Prepare For Your Online Video Interview

Video interviews are becoming more and more common. And with today’s social distanced guidelines, it makes sense why. Online video interviews provide you with the opportunity for both the employer and candidate to see each other face-to-face, which a phone interview does not offer.

A video interview also introduces a new dimension: you are now creating a visual environment, and during your video call, employers can determine your character and whether you will be an excellent fit to their team within the first 7 seconds they meet you online. You can view online interviews as a problem, or you can view it as an opportunity to present yourself perfectly for the job.

If you are among the many people who are camera shy or have no idea where to start, Twentysix Recruitment are here to help you prepare for online interviews.

 

Prepare your surroundings

As one of the most crucial video interview tips, the location must be a secluded room where you can shut out distractions and noises, so avoiding living rooms and kitchens and opting for bedrooms or study rooms.

Lighting

The lighting you choose is also essential. Your best online interview strategy is to sit opposite an open window to allow the light directly upon your face. If the window is behind you, it may cast a shadow over your face and make it difficult for the interviewer to see you. If your interview is at night—because you have a full-time job or unavailable during normal daytime hours—we suggest adding floor or desk lamps in front of you to brighten up a dim space or prevent a down-shadow from ceiling lights.

Prepare for your video call, if you can, by conducting a trial run the day before your interview to see what the lighting and surrounding noise is like and whether you need to make any adjustments.

 

Video Job Interview

Dress to impress

There is no more accurate saying than ‘you only get one chance to make a good impression’.

Just because your interview is in your bedroom, it doesn’t mean you can wear your PJ’s! Dress like you are going to an in-person interview, you will not only look like you want the job, but you will also feel more confident about yourself.

However, there is one rule for an online interview dress code: Avoid stripes and plaid (Checked) shirts. The patterns can become pixelated and distracting via video, so we advise sticking to solid colours for shirts and blouses.

 

Avoid potential distractions

Turn off all apps and programs and silence your phone, which may interrupt the interview. If you have young children in the house, ensure there is someone at home to help take care of them to prevent interruptions during your interview.

We also suggest that you let any household members know when you are in the interview and ask that they remain quiet and avoid disrupting you during this time.

 

Check Your Tech

Platform

Making sure you understand how the video call platform works is vital to a smooth online interview. If the platform needs to be downloaded and installed to your device, ensure this is done at least a day before the interview to avoid leaving your employer waiting on hold.

Once again, preparation is key here. Video call a friend or family member and practice using the various functions of the video call software. This will ensure you are prepared for any potential issues and how to correct them should the need arise.

Camera

Setting up your device, so the camera is eye level allows the employer to have the best and most realistic view of you.

If you are using a mobile device without a tripod, we suggest propping it up on a stack of books against a wall. You will avoid that shaky handheld effect, and the extra height will get the camera at the right angle.

Sound

Ensuring your device’s speaker is loud enough is essential. There is nothing worse than saying “pardon?” repeatedly, as it may come across that you are not listening or distracted.

Using earphones is a great choice, as you can cancel out surrounding noises and prevent echoes as the microphone will be closer to you. We discourage using over-the-ear, outsized headphones, and gaming headsets should be avoided, simply because they are not a professional choice and can take the visuals away from yourself.

Internet

One aspect that is usually overlooked when preparing for an online video interview is the internet speed. Checking it is fast enough for a clear video connection and reducing the risk of audio delay would clearly show that you have thought ahead about your first impression with the employer.

If your home internet speed isn’t a suggested speed of 1 Mbps (Megabytes per second) from www.lifewire.com, we advise switching from your Wi-Fi to your 4G network or to a wired Ethernet connection; this last option does mean moving your device closer to your router.

 

Mobile Video Interview

Body Language

Non-verbal communication is made up of approx. Three hundred and fifty thousand different gestures and facial movements, and so it’s important to be aware of yours and how they convey to the potential employer.

During the video interview, your body language should be the same as if you were at the company for an in-person interview. A good posture and open arms to show you are involved in the conversation. Smiling at the right times shows you are pleasant and approachable.

Everything is slightly intensified when the employer can only see what’s condensed into a one-dimensional screen, so try to refrain from staring into the camera and smiling the entire time as this can be off-putting. Varying your responses, using gentle head-nods, and agreeable noises help to show you are fully engaged.

One of the most common questions is “where do you look during a video interview?”; the quick answer is; not at the screen. You should avoid staring at your monitor and look at the camera instead. It does feel strange, as we understand you would like to see the employers own body language whilst you speak to them, but staring at the monitor can make you look distant and disinterested.

Remember: If the camera is in your eye line, looking down to your monitor only gives the employer a good view of your head!

Avoid sitting too close to the camera. If you can, leave around 10-20% of the screen empty above your head to prevent accidentally cutting yourself off by sitting up straighter or gesturing. Speaking of gesturing, keep hand movements to a minimum as it can make you look flustered and confused.

 

Practice

Online video preparation is critical for an interview. If you simulate the situation in advance, you will perform better. Setting up our zoom, skype or other video call service to be in the optimum location will give you more time before the interview to prepare your answers.

Have a back-up plan

You can never be sure with technology. Liaise with your employer ahead of the interview and provide your phone number if there is an issue with any aspect of your equipment.

 

Bonus: Make use of your notes

Have your notes and CV positioned ‘out of shot’ but to the side of your eye line, allowing you to glance for reference without looking away from the camera, is best practice. Whilst there will be time within the interview to ask questions and fully refer to notes, its appropriate that during the main interview, you keep your focus on the conversation giving the employer your full attention.

 

Need more help?

We understand it is currently difficult to find placements, but we are always available to help our candidates through the interview procedures to help find their dream career. If you need help preparing, or are interested in what Twentysix Recruitment can offer you, fill out our enquiry form!

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