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Have you been invited to take part in a video interview and worried about what to expect? Follow our tips on how to ace it and give yourself a better chance of securing the role!
Video interviews are becoming increasingly common, especially at times where traditional face-to-face interviews are simply not possible, so you should always be prepared. Many people think that this is easy, but video interviews come with their own set of challenges and even the best candidates can often slip up.
Principal Consultant and specialist legal recruiter Faith Kelly advises what she thinks candidates should think about ahead of having a video or Skype interview to ensure they impress and make a great first impression.
Choose a quiet space away from distractions
We all remember the disastrous Sky News interview from a few years ago. Avoiding a situation like this is vital during a video interview. Set yourself up in a quiet room and ensure anyone who is with you knows not to disturb. I would also recommend that the area around you looks clean and tidy and you are away from any possible noise. You don’t want the interviewer getting distracted by a pile of washing or a dog barking in the background as that could harm your chances of securing the job.
Dress for the occasion
It is important to remember that a video interview is still a job interview, so dressing professionally is a must. Don’t think because you are at home that you will get away with interviewing in your pyjamas. Instead, get up, showered and dressed as normal. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to put on a shirt and tie, but it is important to dress appropriately for the job you are interviewing for. Not only will this show that you have made an effort, it will also give you added confidence that should help carry you through the interview.
Make eye contact and smile
During a video interview you can’t rely on your body language as much so eye contact, and facial expressions are incredibly important to show your interest in the role. Always look at the interviewer when they are talking to you and remember to smile and engage with them to show your interest. It is also important to keep your tone and voice upbeat. If you don’t, you may come across bored, which is one of the worst things that can happen during any interview.
Listen carefully and do not interrupt
Be careful not to interrupt the hiring manager and speak clearly when you are answering or asking questions. As the interviewer is not sat in front of you it may be difficult to tell when they might be about to ask you a question. Interrupting people can become really frustrating so just make sure you wait your turn, especially if there is any sort of delay on the other end of the line. Again, you are not sat in front of the interviewer for them to rely on lip reading so you need to speak slowly and clearly!
Prepare, prepare, prepare
Treat your video interview as if you would any other job interview and do your research. You will be at an advantage as you will be able to have notes with you throughout, so use this opportunity. Find out as much as you can about the company and ensure you have a list of questions to ask the interviewer at the end.
It is also important to practice as if you were attending a regular face-to-face interview. Ask for help from your family or friends, and prepare answers to some of our common interview questions. You might also want to have a copy of your CV to hand and make notes about additional details you can give. This is another great way of preparing and ensuring you don’t slip up during the video interview.
Make sure you are online
I’ve heard about so many video interviews that have could have been improved with a better Wi-Fi connection. The interviewer will likely be busy, so if you use up time trying to get online you will shorten the time you have to impress, giving your competition a greater chance of securing the job.
Maybe try and have a test call with a friend to ensure everything is working, and make sure you have enough battery for the entire call!
Know what you are looking for
It is also hugely important that you make sure you know what you want. If you are relying on Skype and telephone interviews, you need to make sure you have the relevant information to enable you to make an informed decision about whether or not you want to progress with the role. There is no point having a 15-minute video chat and then feeling like you have so much more to ask, or that you don’t know much about the company or vacancy. Businesses can often make hires from video interviews alone, so make sure you are happy to progress to the next stage, before finishing the call therefore no time is wasted for you or the hiring manager.
During the interview
Skype interviews can be even more intense than face-to-face ones and so you really must stay focused and attentive throughout. Make sure you are actively listening, and let the interviewer know this by making the right sounds and gestures. It helps them to know that you are interested, and also that you can hear everything they are saying. If you don’t hear a question or you aren’t sure, clarify.
You only have a limited amount of time to prove your skills and worth, so make sure you are following the right line of answering. In addition, there may be time lags or pauses, and you don’t want to talk over your interviewer. Make sure they have finished talking before you start to respond. Not only does this ensure that you hear the full question and don’t interrupt, it also gives you time to consider how you respond.
Wrap it up well
Wrap the interview up as you would a face-to-face interview – confirm your interest, talk about potential next steps and send a positive follow up email afterwards. You might even want to connect with the hiring manager on LinkedIn to really show your interest for the role.
If you take the time to prepare, and use our advice, there is no reason why you can’t secure a role off the back of a video interview in the coming weeks. If you would like some additional support about getting ready, get in touch.
Alternatively, you can check out our latest live jobs here.