Video interview tips: How to prepare

Conducting video interviews is increasing in popularity, but may be a new – and unwelcome – experience for some candidates. Emma Alkirwi has some video interview tips to help you prepare.

Video Interview

Video interviewing is becoming more popular

With more people working remotely since the pandemic and likely to continue to do so, conducting interviews over video is becoming more the norm. Therefore, it is important to prepare yourself for this possibility. This can be something that many people find dreadfully uncomfortable. We are used to telephone interviews, but video interviews are relatively new. Here are some video interview tips to help you prepare.

Why are video interviews being used?

It helps accelerate recruitment processes as interviews can be conducted outside office hours as well. For example, it can save travel time to the interview, especially if you are considering relocating.

There are many other benefits for both the employer and the candidate. The employer still gets the benefit of actually meeting you, it saves them finding the office space and is proven to save around 20-30 minutes in interviewing at either side of the process. You also get the added benefit that if there is more than one interviewer and they are in different locations it is easier to schedule an interview sooner.

More recently, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, video interviews are becoming the norm as more and more organisations operate remotely.

How should you prepare?

Preparing for your video interview in advance will make a difference to how you come across to your interviewers. It is important to ensure your phone or laptop are set up properly. Here are some tips:

  • Get a phone stand. If possible, do not use your phone unless you have an appropriate stand as the slightest movement can be off-putting. Phone stands are are relatively cheap to buy and can be helpful for taking photos so are not really a waste of money!
  • Check your web cam. Make sure your web cam captures you at an appropriate height, so, you are not looking down or looking up and the eye level is perfect
  • Think about your volume. Adjust your volume to a reasonable level so you are not trying to fix this during the interview
  • Practice! Complete a trial video call with a friend or partner so there are no hitches during the interview itself

Body language

It is important to take note of your body language as you would during a face to face to interview:

  • Maintain good eye contact. You will naturally want to focus on the face of your interviewer. However, depending on where that face is on your monitor and the location of your webcam, this can make you seem to appear on screen as if you are looking down or away
  • Smile! You want to come across as friendly and approachable
  • Do not fidget. Try not flick your hair, click your pen or swing on your chair as it can be very off-putting

Presentation

  • Dress appropriately. Make sure you dress in appropriate interview attire. This is an interview so just because you are at home doesn’t mean you should dress casually. First impressions count.
  • Consider your surroundings. Make sure the area behind you is appropriate so if you are in an office area, make sure there is nothing confidential or private on the wall or lying behind you.
  • Lighting. Make sure your lighting is not too dark or too bright.

Distractions

  • Let people know. Make sure other adults know you are undertaking a video interview and know not to interrupt and ideally keep pets and small children away in case they make a noise.
  • Find a private place. Do not conduct your interview in a public place as you will almost definitely be interrupted in some way.

Finally, make sure you practice! Interviews can be daunting enough without worrying about the video element so try and get comfortable in front of the camera.



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