This week I’ve been working from home, and I have done about 30 video interviews with candidates. On the whole I’ve been very impressed with how most of them have adapted, but I thought it might be useful to provide my top 5 tips for video interviews.
Just a note first – I’ve read other people’s tips and the first one is usually, ‘try to look at the camera, not the interviewer’, I’m going to say please don’t panic if you struggle with doing this. For some reason as soon as I look at the camera, instead of at the person I’m interviewing I stop concentrating on what the other person is saying! So if you find it easier to look at the interviewer, just do that.
Top Tips For Video Interviews
So here are my top tips.
- Check your sound and video is working before you begin. If you enter the interview and nothing is working, you’ll get very stressed very quickly. So be prepared and do your best to ensure technical problems don’t happen.
- Smile. Everyone hates being on camera. But it’s thanks to video interviewing that companies can still go ahead and hire at the moment, so it’s a necessary evil. If you can come across as relaxed and friendly while other candidates seem like a deer in headlights, the client is much more likely to trust and like you, and that’s very important.
- Keep your answers brief and to the point, and don’t ramble off topic. Its much more obvious that you have rambled off topic in a video interview, because the client is watching a recording. Remember that if the client is watching a recording, and they get bored, they can just press stop or skip ahead – they don’t have to sit politely and listen to your ramblings. So keep your answers concise.
- Be aware of what’s in the background when you’re on camera, and make sure it looks professional. I’m not suggesting you need to sit in a library full of IT books, but be aware of sitting in front of a half drunk bottle of tequila and an overflowing ashtray! There’s a good chance you’ll have to work from home if you secure the role, so the client will want to be confident that you have a professional set up at home.
- Treat it like a real interview, because that’s exactly what it is. I am personally not bothered if candidates are not suited and booted in their own homes, but make sure you are not actually dishevelled and with people shouting in the background! All of us understand that kids are at home at the moment, they are bored, and we completely understand the odd interruption (we will probably have a good giggle about it). But make sure everyone at home understands that they should not disturb you if they can avoid it, because you are attending a job interview. Treating it like a normal interview means you should also research the company and have questions prepared for the interviewer.
We all know that it’s a difficult time to be looking for a job at the moment, so I hope that these tips will come in handy if you are selected for a video interview – it might seem terrifying but its actually ok when you get used to it, and we think that clients will be using video interviews more and more in future, long after COVID-19 is behind us. So don’t be nervous, if you get offered one, just grab the experience and do your best.
Thanks very much,
Take care everyone, and stay safe.