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Preparing for a Video Interview

Posted on 20th March 2020 by Marc Jones

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Provided by our Video Interviewing partners, Odro.

Video interviewing isn’t new. Far from it, in fact. Hiring managers and recruitment agents alike have been using tools like this for years now. However, our industry-leading platform just makes it all that easier!

Some of you will already have experience with video interviewing software, while others may only be familiar with the more traditional face-to-face set up. One thing’s for certain though, video interviewing is here to stay. So, now’s the time to embrace them! In fact, given the current climate, it’s more likely than ever that you’ll be asked to interview online. So, here’s a quick run-down to help ensure you’re putting your best foot forward when the time comes.

The Rise of Video Interviewing

First off, it’s worth understanding why video interviewing has become so popular. Video interviews are far more flexible than a typical on-site, face-to-face. There’s no travel involved and no time off work required. Plus, with our industry-leading platform, there’s no downloads, registrations, logins or passwords to contend with either. We’ll simply send you a link and you’re good to go. This means you can complete the video interview anywhere, anytime and on any device. Plus, in many cases, one video interview can be used for several opportunities. What’s not to love?!

Types of Video Interviewing

There are a couple of different types of video interviews you might be asked to do. The most common type is a live, two-way scenario. In this case, you’ll be sent a link from one of our recruiters that you’re working with which you simply click on to enter an online ‘interview room’. There you’ll come face-to-face with the interviewer(s) via a split-screen. The process of a live interview thereafter is exactly the same as it would be in person, only you’re face-to-face in the cloud instead.

Another less common but increasingly popular method of video interview is known on our platform as a Solo Interview. Solo interviews are also accessed via a link. But the difference this time is that instead of coming face-to-face with the interviewer(s) when you enter the virtual room, you’ll be taken on an easy journey through a set number of questions. The interview questions will appear on screen for you to answer, one by one. You’ll be able to review the finished article before submitting it for the recruiter and client to watch back. When you get to the end, you can start over if you feel you didn’t give your best answers and your original video will be recorded over. Although we do recommend keeping the attempts to a minimum as the more versions you do, the less natural you’ll become. Avoid the temptation of writing all your answers out and reading them as no matter how many times you practice appearing natural, nothing beats the real thing. You would never attend a face-to-face interview and read off answers so don’t do it here either.

Video interviewing was designed to make the screening process faster and less onerous for everyone involved. But don’t take shortcuts in your prep. The most successful video interviews are completed by people who treat them the same as an in-person interview. They are the same, after all, just completed using a different medium.

Preparing for a Video Interview

You should prepare for a video interview in exactly the same way you would for a face-to-face interview. Prepare answers for any and all eventualities, do background research on the company and compile some questions to ask the interviewer; all the usual stuff applies.

On top, there are few additional considerations to factor in:

  • Set up – test that your microphone, speakers, and camera are working.
  • Connection - check your internet connection, close-down unnecessary programs, and web pages and make sure you aren’t downloading, installing or about to run updates.
  • Surroundings - be mindful of your backdrop in terms of what’s in the frame. Consider your position and check your lighting.
  • Where to look – look into your camera, rather than at the interviewer. This way it’ll appear like you are looking at them.
  • Do not disturb – unlike in a face-to-face interview, you’ll likely be at home or even on your lunch break at work. It seems an obvious one but make sure people around you know not to disturb you. Ideally, find a place where you feel completely at ease and where you can speak freely and comfortably without fear of interruptions or distractions.
  • Appearance - just because you’re at home doesn’t mean you don’t need to look the part.
  • You should dress exactly as you would for an in-person interview. Psychologically, you’ll feel more ready too.
  • Stay focused – Because you’re not face-to-face, it can be easier to become distracted and do things you wouldn’t do in a face-to-face setting. Stay focused throughout.
  • Notes – avoid reading off notes. It’s okay to refer to notes but don’t try to be sneaky about it. Equally, avoid taking excessive notes. And definitely do not try to Google during the interview, no matter how subtle you think you’re being.
  • Smile and engage – a tendency on video versus face-to-face is that candidates are less focused on being engaging and less aware of ensuring their personality comes across. Avoid falling into this trap and bring as much to the video as you would if you were sitting across from the interviewer.

And Cut!

In summary, video interviews should be treated in the same way as any other interview, with a few additional considerations taken into account. You may find yourself to be a natural or it might be a little out of your comfort zone at first. But even if that is the case, it’s nothing that can’t be overcome. The best advice we can give is don’t be complacent and to get some practice in. You can do this with friends or family and can even record yourself using your phone to give yourself some critique. As with anything else, the usual combination of research and advance prep will go a long way.

Good luck!