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Video interviews, whether via Skype, Zoom, Facetime, Microsoft Teams, or any other video calling platform, are becoming a more common and acceptable practice in contemporary hiring processes, and are even a go-to first choice in some instances – especially at first-stage interview. Using video, as opposed to the telephone, is a preference for many as it allows you to see the other person and their mannerisms while you talk to each other. For many, busy professional and personal lives simply don’t permit numerous stages of interviews. Many of our clients don’t have the time – or in some cases the luxury of the same time zone – to accommodate them.
The percentage of employers using video interviews to recruit candidates at all levels has dramatically increased over the past ten years. This being the case, it’s vital that we treat video interviews in the same way we would any other face-to-face meeting. And while these interviews might be able to be accommodated in the comfort of home or a coffee shop, there is still a protocol to maintain – just as you would a face-to-face conversation.
Here are the main things you need to consider for your video interview to make sure you get that all-important call back:
A drop in connection could throw you and your interviewer off, or worse cut an interview short if the problem cannot be resolved. Make sure you test your chosen device beforehand to be confident in the sound, picture quality and internet connection! If you’re using a portable device, this must be fully charged. You do not want to be cut off mid-sentence.
As we all know, first impressions count and a video interview is no exception. Dressing for the occasion will put you in the right frame of mind from the get-go. Make sure you look smart and wear appropriate clothing; you wouldn’t attend a face-to-face interview in your pyjamas. Nor should you in a video interview.
Before the call, your profile will be one of the first things the interviewer will see. The impression this makes is therefore as important as your appearance. Keep your profile name as simple and appropriate as possible i.e. just your first and last name (stay clear of “GroovyChick123”). Make sure your profile picture is as professional as possible: think LinkedIn rather than Facebook.
Your body language is one the things an interviewer will notice the most. Maintain good posture, smile, avoid crossing your arms and most importantly make eye contact. Eye contact with your interviewer is vital; it will let them know you are engaged with what they’re saying and will come naturally to you with practice. If you make too many notes and rely on them, it will mean you’re constantly looking away from the screen and therefore your interviewer. Do your research, practice your answers ahead of time and display confidence on-screen.
Chose a suitable setting and avoid distracting backgrounds. Imagine your interviewer is in the room and you are sitting opposite them. If you’re at home for example, your kitchen or living area will work better than your bedroom.
Minimise background noise and interruptions. Turn your phone off and shut yourself away in a quite space if possible. You don’t want to find yourself in the same situation as political scientist Prof Robert Kelly whilst being interviewed live on the BBC (youtube.com/watch?v=Mh4f9AYRCZY)!