Interviewing in isolation? Here’s our 5 top tips for video interviews…

“Congratulations! You’ve secured an interview!” Oh… how will that work now then?

Thanks to COVID-19, our daily lives have changed completely for the foreseeable future. Whilst many businesses have completely shut up shop, most have mobilised teams to work from home and as such, it is business as usual (er… sort of).

With the help of video technology, many businesses are still progressing interviews during the isolation period, with the long-term view that the role they are recruiting is necessary for the future of the business, when things finally start to return to normal.

Most people will already be savvy with video tech like FaceTime or WhatsApp Video Call – however, not all of us are. It’s important to note there are so many other forms of tech out there and there are some simple pieces of advice we thought it important to share, to ensure you have the best impact.

Testing, testing, 1-2-3

Log in to whatever platform you will be using and check your video and audio is on. If you can, video call a friend or the recruiter you are working with so they can feedback to you on the quality of the image and sound.

Ideally, you’ll do this in the same location you will be interviewing in, so you also know what interview connection is like. This also gives you the opportunity to get used to seeing yourself on video and ensure the camera angle shows your head and shoulders clearly – no one wants to see up your nostrils!

If your username or email address is not professional, make a new one. It is one of the first impressions an employer will get.

Know who is calling who and ensure you both have each other’s contact details, should anything go wrong.

Everyone remembers that TV interview where the kids and the nannie came in…

Try to be somewhere you will be alone, without any unwanted interruptions (pets, children, partners) and have a plain background behind you. If you need to be in a public place for the interview, such as a coffee shop, pre-warn the interviewer so they are aware. You’ll want headphones for this so you can hear them.

Fail to prepare, prepare to fail

Do all of the usual preparation you would for an interview – study the job specification, prepare answers to potential questions that will demonstrate relevant experience, research the business, visit the property or some of the properties you will be responsible for. Google the company and click News and review social media to find the most up-to-date topics surrounding the business. Also prepare questions to ask at the end of the interview. Have a notepad and pen, the latest copy of your CV and your pre-prepared questions.

Act like it is a face-to-face interview

Log in early and be waiting, turn your phone to silent, log out of all emails or social media so nothing pops up on screen. Remove any distractions, including pets and children, and if you can, unplug or silence your landline.

Dress professionally, as you would for a normal interview – bright colours can sometimes play with the brightness settings and display, so we recommend dark colours.

Look at the camera – this sounds simple, but it’s very tempting to look at your own appearance or at the interviewers, and it won’t look to them as though you are making eye contact.

Keep your answers succinct, accurate and engaging. If the interviewer poses a question with multiple parts, use your notepad to jot down short notes. Be careful not to miss the point of the question or worse, the point of your answer!

Question time

At the end of the interview, you’ll have the opportunity to ask your questions. If they have answered them during the interview, explain that so you can demonstrate your preparation and commitment. Ask them if they have any concerns, if they obtained everything they need and if they can give you any immediate feedback. Confirm the timelines with them so you know when to expect a response and confirm the next stages so you can keep your diary free to be called back.

It may sound strange, but we would always encourage you to enjoy your interview. You have done well to get to this stage and the outcome could be a catalyst to a positive turning point in your life. End with an enthusiastic and strong statement about your interest in the role, opportunity and company – assuming after all this that you are still interested!

If you have any questions or there is something we have not answered here, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. All advice is confidential and free of charge.

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