Lights, Camera, Action! 10 tips for video interview success

As lockdown restrictions look set to continue for the foreseeable future, it’s likely that anyone looking for their next job opportunity will have to continue to take part in interviews remotely.  Indeed, as many as 80 per cent of talent professionals believe virtual recruitment will continue even once the global pandemic is over, so it is a good skill to learn.

Searching for a new role can feel daunting, and if it is your first time taking on a virtual video interview, knowing what to expect may put on added pressure. We have put together 10 tips to help you feel confident and prepared, ensuring you have the best chance of success in securing the role.

1.  Make sure your camera height is right

The camera facing you should be at eye height or higher; avoid positioning the camera so you are looking down into it.

The goal is to replicate on camera the view of you someone would have if you were sitting facing them in a real-life setting. So, try to imagine that the camera is the eyes of someone sitting opposite you and use a stand or some sturdy books to alter the height.

2.  Get the camera angle spot on

In order to present yourself well to the interviewing panel, face the camera head-on, rather than off to one side. If you are making use of a detachable webcam, make sure it is placed centrally.

Take the time to set this up so you feel comfortable with the angle on display. Our top trick here is that when possible, glance into the camera, rather than looking at yourself. This will give the interviewer the illusion of eye contact!

3.  Use lighting correctly

Lighting is a crucial thing to consider in a virtual interview. Try to sit facing the source of the light, rather than have it come from behind. Ideally sit facing a window for natural light; if that’s not possible, put a lamp on the desk behind the camera.

Check the thumbnail of your video feed before beginning the interview. If you can clearly see your own eyes, the lighting is set up well.

4.  Clear sound is important

If you own one, opt to wear a headset with a microphone for your interview. They provide the clearest sound and minimise audio feedback too.

The main thing in a virtual interview is that you can hear and be heard clearly. Don’t worry about wearing one, as your interview panel will be used to meetings where people are wearing headsets.

5.  Choose a smart background

As many of us are having to set up makeshift workspaces from home, considering the background that is on show is important.

Where possible, you should sit in a location with a clean, smart, professional background to use as the backdrop for your interview – such as a plain wall. If this isn’t possible, many platforms will allow you to use a virtual background – just make sure you opt for something that looks professional.

6.  Dress for the occasion

The advice here is straightforward: dress as you would for a normal interview! This will ensure that you look professional and interested in the position, as well as boosting your confidence.

The interview panel may not be as smartly dressed as they would be for a face-to-face interview, but don’t risk being the least well-dressed person on the call.

7.  Test the platform 

There are many different video platforms that your panel may use, from Zoom and Teams to Google Hangouts, and having settings on one platform is no guarantee that another platform will also work.

Make sure to test the interview with your recruitment consultant, friend or family member to be sure you have no technical issues on the day.

8.  Stabilise your internet connection

If you live in a house with multiple people accessing the internet, if they can, ask them to take a break from using it for the duration of your interview.

To make sure your connection stays as strong as possible, with the best quality video and audio, it’s best to make sure the Wi-Fi is not overloaded. Log-in to the meeting invitation that the interview panel or recruiter has sent to you 10 to 15 minutes before the interview is due to start to ensure you can correct any glitches in advance.

9.  Make sure you won’t be interrupted

An interview for a new job is a huge deal. So, make sure everyone that you live with is aware that you will be undertaking an interview and you shouldn’t be disturbed. It’s an important moment for you, so they will understand you protecting the time.

Also make sure you put your phone on Do Not Disturb and keep it out of sight! If it rings and creates a vibration, you will still be distracted, and the panel will be able to hear this and see you looking elsewhere.

10.  Treat it like an in-person interview

A virtual interview provides you with a unique opportunity to present yourself from a familiar and comfortable location, taking the pressure away from travelling to or getting to know a new space.

However, you should still treat it like you would a face-to-face interview. The interviewing panel will be paying attention to how you express yourself, so conveying knowledge, confidence and personality is important. Lots of candidates forget to ask questions at the end of an interview so prepare these in advance and have them written down. Show the company you’re committed and interested in their work, just as you would in person.

How you act will ultimately indicate how you might respond to situations in the workplace, so ensure you remain focused and put your best foot forward. These are unusual circumstances for us all, but there are steps you can take to give yourself the best possible chance of success.

If you would like to discuss video interviews and techniques with one of our consultants, please don’t hesitate to get in touch as we will be more than happy to help!

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