Firstly, congratulations on reaching the interview stage! Not all applicants get there, so you are now a step closer to either securing your next position or gaining a learning experience to improve your next interview.
Over the last couple of years, the interview process has changed with many interviews now taking place over some video platforms. Now a video interview will have several similarities to a regular face-to-face but it can often leave people feeling a little bit anxious especially if they haven’t done one before.
With it being the start of a new year, you may be looking for a new job or apprenticeship, so here are our tips for nailing your next video interview:
Have a practice run with a friend
As your interview is relying on technology and networks, which as we all know can malfunction when you need it the most, we recommend having a trial run beforehand. Set up a video call with a reliable friend or family member so that you can test out the speed of your internet connection, the best angle for your webcam and the height of your chair.
You wouldn’t want to get to interview time to then find that your slow internet has you constantly freezing, and your camera angle has left the interviewer unable to see. Having this sorted out beforehand will give you peace of mind on the day.
Pick a quiet area where you won’t be disturbed
Choose a quiet area where you will feel comfortable being interviewed. Try to have as clear and uncluttered background and surroundings as possible.
Make sure the room is well-lit, you want to make sure the interviewer can clearly see you. Again, this goes with having that all-important practice beforehand. A dining room table or a desk is often the best place as they are the easiest to set up your tablet or laptop on but if those aren’t available you might have to get a little creative, such as setting a laptop up in front of you on an ironing board!
What to wear in a video interview?
We can probably make the assumption that people working from home wear more casual clothing than they would in an office.
Does this mean that you should wear a t-shirt and jeans in an interview? No, it doesn’t. You should wear whatever you would to any face-to-face interview. Firstly, it will put you in a professional mindset and secondly it shows that you care about this interview and want to give a good impression.
Eliminate possible interruptions
To ensure that you have a smooth-running interview you want to avoid any interruptions. Turn off your phone, call a babysitter, get rid of any background noise and put any pets into another room. Ensure those that you live with are aware that you having an interview and can’t be disturbed. You don’t want somebody walking in on you asking ‘what you want for dinner'!
Be aware of your body language
This is still important even if you are not in the same room as your interviewer. Remember to sit up straight, and look attentive and engaged. Remember you need to be heard over the microphone so don’t cover accidentally your mouth with your hand.
Only use hand movements if they feel natural to you to make a point. If you often don’t know what to do with your hands we recommend holding a pen to keep them occupied.
Prepare, prepare, prepare!
This is key to any interview, not just a video interview. You need to prepare. If you don’t do this, then all of the above will be for nothing.
A good first step is to research the company that you are interviewing with. Find out their history, learn the company values and look at their social media. Make a note of any key information such as a recent award that you can bring up in the interview. The question ‘What do you know about our company?’ can be make or break in an interview so put in that effort to learn about them.
This interview is your chance to sell yourself and prove to the interviewer why they should hire you. Take some time beforehand to think of how you would answer certain questions. Some examples of questions you might be asked in an interview are:
Why did you apply for this position?
Why are you leaving your current role?
Tell me about yourself
What relevant experience do have for this position?
What are your biggest accomplishments?
What are your strengths?
Why should we hire you?
Think of some questions for the interviewer
Prepare some questions for them. Not only does it show you’re interested in the organisation it is also important to find out if the company/job is the right fit for you. Think of some meaningful questions about the job itself and the company. Some examples are:
What career progression opportunities are there?
Is there any flexible work? What is the team like?
Why do you like working for this company?
Handy things to have nearby in an interview
A bottle of water - In an interview you are doing a lot of talking which can lead to your mouth becoming dry. There isn’t anything wrong with having a sip of water in between questions. To avoid any potential accidents, I suggest having a bottle with a lid!
A notepad and a pen – Having a notepad to hand are really good if you want to jot any key information down during the interview that you want to remember or ask a question about later. You can also have your questions written down to ensure you don’t forget any.
Your CV – Interviewers often go through your job history and experience that is on your CV.
Finally, log into the interview a few minutes early. You’ll be in what’s called a virtual waiting room until the interviewer lets you into the main interview at your scheduled time. This will mean you are not rushing at the last second trying to log in and give you will have a more relaxed mind frame. Similar to a face-to-face interview, being late gives a bad impression so it is better to be early. Remember you were chosen for this interview for a reason! Best of luck!
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