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Lights? Check. Hair? Perfect. Shirt? Ironed. Trousers? Optional!
It’s increasingly common for interviews to be conducted by video (mainly on Skype). And this happens a lot for those initial interviews where HR are sorting through promising candidates to find those worth meeting face-to-face.
However, make no mistake – VIDEO INTERVIEWS ARE HARD!! It’s extremely difficult to tell your interviewer’s body language and with sound, light and connectivity issues happening easily, many things can go wrong and put you off your flow. To give you the best chance of success, here’s 7 ways to ace your video interview.
Once you have received a time for the interview, try to arrange your space exactly 24 hours before the call. This way you can see where the light will be coming from, and adjust the blinds and bulbs accordingly. Turn on Skype to see how you look and make sure the background is clean and presentable. Check the connection is good and, if not, sit closer to the router.
Contact a friend and do a test run, including: checking sound, seating position, body language when talking and listening, and hopefully some practice questions too! As with all interviews, you are going to start by introducing yourself. Memorise and practice how you are going to do this. In the moment, anyone can be nervous and hesitation is audible. Keep in mind greeting the interviewer when you're connected and asking if they can hear you clearly.
Set aside appropriate attire for the position and dress just like you would for a face-to-face interview. Office job? Wear a shirt and tie. Startup role? Smart t-shirt will do.
Your interviewer can only see you….so use this to your advantage! Infront of you keep four sticky notes for each corner of your computer (out of camera view of course). Write down in bullet-point form some key points from your work history, skills, acheievements and any relevant industry knowledge. This should be in note format only to serve as a prompt rather than full reading notes.
It’s easy to move to a hunched over position when you start talking into a computer camera. Focus on sitting upright by keeping the back straight, shoulders back and chest slightly raised. This helps to project confidence as well as your voice. While the interview is being conducted, make the interviewer feel like you are approachable: smile and nod like you would in a normal conversation.
Two things are key here, how to listen and how to speak. When the interviewer is asking a question, look at the screen to see their body language and nod along where needed to confirm you’re listening. When answering a question look into the camera, as the interviewer will be looking at the screen and thus it will feel like you are maintaining eye contact.
The person on the other side of the camera has been tasked with analysing you, usually in a short space of time. Add all the necessary detail to your answer and keep it short. And remember, at the end of the interview, ask some questionS to show your interest in the role and company.