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How to prepare for a video interview

  • Publish Date: Posted 5 months ago

​Video interviews are increasingly common this year due to COVID-19. Many workplaces have implemented remote working policies and hiring managers have adapted to this by conducting video interviews in a bid to reduce person to person contact. Video interviews are becoming particularly common during the pre-screening process.

An interview via video is just as important as one in person and it can prove beneficial for both the candidate and the employer. The hiring process is usually shorter because candidates are more available. When scheduling interviews in person, applicants usually have other commitments that get in the way and the hiring process becomes much longer.

You should prepare for a video interview in the same way you would if it were in person. Here are some tips to help you make sure the process is a smooth as possible.

Choose the location

Plan where you are going to do the interview. Make sure you pick a quiet location where you know there will be no distractions or chances of being disturbed. Don’t set up in a messy room, you want the interviewer to focus on you, so sitting in front of a simple background is best.

Use natural lighting

The interviewer won’t be able to see you if the lighting isn’t right. If there is a window behind you it will likely put a shadow over your face. Sitting opposite a window will make you more visible on camera. If it’s a dark room with no windows, use a light and test the camera before hand so you can adjust if necessary.

Preparation is key

You don’t want to be stressed on the day of the interview because you haven’t downloaded the video software, or your internet connection is running slow. Try to set everything up well in advance. Make sure you have a decent internet connection, find out what video software you need to download, test your webcam and check the audio is working and close any other applications that might have notification sounds to avoid unnecessary distractions.

Dress professionally

Dress professionally from head to toe like you would for an in-person interview. First impressions count, so you need to look as smart as possible and it will put you in the right frame of mind for the interview.

Remember your body language

Even though you won’t be there in person, do not forget about your body language. Sit up right in your chair and try not to slouch, rest your arms on the desk or in your lap. When you are speaking, look directly into the camera and try to avoid looking at the interviewer on the screen. When you look at the webcam your eyes are more likely to be aligned with theirs. When you’re listening, you can look back at the screen. Nod when appropriate to show the interviewer that they have your full attention.

Do not use google

No matter how discrete you think you are, it will be obvious if you’re typing away on google. All you need to have in front of you is a copy of your CV, a glass of water, and something to take notes with. Avoid looking away from the screen unless you really must because it can make it seem like you haven’t prepared.

Know what to do if something goes wrong

Sometimes it doesn’t matter how much you prepare, there is always a chance of things going wrong. Ask for a telephone number before the interview just in case there are any technical issues. You may experience connection problems, or your audio could cut out, either way, if you have a number, you can then give them a call and let them know you are experiencing issues.

A video interview is not a walk in the park, as discussed above, there are so many factors to consider. Take this advice onboard and it will help you to prepare as much as possible for your upcoming video interview.