in your bedroom. Position the webcam so that your background looks professional, or at least neutral. Dress smartly in neutral coloured clothing. Remove photos, posters or mirrors that show up in the background.
Practise using the program, ideally with a friend.
Have your CV and your interview notes on your desk.
During a video interview
Remove any distractions from around you. Close other computer programs, which could distract you or reduce your internet connection. Keep your door shut and ask people who live with you to keep their noise levels down, and not to enter your room while the interview is on.
Talk a little more slowly than usual. There may be a lag in the connection, so wait a little longer than usual when the interviewer stops speaking, to make sure that they have finished. Politely let your interviewer know if you can’t hear them clearly.
To give the impression that you are looking the interviewer in the eye, look at the webcam, not the person on the screen.
What if it’s a one-way video interview?
The one-way video interview is a new technique to make life easier for recruiters and interviewers. Preformulated questions are given to the job-seeker, who then records them in a ‘one-way’ video, allowing the interviewer(s) to assess the candidate’s response at their leisure.
For the candidate of course, this is just another way to add pressure to an already stressful process. However, follow these keys to ensure you really nail your one-way video interview.
Prepare yourself properly
This can be a complex process. Different software has to be running on your PC, tricky instructions need to be followed and login details need to be pre-populated – all before you even start your one-way interview.
Read all the instructions a couple of times to ensure you are familiar with each aspect before starting. Have the interview link and login details ready, including interview code, employer’s or interviewer’s name, and password if required.
Remember that the better you prepare, the better the interview will go. Nothing will throw you off your game quicker than only having 22 minutes left to complete an hour interview, because you didn’t read key information that was plainly communicated to you earlier.
Understand also that many people won’t prepare well as it is not a ‘traditional’ type of interview, and in turn will present themselves as unprofessional to prospective employers.
Complete interview by …
One key point you must not miss is the ‘complete interview by’ date and time. If you miss this window, it’s as if you didn’t turn up to a real interview. As you can imagine, the earlier you complete this process, the less stressful it will be.
Create a great space
One great benefit of this type of interview is that it allows you to be comfortable in your space while answering the questions. Ensure your area is clutter free, with either a blank wall or something professional in the background. Make sure your zone is also noise and distraction free, with no children asking, “what’s for dinner?” or cats jumping on the desk. Although you may be doing your interview at 8pm in your own house, you still want to make it professional.
Prepare your answers
On occasion you may receive your questions prior. This allows you a golden opportunity to research and script out great responses, then rehearse these answers with a family member or friend before your interview recording.
Look at the camera
Watching vlogs on YouTube will help you distinguish the pros from the amateurs. Amateurs look at themselves while the video is rolling, while pros look at the camera, providing a genuine and personalised touch. You want to give the interviewer a feeling of connection and trust, and the best way to do this is to make them feel you are talking directly to them, not to the bottom of their screen.
You all ready? Awesome, now hit ‘Record’.