With the growth of webcams and ‘video chat’ software, employers are increasingly using video interviews as part of their candidate screening process. If you haven’t already had a video interview, it won’t be long. Video interviewing offers so many benefits for employers that hiring managers across the world are getting on board. They allow employers to shorten the hiring process, saving both time and money. Employers are even using pre-recorded interviews to quickly and efficiently screen lots of candidates. Video interviews also help employers to combat skills shortages by widening their talent pool by including global candidates and remote workers.
Whether this is your first video interview or you’re reading this in readiness for what the future may hold, you might be wondering what all the fuss is about. Surely it’s just the same as a face to face interview!
Well, in our experience you’ll need to do all the usual interview prep, plus a little extra to take into account the differences of a video interview.
Below we’ve included our top tips to give you the best possible chance at acing your video interview.
Choose your location carefully!
The best location for a video interview is one that offers quiet surroundings where you won’t be disturbed. Ideally this will be a setting that presents a professional environment. Avoid anywhere noisy or potentially distracting such as a café or pub. Choose a quiet room at home and remember, if there are family members or friends in the house, make sure they know you’re not to be disturbed. If that’s not possible try contacting your local library or look for conference spaces to rent at local hotels or offices. Many organisations offer conference rooms to rent on an hourly rate.
If you do hire a conference space, make sure that you hire it for longer than the interview is scheduled for. You don’t want someone walking in asking for you to vacate the room because your time is up; it won’t leave a good lasting impression on your potential employer.
Check your backdrop and lighting
It’s often surprising the sorts of things interviewers see in the background of a video interview. A messy room or an inappropriate picture can be off-putting to an interviewer. A plain wall or bookcase is an ideal backdrop, whereas the view of your kitchen or bedroom can be less appealing.The other thing to take into account is the lighting within your chosen space. You don’t want your lighting to be too dark or too light. You want your interviewer to be able to see you as clearly as possible.
Test your tech
Whilst your wifi or connection is probably out of your control, it’s at least worth checking your connection to make sure that it’s reliable. A good way of doing this is to test the connection on Skype. As a connectivity back-up it’s a good idea to set up your phone as a personal hotspot incase you need to connect it to your computer.
If you’re not already a regular video chat user try some test calls with friends. Test your sound quality and camera to ensure everything is crystal clear. The other thing to remember is that your interviewers may ask you to share your screen if you have a portfolio or presentation. Practice doing this and ensure that you have a clean desktop, you don’t want your interviewer to see anything inappropriate.
Dress to impress
What you wear can be just as important as what you say. We always suggest that you wear exactly what you would for a face-to-face interview. Just because the interviewer can only see your head and shoulders doesn’t mean that you should neglect your bottom half. You might need to stand up to get something and a pair of tracksuit bottoms (or less) won’t reflect you in the best light. Dressing professionally can also help to put you in the right mindset for an interview whilst boosting your confidence.
Use positive body language
Positioning your camera is going to be an important step in ensuring that your video interview goes well. Make sure you’re able to look directly into the camera as this will mean that you’re also making eye contact with your interviewer. This will help to build a personal connection with your interviewer whilst also showing that you’re a confident communicator.
Practice makes perfect
As with any interview, practice is essential. Ask a family member or friend to give you a Skype call. If possible they should be armed with some practice interview questions to put you under the spotlight. As well as practicing your answers this will give you the chance to practice speaking into a camera. Speak slowly and clearly, enunciating your words to ensure that you come across in the best light.
When it comes to the interview itself you’ll still need to do all the usual preparation to ensure that you can illustrate that you have the right skills and experience for the role. To help you prepare check out some of the tips in our previous post. https://www.staffingsolutions.co.uk/essential-interview-checklist/
Written by Financial Staffing Solutions, specialist financial recruiters covering all accountancy and financial roles. If you’re looking for a new position within this sector, or need to hire a finance professional, then get in touch:
020 8532 2644