What’s the best way, for you, the candidate to prepare for a video interview?
What if you’ve never done one before? Our quick simple 5-step guide will help you prepare.
Video interviewing is a great way for companies to connect better with candidates, but also a way for the candidate to make a lasting first impression. They’re convenient for both parties as they can be recorded and reviewed in any location at any time. For the recruiter, it’s a way of seeing more of the candidate than what is just on their CV and for the candidate to really showcase themselves further. It enables the recruiter to find out more about the candidate as an individual, ensuring that the candidate is the right fit for the company.
- Video interviewing is a supplement to a CV
This is the opportunity to really bring your CV to life. Make sure in your answers, that you provide further examples of experience that links to the job description. I.e. The job description states that the candidate should have experience of management, therefore in your answer you should tell the recruiter when you’ve demonstrated this. Don’t repeat what’s on your CV, the recruiter has more than likely already read that. Listen to what the questions are really asking you.
- Block out distractions
Before you begin your video interview, it’s important to remember that whilst you’re in the comfort of your own home, or in a library, or even a cafe, don’t be overly casual. You’re still being interviewed. It’s easy to forget this when you can’t see a physical recruiter asking the questions. Remember you still need to be heard, you need to not be interrupted and you need to make sure that you’re in a place where you can answer the questions to the best of your ability.
- Take advantage of a test run
If you have the option to practice a test question, do it. This not only gets you used to the style of questions that you’ll be asked but also familiarises you with the process and the technology. There’s nothing worse than having a technical glitch because you aren’t used to the software. Is your sound on? Is your microphone on? Is the device you’re using in a secure position and at an angle where the recruiter can see you clearly?
- Be authentic
Try your hardest to let your true personality shine. Recruiters aren’t only looking to see how you’re presented, or how you answer the questions but what you’re personality is like. They’ll be considering if you would fit in with the company culture. And don’t forget to make eye contact. Try to avoid watching yourself on the screen and instead, look directly into the camera.
- As the saying goes, practice makes perfect
There’s a reason why there are local football teams and England football teams…practice. It’s proven that you’re not an expert until you’ve practiced it and learnt it for 10,000 hours. Ok so you don’t need to practice that much for an interview, but practicing does help. Ask family members or friends to interview you, recording you at the same time. Look back at this, how are you positioned? Do you have a good posture? Are you smiling throughout and making eye contact? Do you rush your answers or stall and stutter? Think about the different ways that you can improve how the recruiter sees you So you got an interview… Congratulations!
Many people feel like they are in the hot seat at an interview, but the meeting is just as much about you interviewing them as them interviewing you. Ask questions and get a good feel for the culture. Is this company somewhere you want to work? Are you comfortable there? Are the company’s values a good match for your own values? Think about what matters to you most at work, and do your due diligence to help yourself land somewhere where you can thrive.
Research the Company
Before you go on an interview, do some research on the company. Find out as much as you can about the products and services it offers, its mission and values, and its corporate culture. Perusing the company website is a great place to start. If they have a blog or other social media accounts, read through the posts and try to pick up on the tone. Are these communications formal and business-like? Or are playfulness and humor used? Picking up on these cues will help you prepare for the atmosphere you’ll encounter at your interview.
Another great way to research a company is to look at external review sites like Glassdoor or Indeed to see what employees of the company say about their own experience. Review your LinkedIn connections to see if you know anyone who has, or currently works at the company. If you feel comfortable, reach out to your connection and ask them about the company and what it’s like to work there. Who knows – they may even offer to put in a recommendation for you!
Review the Job Description
Go through each line of the job description and be prepared to demonstrate that you have the necessary skills to perform the job well. For each of the key job requirements, come up with an example of an experience you have had, which illustrates your ability, and be prepared to discuss this with the hiring manager.
Interview questions come in all shapes and sizes – from case studies to brain teasers, from opinion to behavioral questions. Become familiar with the different question formats so you don’t get caught off guard, and practice your responses out loud. Prepare some responses that could work well for a variety of questions, so that all you need to do is tailor your response to the specific question asked in the interview, rather than try to come up with answers on the fly. Having a general idea of what you are going to say will help you stay composed and confident and avoid getting flustered. Perhaps discuss your answers with a friend to get some practice and feedback.
If possible, try to get a sense of the type of questions you will be faced with at the interview. When you’re scheduling the interview, go ahead and ask what format will be used. The more prepared you can be, the better! You can also check out company review sites like GlassDoor, Fairygodboss, and Indeed to glean additional information about the company’s interviewing practices.
How to Dress
We all know that first impressions count, and the way you present yourself at an interview is a big part of your potential employer’s first impression of you. As a rule of thumb, you should dress appropriately for the position you are applying for. For a corporate interview, a suit is usually a safe option. If the workplace is more casual, your interview attire can be less formal. If you’re in doubt about what to wear, it’s perfectly ok to ask the person who schedules the interview. If you’re uncomfortable asking, better to dress up than dress down.
Whatever the level of formality, always dress neatly and modestly. Take the extra time to iron your clothes and choose conservative shoes. Makeup and hairstyles should be simple and professional and accessories should be kept to a minimum and not draw attention.
Some jobs may ask you back for multiple interviews, so prepare by designating a few different outfits for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd interviews.
For additional tips on dressing for your interview, check out the following link:
What to bring
Arrive at your interview with a Portfolio containing extra copies of your resume, your list of references, any questions that you plan to ask the interviewer, and a notebook and pen to jot down any important information. If you need to bring a small bag or briefcase, that’s fine, but don’t bring anything else beyond what is absolutely necessary. Be sure to turn off your cell phone, and ditch the chewing gum and coffee.
Being late is one of the worst mistakes you could make at a job interview and should be avoided at all costs. If you show up late for an interview, who’s to say you wouldn’t show up late for work or meetings with clients?
Make sure to arrive 10-15 minutes early to show that you are serious about the job.
It’s a good practice to visit the interview site the day before your interview to familiarize yourself with the area so you don’t get hung up or delayed on the day of your interview. Familiarize yourself with the area and whether there is parking available nearby, or if you will need to park further away from the site and therefor leave yourself extra time to walk.
If you find yourself in a position where being late is unavoidable, make sure to call ahead and give them a heads-up. Be respectful of the interviewer’s time and offer some alternative times for the interview in case it is necessary to reschedule.
When you arrive at the interview, greet the receptionist in a friendly, polite manner and tell them who you are and who you will be meeting with.
When the interviewer comes to meet you, offer a firm handshake and address them as Mr. or Ms. as a sign of respect. They will likely tell you to call them by their first name, but this professionalism will not go unnoticed.
Watch your body language during the interview. Sit up straight and lean in slightly to show that you are listening to the interviewer and interested in what they have to say. Avoid crossing your arms in front of your chest or leaning back in your chair, which can make you seem closed-off or bored. Try to avoid any nervous habits you might have, like twirling your hair or fidgeting, and maintain composure and appropriate eye contact during the conversation.
You may take notes during the interview and jot down any additional questions or comments to bring up at the right time, and don’t forget to smile!
For additional tips and tricks for interview etiquette, check out the following resources:
After your interview, send a thank you note restating your interest in the job. Handwritten and mailed is preferable, but if you don’t think it will reach them in time or it is more consistent with their company culture, you can send your thank you note via email. Your note can be short and sweet, and you need not reiterate the conversation you had in the interview. The purpose of the note is to show that you have good manners, professionalism, and to keep your name in front of the hiring manager. Most important is that your note be well written and typo free!
For sample thank you notes and additional information about thank you letters, check out the following link;