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Video Interviews and How to Prepare For Them

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With the wonders of the Internet arrived the fantastic possibility of video interviews. A convenient, efficient way to get the best out of face-to-face interaction without, well, the actual face-to-face. Luckily, video interviews are a common resource for us and a way for us to meet candidates without involving travelling - especially if you live far from the interviewer’s location. 

Whilst most interview recommendations for ideal preparation and performance are quite similar to face-to-face interviews’, there are a few extra details you should keep in mind for them. We’ve gathered them all below: 

 

1. Preparation: 
  • Make sure you set up your laptop, phone or tablet somewhere comfortable, with optimal lighting and professional looking. Get rid of clutter and make sure your background is as neutral as possible. Avoid places with a lot of ambient noise too, as this can hinder communication.
  • If you’re using earphones, make sure they work properly (both mic and earbuds). Try to have a spare pair just in case. 

  • If you’re not familiar with the video chat platform, try to have a trial run with a friend or with your recruiter. Giving the impression that you do not know how to use basic video conference platforms can lead employers to assume you’ve got limited IT skills. On the other hand, a technical issue-free video interview shows attention to detail and preparedness. 

  • As essential as it sounds, make sure you have a strong WiFi connection. If you don’t, consider sharing your phone’s internet connection, using an Ethernet cable or going somewhere with reliable internet.

  • Make sure you use a professional username and/or e-mail address. Your username should include your complete name (if possible), and be straight-forward enough for it to be easily found - unless it’s done through FaceTime or other smartphone platforms, in which case make sure you provide your employer with the correct phone number. 

 

As for any kind of interview, you also need to prepare yourself to expectable questions often asked by interviewers: 

  • Make sure you’ve done your research on the company including the industry, clients and stakeholders. Take a close look at their website and social channels and find out about any recent company updates. If you can, be aware of their competitors as well.

  • Make notes of your key skills and weaknesses. Study the job description and think of what examples you have that make you a perfect fit for the role.

  • Expect tricky questions such as why you left your last job, unemployment gaps, etc.

  • Before the interview, make sure you have your notes on you, a copy of your CV (or application) and a pen and paper for further notes. Avoid taking notes on your phone, tablet or any digital device as this can look unprofessional or can come across the wrong way - you wouldn’t want an employer to think you’re texting whilst they’re talking to you, right? 

 

2. Interview 

So you’ve picked a quiet place with no noise or disturbances. Ideally, you’ve picked a place you are comfortable with: maybe your bedroom or dining room, or favourite quiet coffee shop. This is one of the advantages of video interviews: you get to have an input in the setting of your meeting with the interviewer, which can help boost your confidence.

  • Make sure you’ve dressed appropriately for the role and industry you’re interviewing for. Don’t be lazy and dress up only your top-half, you don’t want to risk the interviewer seeing your PJ bottoms! This will also avoid you getting too comfortable and forgetting the context of the interview. 
  • Double-check your internet connection and battery level, and that you haven’t forgotten anything distracting in your background.  
  • Maintain a professional posture and be aware of your body language throughout as you would do in a face-to-face interview, although these subtilities are more difficult to pick up on on a video. Try to not look overrehearsed and although small talk can help ease the tension before interviews, keep it concise. 
  • Think about each one of your answers before replying so you don’t sound rushed and you are giving the best answer possible. Think about your delivery and make sure you’re speaking clearly - this is key both on phone and video interviews as you can’t always control the sound quality. 
  • Finish the call by thanking the interviewer for their time, and if it hasn’t been discussed ask about the next steps.

 

3. Follow up

Send an email to the interviewer thanking them for their time, and reiterate how keen you are about the role and the company. Don’t forget to also get in contact with your recruitment consultant and let them know how it went. 

You can find more information on our career advice page, where we’ve included tips on how to ace both phone, face-to-face and video interviews, as well as CV writing tips and other useful guides.

We offer free, personalised career advice to all of our candidates. Wherever you are in your career, we’ll help you make the right move and guide you all along the way. So why not start your job search with us?