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Got a video interview lined up? Here’s how to ace it

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Before covid-19 made its entrance and changed the world as we know it, it’s estimated that up to 60% of organisations were using video interviews at some stage in their hiring process. But with social distancing in order and many employees now working from home, it’s likely that this number is much, much higher. In fact, if you’re looking to secure a new role right now, then it’s more than likely that you’ll be interviewed over video – so we’ve put together some tips for you so that you can video interview with confidence.

Some people feel perfectly comfortable with the thought of interviewing over video, whereas others may dread the very idea. Whether you’re looking to brush up on your skills or this is your first video interview, we’ve got you covered.

What you need to ask before the interview

When the interview is being scheduled, there are some key questions you should ask, so as to help you prepare in advance. Find out what technology they plan to use, and make sure you’ve got it installed. Skype, Zoom, FaceTime, Hangouts – there are plenty of options, so ensure you’ve got the latest version downloaded and that you’ve tested the camera and microphone and that they’re in working order.

You could also find out whether you’ll be interviewed by a member of the team, or whether it’s going to be an automated, pre-recorded interview – this should allow you to do your pre-interview research and find out about who you’ll speaking to.

Treat it like an in-person interview

During a phone interview, you’ve usually got the luxury of checking your notes while you’re on the phone and speaking to the interviewer, as they won’t be able to see you. But for a video interview, you should treat this as you would a face-to-face interview.

Make sure you’re dressed appropriately – while it can be tempting to wear something comfy while working in the privacy of your own home, this won’t usually be appropriate for a video interview. Make sure you’re wearing office attire, and if possible you should try to avoid bright colours or prints which could draw attention away from what you’re saying.

Be sure to sit up straight, smile and look at the camera when you’re talking – while it can be tempting to look at the screen, looking into the camera will make the interviewer feel as though you’re talking to them directly, and helps to create the eye contact that you would have at a face-to-face interview.

Get rid of any distractions

Find a quiet spot to set up for your interview, and make sure it’s away from any distractions. Ideally your laptop or computer should be on a flat surface so that it’s not wobbling, and the background behind you should be uncluttered and plain. It’s important that there’s as little background noise as possible – no barking dogs or household noises such as washing machines, vacuum cleaners or loud TVs, as these will take focus away from you and your interview.

Make sure you have your CV and the job description to hand, and that you ask all the questions that you need to when given the opportunity. It’s also worth bearing in mind that there could be a lag, so pause after each answer and give the interviewer time to respond, and that way you won’t be interrupting each other. If you’re new to video interviewing then it can feel daunting, but it’s not all that different to a face-to-face interview. Prepare as much as you normally would beforehand, and make sure that you’ve researched the role and the company before you start your interview. And finally, just as you would in an in-person interview – just be yourself!

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