Video interview prep

2020 really gave us a whole new world order, things have certainly changed in recruitment and work life. Remote working and working from home have been embraced and are more widely implemented by most companies. 

This is when the internet and phones are a godsend (thank you Tim Berners-Lee and Alexander Graham Bell for your wonderful inventions!). Interviews are now more reliant on these forms of communication to gauge whether you are the right fit for their company. You might be worrying about how to prep for it when you aren’t face-to-face. Hopefully, these tips will help ease any anxiety. 

1. Interruptions and surroundings

We’ve all seen the clip of the BBC News interview. The poor guy is interrupted by a child wandering into his office and, as funny as it is, it’s not an ideal scenario for an interview. I can understand avoiding distractions depending on your home situation may be harder for some people. The best thing is to try to pop yourself somewhere quiet with a good wifi signal. If not give your interviewer a heads-up on any potential distractions. It’s better they are aware than being surprised on the call.

Something we can all do is think about the backdrop of your video interview. Make sure to have nothing too distracting in the background. Good lighting is key so you can be seen properly and, though it sounds obvious, make sure TVs, radios, and music are off.

2. Still do your research

Just because it’s not your typical interview setting, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prepare like it is (you don’t want to pretend the camera is frozen because you can’t answer a question!). Research is still key and the bonus of a video interview is you can have your notes with you. The real challenge is making sure you are still making eye contact and not constantly looking down at your notes. For help with gathering your research take a look at Interview tips from an Actor: Part 2.

3. Be presentable

With a video interview, it sounds obvious but remember, they can still see a lot of you! So make sure you dress accordingly as it’ll make you look professional and will also boost your self-esteem. Although it’s not necessary, I’d advise you to wear a complete outfit, just in case you have to get up at all during your interview, you don’t want to be business at the top and superhero jammies on the bottom!

Good lighting always helps. Firstly, so you can be seen and secondly, it can help you look better on camera. Natural light is always the best to not make you look washed out. Try sitting opposite a window before you get on that video call.

4. Facial expressions and body language 

Much of what was covered in Interview Tips with an Actor: Part 1 can still apply to a video interview, just concentrate on the upper half of your body! You still want to appear engaged, interested, and listening. Keeping your body posture upright, shoulders relaxed, and with a slight lean towards the camera (not too close!), all give a positive impression to the interviewer. Avoid slouching, crossing your arms, and fidgeting (you can do that off-camera). The bonus of being on camera is you can turn your webcam on before the interview takes place and watch how you come across it. Also, you’ll need to factor in that it’ll probably (depending on your set-up) be an up-close shot of your face, so just be aware of that.

This might be ‘old hat’ to some of you who have worked remotely previously but for some, this is brand new territory. I hope these tips help you feel confident and ready!

Alex Louise is a member of the Operations team at Harvey John.

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