As with any interview preparation is key.
It’s vital that you know in advance what format the video interview will take, as the two main types are very different experiences.
Live – this is similar to a regular face-to-face interview. You’ll speak to the interviewer (or panel of interviewers) in real-time using a service such as Skype or Zoom or Teams. Live videos enable employers to recreate the traditional interview format without requiring the candidate to travel to their office. Try to treat the conversation as you would an interview at the employer’s offices and build a rapport with the interviewer.
Pre-recorded – You’ll be presented with pre-recorded or even written questions on screen, and then you’ll have to record your answer on video, often to a time limit. This helps employers who have lots of candidates, as they can simply watch your answers later at a time that suits them – but it can be awkward if you aren’t used to recording yourself. This makes practice even more important. On the plus side, you will be able to do the interview at a time of your choosing up to a set deadline.
Choose your location
You want to look your best in the video, so plan well in advance where you’re going to do the video interview. Make sure the location is:
Quiet, with no interruptions
Good Lighting – so you can be clearly seen, if natural light is not available experiment with lamps.
Background – A neutral background will ensure you are the star of the show.
Wherever you choose ensure that the room is clean and tidy.
You should wear the same outfit you would have chosen for a face-to-face meeting with the employer, first impressions count. Think about how your clothes will look on screen and avoid busy patterns and stripes.
Use Positive Body Language
Employers will be looking for you to make good eye contact, smile, listen and take an interest in what they’re saying. To help you do this your camera should be at eye level and you should look into it rather than at the screen. As with any interview don’t slouch or fidget.
For pre-recorded interviews, try to imagine you’re speaking to a real person, maintaining your enthusiasm and positive body language. This can be harder to do when you’re simply recording your answers.
Speak clearly, and be careful not to interrupt as this is more easily done with the slight delay over the internet than during a face-to-face meeting.
A few days before the interview, test the computer, camera and any software that you’ve been asked to use. Make sure the picture is clear and the sound quality is good. It’s also worth checking your internet connection.
On the day of the video interview ensure everything is fully charged or plugged in as you don’t want the battery to run down. You don’t want to be still sorting things out as the interview starts, so switch everything on at least half an hour before the interview and sign in to any software that you’ll need.
If there are any technical hitches, for example if you can’t hear the questions very well, don’t struggle through as you won’t put in your best performance. If it’s a live video interview, mention the problem. It may easily be fixed, or the interviewer may be happy to end the call and redial.
For pre-recorded video interviews, check beforehand whether you’re allowed to stop and restart in case of technical issues.