Our 10 red hot tips on how to ace a video job interview
Dress the same as you would for a face-to-face interview
This might seem like an obvious one, but inappropriate interview attire is a very common pitfall in the world of video interviewing. The mistake being that many approach video interviewing in a more casual manner simply because it’s not conducted in person. However, the format doesn’t change the fact you’re there to impress your employer, so it’s probably not a bad idea to ditch your comfy dressing gown for a smart suit jacket.
Allow time to set up your webcam
There is no worse way to start a video interview than delaying it with fifteen minutes of technical setup you could have done beforehand. After all video calls do take a while to set up anyway, especially if you’re not used to making them. That’s why it’s always a good idea to be set at your laptop ready to go at least five minutes before the interview is scheduled, because delaying your very first meeting with an employer doesn’t exactly set things off to a good start.
Do a couple of mock video interviews first
Interviews are all about selling yourself and for many that can often feel awkward or unnatural, in which case adding a webcam to the mix probably won’t help. That’s why we recommend having a few mock interviews with family and friends over Skype, just so that you feel a little more comfortable with what it’s like to be on camera. Even if you still hate it after a few practises, at least you’ll be more at ease with the process.
Have a backup plan ready in case you get cut off
The momentary loss of signal or Wi-Fi always tends to strike at the most inconvenient of times, so we advise that you get yourself prepared for this when kicking off a video interview. The best policy is to start the call from wherever your internet strength is strongest, even if it means using Wi-Fi somewhere outside your home. It’s also worth having a few different connected devices ready in case your first option packs up on the big day.
Pick an appropriate time for the interview
When an employer or recruiter shows enough interest in your application that they want a video interview, it’s a great feeling. However, it would be a mistake to get caught up in that moment too much and say yes to whatever time they first suggest, especially if you’re still in employment upon applying. That’s why it’s important to schedule the interview only when you know it’s a good time to do so, otherwise you’ll regret it if you then get held up at work, or find you have no one available to watch the kids, so try to think ahead when picking a time.
Make sure you’ve given the right contact details
People dial wrong numbers all the time, it happens, but there’s no worse of a time for it to happen than when you’re meant to be having an important job interview. That’s why it is always a good idea to double-check that firstly you have all the right contact details on your end, but also that you’ve communicated the correct info to your interviewer. The last thing you want is an accidental video call with a pizza delivery service.
Don’t be too over-prepared
Despite most of the points so far concerning preparation, there is a difference between being prepared and over-prepared. For instance, the casual format of a long-distance interview does essentially give you the freedom to cheat the process, in that you could have every possible question answered on paper in front of you, or the about section of your employer’s website ready on screen. However, this approach can easily make you appear scripted or unnatural, or even worse could make it appear like you care so little about the job that cheat sheets are a must.
Speak clearly throughout the interview
Knowing that you’re being filmed can be nerve-wracking, as can a job interview, so having the two combined can often be a scary prospect. And it’s only natural to feel that way, but try not to let fear get the better of you and cause you to stumble and stutter. Just try to remain calm, clear and concise once the interview begins, even if you’re shitting yourself, because seeming confident sometimes works just as well as being confident.
Try to show your personality
It’s all well and good being prepared and professional, but equally you don’t want to appear robotic. The best thing you can do is not take the whole thing too seriously. By all means, demonstrate your passion and skills, but also try to be yourself and open up a little about who you are personally, because it will make you feel more at ease and will help your employer imagine how well you’d fit it.
Act how you would in a face-to-face interview
Overall, it’s still important to remember that a video interview is an interview all the same. You’ll most likely find that once it gets going you’ll forget that you’re not actually face-to-face with your employer, which isn’t a bad thing if you’re used to interviewing on a regular basis. However, if you still dread interviews in general and need some more pointers, then it might be worth checking out our top tips on how to achieve a perfect interview process.