So, you’ve decided to switch roles. Your CV has been updated, you’ve met with recruiters and you’ve booked an interview. Your outfit is ready, research complete and you are ready to rock it when bam! self-isolation hits. Now your interview has been moved to a video format…Will you be able to properly show what you have to offer? Will your personality shine through? If you follow our guide, the answer is yes!
You’ll want your interview to go as smoothly as possible and you’ll want to look your best. These impressions matter. Ensure that you have a webcam that shows a clean and crisp video and a mic that doesn’t cut out. I recommend testing these items several times leading up to your interview and using an ethernet cable. You don’t want your Wi-Fi cutting out while you’re making your points. Make sure that your webcam is above your eyeline. You’ll want to be looking slightly up into the camera.
Lighting is also very important. There should be a source of lighting directly in front of you as to not create a silhouette. It should also be bright as video tends to have a dulling effect. Have you ever been on stage and been shocked by how bright the lights were? This is the effect we’re looking for but to a slightly lesser degree. Show yourself in the best light, pun intended.
There is an added element to a video interview – you create the interview environment. Instead of meeting in the hiring manager’s office, it’s your job to ensure your space is quiet and professional. Make sure there are no interruptions and that your background is clean and neutral. So, put a video on for the kids and dismount that stockpile of toilet roll!
Make sure that you treat a video interview the same way you would a face-to-face session. Dress how you normally would from head to toe. I know it’s tempting to dress only from the waist up but taking your appearance seriously will set the tone for the interview. What happens if you need to grab a pen and you’re in your gym shorts?
Here are some things to avoid wearing;
- White – the white will appear too bright with the lighting set up. Try blue or pink.
- Black – the webcam will try to adapt which leads to a washed-out effect.
- Contrasting colours
- Patterns – make it as easy as possible for the webcam to focus.
All the principles of a face-to-face interview apply here.
- Make eye contact
- Don’t fidget
- Practice good posture
- Put your phone away so you don’t get distracted by notifications
- Look at the camera not the interviewer. Your eyes are more likely to align with the interviewer’s eyes this way. This is difficult and takes some practice. Ask a friend to complete a video chat pre-interview so you get it right.
Have a Backup
In case of connection problems, provide the interviewer with a contact number before you sign on. This will allow you to get in touch quickly should you have problems. It also shows foresight and ambition, which hopefully won’t be lost on your interviewer.
The video interviewing format may be new to you but it’s already being used quite regularly and will become more and more of a standard as we become an increasingly virtual world. This has been amplified in our current climate. If it’s your first time or you’re just not completely comfortable, I’d welcome the chance to give you some one to one practice. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. This doesn’t just apply to our current clients and candidates, we’re here to help anyone and everyone. We at DMJ feel that it’s important that everyone shares their experience and expertise during these unconventional times. If you’ve got any top tips for video interviews, please share them in the comment box. Stay safe everyone!