In recent years, Video interviews have increasingly become an important part of the recruitment process. In this article we discuss some of the pros and cons.
Video interviews are similar to a traditional interviews, however, there are important factors to take into consideration. Preparing adequately impacts the fluidity and success of the interview. This article will provide you with a few hacks that ensure you ace the video interview.
We’ll cover a few areas such as, how you should dress, act, and additional tricks on eye contact and body language.
Before highlighting tips, first you should understand that there are different forms of video interviews. Video interviews can take place at a number of locations: In-office, at home, in the car (not ideal) or other remote locations.
Some video interviews may happen at your prospective employer’s place of business. This may happen if you’re being interviewed by a member of their organisation who’s based in a different location.
In a situation like this, it’s imperative that to act as you would when approaching a traditional in-person interview. Ensure you prepare before the interview, dress appropriately, arrive on time, and remain cordial and respectful to everyone you meet.
There’s usually a room where the video interview will take place, in most cases your point of contact would have already set up the room, but be sure to find out who to contact if you encounter any problems. Oh! And be sure to ask for a glass of water.
These video interviews happen in places other than the prospective employer’s office. Nearly always they’ll be in a location decided by you.
When you have a remote video interview, it’s your responsibility to find an appropriate location. One with a stable internet connection and good lighting.
Tip: Poor lighting can have an adverse impact on how non verbal communication is interpreted during the interview.
The best place to have a remote video interview is somewhere quiet, away from any pets, or people. The webcam should ideally be positioned in an area that is devoid of distractions that may be in the background (photos, art etc). Stay away from communal spaces that may have a lot going on in the background.
For video interviews, it is important that you dress equally as professionally as you would when attending an interview in person.
To help you make a decision, research the culture of the organisation so that you have an accurate definition of what is appropriate.
Tip: If its a hip, relaxed, non corporate dress code type company. The last thing you’ll want to do, is to be in very formal office attire.
In general, try to avoid bright patterns and colours when trying to look your best. You should instead choose softer colours. if you wear glasses, ensure there’s a little glare from the frames as possible (this can be achieved by altering your seating position, according to the light in the room)
The camera should be centred, ensuring your shoulders and head remain in shot. Whilst only your top half will he visible to the interviewing panel, it’s still is a great idea to be dressed appropriately from top to bottom. The last thing you want is for some unplanned reason, have to get up and be seen walking around in your pyjama bottoms.
Maintaining eye contact throughout any interview is important, so you should ensure the same connection during is made when conducting a video interview.
The best approach is to avoid the urge to answer questions towards the laptop screen, but instead to the camera. By doing this, your eyes will align with those of the interviewer/s.
When listening to the question however, looking at the screen will be fine.
Over the course of the interview, ensure that your mood and body language both convey optimism. A great way to do this is to ensure your posture is great. You should sit with your shoulders open and back straight. Your feet should be planted and your arms resting on the table or in your laps.
When listening, it’s important to smile and nod appropriately. This ensures and confirms you are practicing ‘effective listening’ and utilising non verbal communication cues, which inform the interviewer that you can hear them clearly, and that they have your attention.
Where possible, try to limit using too many hand gestures when responding. However, If necessary and within your natural communication style, make that the gestures are captured ‘in shot’ of the camera.
In advance of the interview and to become more aware and comfortable of how your body language translates on camera, you can practice by making a couple of calls to family members or friends.
Ask them to provide you with honest feedback; focusing on eye contact and appearance. Do this a couple of times until it feels normal; practising has the ability to make the difference, so that when you actually have your video interview you look, feel, and sound more relaxed. Being relaxed often translates as confidence. But be careful! Looking too relaxed can be interpreted as arrogance. Find the happy medium.
It is important that your video interview space is an uninterrupted location. If you’re at home, be sure to advise anyone around that you’re not to be disturbed for the next 30 or 45 minutes. You could even hang a sign on the door.
If you lock the door, be sure to inform members of the household you’ll be busy. The last thing you want is violent banging on the door whilst you’re in the middle of an introduction on your career history.
Ensure the table is clear, apart from a notepad to help you take notes down.
Have a soft copy of your CV, as well as other notes on hand to help you easily reference them.
Have a bottle of water set aside.
Ensure that your webcam works correctly; test it in advance.
Ensure your audio works correctly.
If you have any tabs, applications, or windows on your system that are not relevant, you should close them.
Ensure your the internet connection is up to scratch, meaning it has to be stable and fast download/upload speed. Poor connections can almost ruin an interview and thus, your opportunity
Put your phone on silent to avoid any disturbances.
Ensure your background is free from untidiness.
The lighting in the room should be adjusted. If the view from the camera and appears dim, it might be necessary to increase it by bringing in an additional light source, to be placed behind the computer.
Ensure you dress professionally. You should also steer clear of loud colours.
Use hand gestures where required but ensure they’re kept to a minimum, as to not distract from what you’re attempting to explain.
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