With nearly everything being done online nowadays, it’s more likely than ever that you’ll be invited to a video interview, or a screening for an interview that’s via Skype. Whilst technology can work wonders, video interviews work a little differently from your regular face-to-face interview.
Although there are lots of similarities with face-to-face interview, there is some advice that we can give which is specific to phone or Skype interviews. Here are our 6 top tips to help you smash your video interview.
1. Your environment
Make sure you’ve chosen a quiet space for your video interview, and tidy the area so it looks clean and presentable. It’s a good idea to have this space clear and uncluttered to help you concentrate on the task and remind you that the situation is formal. You don’t want to be getting distracted. It’s also off-putting for the employer and shows a lack of effort if they can see your unmade bed in the corner of their screen!
Be sure to get rid of anything that could be potentially embarrassing, offensive, or cause your interviewer to rethink your application. It’s more than likely that your interviewer will be able to see more than you think, so it’s best not to distract them or give too much away about your personal life. You don’t want something in the background to reflect badly on you.
2. Look the part
A video interview is roughly supposed to follow the same rules and format as a traditional in-person interview. This means you still have to look professional. It’s a good idea to wear the same outfit you’d wear if you were going to the workplace. Take a look at our famous interview dress guide to help you out. As tempting as it is to only dress from the waist up, we don’t recommend you do this. We’ve heard some horror stories and it’s best to avoid the embarrassment!
3. Avoid any interruptions
Again, a situation that could be potentially embarrassing and easily avoidable. Switch off your phone, tell your friends to leave you alone, get a do not disturb sign…whatever you need to do!
Interruptions can be a sign that you haven’t taken the interview seriously enough, so take precautions to avoid them if possible. Close any programmes on your computer and get rid of any background noise.
And let everyone you live with know that this is an important call and ask them to keep the noise down and to not disturb you until after you’ve finished.
4. Watch your body language
Body language is a tricky one over Skype, but it’s still just as important. Eye contact is still just as important – remember to look at the camera, not the screen. If you need to, draw a pair of eyes on a post-it note and stick them either side of the camera! Remember to smile and don’t be too over the top with hand gestures.
It’s not just eye contact, however, you need to be attentive, enthusiastic, and remember to sit up straight.
5. Don’t over-rely on notes
Although looking at your notes is totally acceptable, it’s not a good idea to have pre-prepared answers or write a script. Brief bullet points and a copy of your CV to hand are all you really need. The interview needs to be natural, so don’t rely on them heavily and remember to maintain eye contact. But as long as you’re subtle, there’s no reason not to have some helpers with you! Use them to answer difficult questions or to draw on your pre-interview prep, which you can read more about here.
6. Stay on top of the tech
Be aware of any issues you may have in sound quality, volume, time delay etc. Although technology is a wonderful thing, it comes with its own set of issues. Conduct a trial run – get a friend or family member to call so you can make sure there are no technological issues. Check your Wifi signal and speed – you don’t want to be buffering! And always set up well ahead of time so you’re good to go! And, just in case, have a back-up plan if the connection fails.