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Don't fear the video interview

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As you’re probably aware, much of the job search process has moved online. That includes job interviews.

The possibility of being invited to a video interview is on the rise, and this will either delight you because you won’t have to leave the comfort of your home or fill you with fear of the unknown, or maybe even a bit of both.

A video interview, although not a regular, face-to-face interview will have a large number of similarities to regular interviews. However, there are some ways you can help your success when taking part in a video interview. Here are some of our suggestions.

Prepare your surroundings

Make sure you have a quiet, uncluttered space for your interview (don’t forget to tidy the area around you to make it more presentable). Remember, this is still a formal situation so get rid of any potentially embarrassing or offensive belongings in view of your camera. An uncluttered space will also help you to focus on the task at hand.

Dress for the job you want

A video interview still follows the same rules and format as a face-to-face interview, so it's a good idea to wear the same outfit you'd wear if you were going to the workplace. Being professionally dressed, will also put you in the right mind-set for your interview and stop you falling into an overly comfortable state.

Don’t be tempted to only dress up on top. There are occasions where you may have to stand up and you don’t want to show off your pyjamas to a potential new employer. 

Avoid any potential interruptions

Awkward interruptions that interfere with the smooth running of your interview are best avoided as much as possible. You want an interviewer to see you’re serious about their role, so show you’re prepared.

Always turn off the TV, music, and close other programmes on your computer. You might really need to catch up on your Netflix binge-watching that you often use as ‘background noise’, but now is not the time.

Make sure that you don’t have any deliveries scheduled during the time you’re interviewing and that those you live with are aware you’re not to be disturbed for the duration. 

Eye contact is still important

It can be confusing to know where to look during an interview. Obviously, in a face-to-face interview, you would look your interviewer in the eye, but video interviews make eye contact a bit more difficult.

If you look directly at the interviewer on the screen, it might feel like you’re giving good eye contact, but all they’ll see is you looking down. Focus on looking directly at the camera instead, and always remember to smile!

Make use of notes, but don’t rely on them too much

The best thing about a video interview is that you can have notes with you. So have your CV at the ready and keep any notes you prepared from your interview prep with you to help you answer any difficult questions or remember specific facts about the role or company. 

But don’t use them as a script, or you’ll probably sound like a monotonous robot with no natural feelings. And you won’t be able to look at the camera at the same time.

Be mindful of your body language 

Although you're not in the same room as your interviewer physically, body language still remains important. Sit up straight, and look attentive and enthusiastic.

Be aware of the limitations in sound quality and volume in this situation – you want your interviewer to hear you clearly. Don’t cover your mouth, remain conscious of your hand-to-face gestures, and try and keep your hands at bay in a safe place, AKA your knees.

Practice, practice, practice!

Having a video interview trial run is not only important for gaging the best body language and practising your answers, but also to test your equipment. Because let’s face it, technology isn’t always the most trustworthy of things, and you never know when it might decide to malfunction.

Check the best angle for your webcam, the best height of your chair, and the speed of your connection. 

If you found this video interview advice helpful and would love to try out what you’ve just learned, head to our candidates page to register your details and find new jobs to interview for.