Published on 21st September 2020
COVID-19 is having all kinds of far-reaching effects on everyone’s lives. And in recruitment, one of the biggest impacts is an inevitable switch to video interviewing.
But video interviewing has become far more common over recent years anyway. So, sharpening your video interview skills now won’t just be useful during this extraordinary period, but for your future career too.
Here are a selection of insider tips on video interviewing like a pro from everyone at Ambition:
Plan in advance
A video interview is no different to any other interview in terms of content. Don’t expect the questions to be any easier or the interviewer to be any more lenient.
If anything, the more impersonal nature of the video interview can cause interviewers to ask more searching questions, as they don’t directly feel your discomfort in answering.
So, do your research on the company and the role in just the same way you would for a ‘regular’ interview.
Dress for an interview
Dress as if you are going in for your first day. A casual shirt and jeans may make you feel more at home, but it could make the interviewer feel like you aren’t taking the opportunity seriously – even if only subconsciously.
Set up in an appropriate spot
You might want to show off the breadth of your book or DVD collection, but try to ensure a neutral background for the interview. The last thing you want is for the interviewer to be distracted.
Needless to say, the room should be quiet, with any kids and pets kept well out of the way!
Sort the lighting
If the lighting is slightly off, you can easily distort your face and look like something out of a horror film. Ensure that your face is well lit, but not too bright. It’s all about balance.
Two lights in front of you and one behind should ensure a natural effect that isn’t too overpowering.
Do a trial run
Test everything. Record yourself in position and talking, and then check the lighting and sound.
Even if you notice something small, like a background noise, try to rectify it. Small irritations become very irritating over a long period of time.
Be yourself. Yes, this is hard when you are staring into that little black dot, but you have to make a real effort to be relaxed.
Bear in mind all the norms of face to face behaviour – don’t stare at them (the camera) for a prolonged period, smile at the right places, and use appropriate facial expressions.
You shouldn’t gesticulate with your hands as this comes across badly on camera, but you can ‘listen’ with your eyes. Again, maybe video yourself and try to pick out anything you do that might be off-putting.
Watch your posture
Don’t slump, slouch or be overly laid back in your chair. Keep an upright posture, while at the same time not seeming too stiff.
Keep your shoulders relaxed and lean into the camera at appropriate moments to show interest, while of course not getting too close!
It is your house, your space and your computer. You know that you look good, you know that the tech works. You have managed the risks and are confident that everything will go smoothly.
Lead the interviewer where you want them to go – they will no doubt be feeling slightly uncomfortable at the circumstances also. Help to make them feel at ease.
Try to enjoy it
These are unusual times for everyone – you and your interviewer included. Video interviews can still feel strange and still make you feel a little nervous. Don’t fear that, and don’t try to hide it. Just accept the circumstances and give it your absolute best.
Chill out, treat it as a challenge that you have under control, and everything will be fine. Go out there and smash it.
The margins are fine in recruitment – a good video interview sticks in the mind and could be what secures you that advantage over your competition.