With the current virus uncertainty and social distancing, we’re noticing all pending interviews are being switched to video calls at the moment.
If you’re not used to working with this medium, there are a number of pitfalls which you may not have considered. Our consultants have put together a list of ideas to think about, to ensure that you’re fully prepared for your video interview, and can focus on getting the most out of the meeting itself.
1. Technical issues – this is a huge one, there’s nothing more stressful than troubleshooting your IT while in the midst of an interview!
- Ensure that you have a strong, stable internet connection. Either stay close to a wifi router, or better yet, plug your computer into your router with an ethernet cable.
- Check that your computer’s audio is working and test your webcam.
- Turn off all notifications! It’s distracting and embarrassing to have your inbox loudly pinging every few seconds.
- In fact, it’s best to close every other program except your video call software, to avoid you noticing new emails popping up, and diverting your attention.
- Do a Test Run – a mock interview can increase your confidence and get the hang of your video interview platform, as well as picking up any technical difficulties to allow you to solve them in advance.
- Prepare a quiet, well-lit, neutral space.
- Ensure no interruptions (kids, pets, housemates), and silence your phone.
- Have a pen, notes and copy of your CV in front of you, as well as a copy of the job description, if you have it.
- Dress professionally, as you would in person.
- During your test run, check to see what is showing on the screen in terms of the background behind you – nothing too distracting or unprofessional.
- Ensure that you are sitting the correct distance from the camera, so that your head, shoulders and upper torso are visible (especially if you talk with your hands!) and that there is a light source illuminating your face so they can see your facial expressions, but not so bright that you’re squinting.
3. Be prepared – as you should for any interview
- Do your research on the interviewers, and the firm itself, any recent mentions in the news, etc.
- Know your CV well, be prepared to answer questions related to anything on there.
- Prepare a list of questions to ask – at this time you should be asking specific questions about the company’s approach to current events, the hiring timeline, are they set up to onboard people remotely, etc.
4. Additional tips
- Start the log in process to the video conference a couple of minutes early, in case there are any issues.
- Ensure that you have the interviewer’s phone number and email address handy, and that they have your contact details too, in case there are technical issues on either end.
- Leave a second or two to pause before and after speaking, as there can be a short lag in the video feed.
- Practice looking directly into the camera while talking, rather than at the interviewer’s face on the screen. This makes them feel like you are holding eye contact.
- Be conscious of your facial expression and body language while listening. It’s easy to forget they can see you too!
There’s a lot to think about here, but most of it can be sorted out well in advance with a test run and some practice, so that when it’s time to interview you can relax, take a deep breath and go for it!