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5 Essential Tips To Prepare For A Video Interview

Leigh Gillatt  •  Careers Advice

5 Essential Tips To Prepare For A Video Interview


Looking for a new job can be difficult and somewhat daunting at the best of times, but during the current COVID-19 pandemic for many it can feel almost impossible!

With our day to day working lives changing like never before, video interviews have become a popular format more and more companies are having to rely on, but just how do you prepare for a video interview if you’ve never had one? Other than the obvious, there’s got to be some other differences, right?

Made it to interview stage? Been given a scheduled interview date and time, but you’ve noticed it’s to be a video interview? Our team have put together 5 essential tips to help you get prepared to nail your interview.

Read on to learn more...

1. Prepare Those Documents

In the majority of interviews, you will usually need to bring some form of documentation with you – a copy of your CV, a portfolio of your previous work, and/or any other supporting documents for example – not only as proof of some of your skills, but also to discuss and highlight them to the recruiter or HR manager.

NOTE - This is no different just because the interview is being conducted using live video call technology.

You should be prepared to electronically share any of these useful documents, so, any that you think that could be relevant, get them ready on your desktop or in an open tab in advance of the video interview commencing. This way, if you’re asked to share anything, you won’t have to ask for time to find it.

There’s also nothing stopping you from keeping a printed notes sheet listing your biggest achievements handy, just on the off chance you need a little reminder of what to highlight to the recruiter.

2 Stay Focused On The Interview

If you do choose to use a notes sheet, we’d still say it was advisable to keep it off your screen. This keeps your device clear of anything that could potentially compromise your success if for example you’re asked to share your screen.

Our IT recruitment team have often heard about employers requesting this during web designer interviews, when they often ask interviewees to walk them through their HTML or PHP coding, for example.

… and don’t be tempted to ask Google for help whilst you’re sharing your screen – although its pretty much second nature to do so, an interviewer will immediately see that you’re lacking in the knowledge they’re test you upon. Just don’t jeopardise your chances of getting the job, so make sure you focus solely on the interview.

3. Maintain Positive Body Language

Body language can help to maintain your calm demeanour, so try to keep it open and approachable. Just because you’re not speaking face-to-face with the interviewer doesn’t mean you won’t need to portray confidence and positivity – video resolution on web cams is surprisingly good quality these days, even via inbuilt laptop cameras.

As best as possible try to maintain eye contact with your interviewer. We know this can be a little tricky for some when you’re try to do this through a screen, so our advice is to find a balance between looking directly at your interviewer on the screen, and directly at the camera.

Again, just as with a traditional interview, wearing the right clothes can boost your confidence levels, so ensure you are dressed professionally.

… and yes, we mean from head to toe. Don’t be tempted to sit there in a nice shirt and tie on your top half, and have shorts and flip-flops, or PJs, on on your bottom half. Think about it, you don’t want to get caught out if you’re asked to stand up to deliver a presentation!

4. Know Your Way Around The Video Software

One way to help settle your nerves is to make sure you know your way around the video software you’ll be using, or that has been requested to be used by your interviewer. Log in ahead of your interview to figure out if you’ll encounter any password issues or other concerns you may not have anticipated.

Why not video call a close friend and answer a few potential interview questions to establish get to grips with using the technology if its your first time, you could also hit the record button and play it back to yourself afterwards to establish whether or not you need to alter your body language.

You should also take time to ensure your user profile is up to date and professional. Remove any nicknames you’ve been using on your profile, any unprofessional profile pictures or statuses full of emojis. Make sure that you’re portraying yourself as capable and professional as much as possible; even these little things can have an impact on a potential employers initial impressions of you.

5. Is It Right For You?

One of the most important parts of an interview is also to establish whether you feel the company is right for you and that you can see yourself fitting in well within their organisation.

Since you won’t be able to learn anything by visiting the workplace in person at this stage, you’ll have to be more direct and well prepared with questions to assist you in your decision.

Asking the right questions can help you work out if you think you’d fit into the company culture, so carefully consider what you prioritise in a workplace. For example, if one of your top priorities is career development, ask the interviewer about training opportunities and the level of scope for career progression.

Video interviews may be nerve-wracking, but they present significant advantages. You won’t run the risk of being late after getting stuck in traffic and you also get to choose the environment you sit in during your interview to allow you to make yourself feel as comfortable as possible. Remembering the benefits can help you stay calm during the process, while taking the above tips on board can help you nail your video interview.

... And Remember, " SMILE YOU'RE ON CAMERA 📷 "