Technology has changed virtually every aspect of our lives and it’s also starting to have an impact on job interviews. More and more organisations are starting to undertake Video Interviews as part of their selection processes, particularly at the early stages. It’s not ideal, but it happens nonetheless. Like everything else though, prepare sufficiently and it should all be okay – here are our Top Tips for Video Interviews that ought to help a little.
Choose the right location
Some companies may ask you to come to their offices and undertake a video interview via Skype or the like, with a line manager who can’t be present. In that case, disregard this tip! However, if you are told instead that you will be interviewed via video at a certain date and time, then do all that you can to choose the right location. Make sure that you choose a room where you will not be interrupted. Public transport? Forget it! If you are going to perform at your best, you need to be somewhere where you can concentrate on your answers, where there are no distractions and where in essence you actually can feel like you are in an interview situation – not somewhere where the interview feels like an intrusion into your normal everyday life.
Remember initial rapport
When you are in a standard face to face interview, first impressions count. The interviewer starts to form an opinion of you as soon as you enter the room. The same applies for the video interview, except that it can be a little more difficult to make a good first impression. Make sure that from the off, you speak clearly and confidently and that you engage with the interviewer. It is likely that they may be quite conversational at the beginning – in a bid to relax you before the interview itself begins. So whether they speak about the weather, the technology you are using, whatever, make sure that you interact, be engaging and do your best to strike a rapport with them. This is your opportunity to create a good first impression.
Dress for success
Even though you are not meeting the interviewer face to face, it is still important to look the part. Whilst doing a video in your PJs may be comfortable for you, it certainly won’t convey a good impression to the interviewer. Dress as you would for a standard interview. Being dressed in more formal interview attire will actually help you get into the mindset of being at interview, irrespective of the fact that you are actually being interviewed from home! We’ve previously highlighted some basic tips on how to dress for interview.
Body language matters
Although you are not physically in the same room as the interviewer, they will still be observing your body language. Whether you are fidgeting and squirming in your seat or being overly expressive with your hands when answering their questions, it will be noticed. Make sure that you pay attention to your body language. Sit straight in your chair, clasp your hands together, maintain good eye contact with your interviewer. All these basic things are just as important in a video interview as in a more traditional face to face interview.
Practice makes perfect
If you are uncomfortable with the whole notion of video interviews and have no experience of them, the best thing to do is practice. Whether you use Skype, Google Hangouts or whatever, try and do a few practice runs first. Get a friend or family member to do an interview role play with you and ask them for constructive feedback. They will be able to ascertain how your eye contact is, how clearly or how fast you are speaking and whether or not you come across confidently. Provided they are open and honest with their feedback and you are receptive of it, you may learn a lot that you can improve upon before the video interview happens for real.
Got any other tips for video interviews that you’d like to share? Why not let us know via the comments section below.