With remote, flexible and hybrid working environments now here to stay, video interviews are standard tools companies rely on for their recruitment process.
The interview is drawing to a close, and you are fairly happy — in fact, very pleased — with the way you have handled the questions so far. You also sense that you have made a positive impression on your hiring manager who has been interviewing you. And then pops the customary wrap up question — “Is there anything you want to ask us?”
However, a lot of people either lack prior experience with video interviews or might from a refresher.
This article will assist you in getting ready to present yourself in the best possible manner when having an online interview.
make your room and background interview-ready.
Nothing is more distracting than having a clothes drying rack in the corner where the interviewer can see it. Make sure the space you choose for your interview is peaceful, orderly, and distraction-free to help you exhibit a calm, professional demeanour to a potential employer.
- To offer yourself the best opportunity of staying focused and concentrating, ask people to keep the noise levels down, close the door, and keep pets outside the room.
- If there are any pictures, ornaments, or general messes behind you that might distract an interviewer, move them.
- Change the screen's visual background so that it is "blurred out" or select an alternative professional or suitable image.
dress as if you are going to an in-person interview.
The right outfit can boost your confidence, so ensure you are dressed professionally. Not neglecting the bottom half of your body is essential, as many candidates do when participating in a video interview.
You don’t want to be caught in your pyjama bottoms if you need to get up unexpectedly and the camera is still on!
be ready to provide evidence of your skills.
You usually need to bring documents with you - think portfolio, visuals and other supporting documents - to discuss with and impress the hiring manager during an interview. This is no different just because it’s happening via video.
It would be best if you were prepared to share documents, so have anything you think could be relevant ready on your desktop or in an open tab.
This way, if you’re asked to share anything, you won’t have to ask for time to find it. You can also keep a ‘cheat sheet’ detailing your most significant achievements handy in case you need a reminder of what to highlight.
stay focused on the interview.
If you choose to use a cheat sheet, it’s advisable to keep it off your screen - keeping it in an old-school notebook next to your computer is advisable. This keeps your device clear of anything that could compromise you if you’re asked to share your screen.
This is particularly likely during tech interviews, when you might be asked to walk an interviewer through your coding, for example.
make a great first impressionread article
stay focused on the interviewer.
When preparing the set-up of your interview space, remember that it is critical to stay 100% focused on your interviewer. Don’t be distracted by someone off-screen, or a chat message or text, asking you a question.
Remember, you wouldn’t be distracted in a face-to-face interview. That simple lack of respect and focus could mean losing out on the job, as some interviewers take this very personally.
If you’re at home, tell everyone that lives with you - whether they are at home or not - not to distract you for the next hour and by doing so, you hope to avoid an awkward moment damaging your chances of moving to the next interview stage.
be proactive during your interviewread article
I have seen candidates open chat windows where they ask friends for help during the interview or search Google for help.
ensure your body language is positive.
Body language can help maintain your calm demeanour, so keep it open and approachable.
- Remember that it is a little harder to interpret body language and physical cues online, so be conscious of what your body and face are portraying when you’re not speaking.
Just because you’re not face-to-face with the interviewer doesn’t mean you won’t need to portray confidence and positivity.
- Maintain eye contact with your interviewer - even though this can be tricky when doing so through a screen.
Mashable advises finding “a balance between looking directly at the image of your interviewer on the screen and addressing yourself directly to the camera”.
practice with the video system.
One way to help settle your nerves is to ensure you know the system.
- Log in ahead of your interview to determine if you’ll encounter any password issues or need to install add-ons to be able to join the call.
- You could also film yourself answering potential questions to establish whether you need to amend your body language.
- Use this time to make sure you’re positioned adequately on-screen so the interviewer will see you at your best angle.
Career adviser Paul Bailo encourages job seekers to remember that “camera angles are important”, explaining that “you shouldn’t be looking up or down at the person you’ll be addressing”.
- You should also ensure your video profile is up-to-date and professional.
- Get rid of nicknames on your profile, any unprofessional profile pictures or statuses full of emojis and in-jokes.
- It would be best to portray yourself as capable and intelligent, not immature and trivial.
Video interviews may be nerve-wracking, but they present significant advantages. You won’t risk being late after getting stuck in traffic, and you can choose an environment you feel comfortable in.
Remembering the benefits can help you stay calm during the process and help you nail your following video interview.