In this blog, Lavinia our marketing assistant and Salford University undergraduate, shares her top tips for video interviews. From personal experience and some secondary research, she has collated 5 top tips to ace this sometimes nerve wracking interview stage.
In a recent survey, 53% of HR Managers said they use video interviews very often in their recruitment process, a percentage that continues to rise. So, if you have only ever experienced face-to-face interviews, be prepared for a change. You're most likely to participate in a video interview if you're currently residing in a different location than the one your prospective dream job, which is increasingly probable due to the skills shortage.
Should I start by saying find a quiet place where you won't be interrupted, don't wear your pajamas and make sure your microphone is working? You already know the basics; let's dive into the real tips.
1. Consider every detail of your background and put yourself in a positive light
JobCluster has done a great job in advising us how to not look ugly on camera. Make sure you don't have any type of light behind you; the interviewer might not appreciate talking to a shadow. That great mahogany wardrobe you love won't compete to a plain wall either, you have to make sure all the attention is focused on you, so eliminate all distractions from your background.
2. Make sure your computer & internet connection can handle it
If like me, you have a habit of keeping 47 tabs open in your browser and 10 different programs running, you might have to consider restarting your computer just before your interview starts, so you can be sure you won't have any distractions or surprises.
3. Remember Body Language
Posture, eye contact, smiling, use of hands, tone of voice, they're all as important as in a real interview, so don't neglect them.
4. Be confident and in a great state of mind
Because this interview might only take place in our living room or bedroom, it is easy for us to neglect some of the details we usually prepare before a face to face interview. But they are equally important. Take a shower, have a tea and relax, wear that great suit or dress that makes you feel great, and have in mind everything you wish to communicate to your potential employer. Check these TargetJobs tips for interview confidence as well, you never know what details might make or break your interview.
Make sure you also remind your housemates to not interrupt you.
5. Follow up with a thank you e-mail
It can be easy to neglect that follow up e-mail after a video interview, just because it feels as a different type of interaction, but you know that being polite and grateful can make a great difference, especially if it is one of the first stages of your application.
If you can, add something about yourself which you believe can make give you an advantage. For example, if you mentioned that great flyer you created in a past role, or that Facebook page you attracted 1000 likes for, feel free to add the files/links in this follow up e-mail.
P.S: Beware of automated video interviews where you have to talk to… the screen!
In my job hunting experience, 3 big technology companies have all used this type of video interviews in their first rounds. Be aware that this method is mainly used to save time for recruiters. This basically means that they are free to pause, skip and rewind your interview anytime, or even stop watching after the first 30 seconds, so you have to make sure you have engaging answers to their questions.
It can be a daunting experience, because you don't have the chance to engage with anyone else, and you don't have a nice interviewer to smile at you and confirm you're doing great, to calm you down.
You usually have 30 seconds to prepare your answer after the question pops on the screen, and around 2 minutes to answer the question. You don't have to always fill the whole 2 minutes, but you can't exceed them, the recording will simply stop.
The great thing about them is that you have the opportunity to take short pauses in between questions and some companies even allow you to record your answer twice, without having access to the first recording.
But the greatest tip of all is the old fashioned one: be yourself and be professional. Remind yourself of what a great fit you will be for this company and make them believe it as well. Interviewers are aware of how nervous and anxious you might be, and they do understand, so don't let that bring your confidence down. Treat video interviews as serious as any other encounter with your future employer and good luck!