With an increasing number of interviews taking place over video, don’t underestimate their importance.
Even before recent events face to face meetings weren’t always a convenient or practical option.
Making a good impression at this stage is crucial and may be your only opportunity to do so. Such interviews are every bit as important as face to face.
While you may be very confident of your abilities in the more traditional meeting format some measures are needed to ensure a video call is a success.
Connection and equipment
Make sure to test your connection (Wi-Fi or cable) beforehand: if at home or you have low bandwidth, ensure you have exclusive use of the connection and that others aren’t attempting to stream or download. Keep in mind that a borrowed interview room in the depths of your office won’t have a good mobile signal.
Don’t decide that “audio only” is adequate: if they had wanted a telephone interview they would have asked for one. Also use a steady camera ideally built into your laptop: if you have to use mobiles then rest smartphones or tablets on a flat surface or, ideally, in a holder. No employer is impressed by you holding a device in your hand and it looking like a recording of the ‘Blair Witch Project’.
Check that both sides know account and connection details: Skype can be especially problematic in this regard. Decide who is calling who.
Close all apps
Close other programmes that may cause interruptions or distracting notifications such as Outlook, Facebook and Twitter. Not only can it throw you off, and use bandwidth, it can also appear unprofessional as it could be noticed by the interviewer that you’re constantly glancing away
Keep your account professional
The prospect of an interview with “kittenluvver123xxx” is hardly going to fill an employer with optimism. Perhaps stick to your name or initials to maintain professionalism. Also ensure the account doesn’t reveal unhelpful personal information or unprofessional photographs. Family pics are fine if clearly using a personal medium e.g WhatsApp but again caution is advised.
Dress to impress
Although you may be at home, it’s not an excuse to remain in your pyjamas. Dress as you would in a face-to-face interview for your dream job.
Know where to look
Maintaining eye-contact is difficult over video, but the best place to look is into the camera, where possible, rather than at the screen, in order to appear sincere and maintain eye-contact.
Get rid of distractions
Remember your interviewer will see everything around you, so keep distractions to a minimum and keep it professional. Where possible use the preview screen option to check what the scene looks like and also the lighting: don’t sit with your back to a window with a bright sunny day outside. They will be unimpressed by a cameo appearance by the dog (or anyone else for that matter) or a pile of dirty laundry in the background. A glass of water in front of you might be wise, but a chipped Superman mug less so. If you are not at home ensure you are in a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed i.e. not Starbucks.
Consider a cheat sheet
Keep in mind the point above, but remember that unlike a face-to-face interview, a Skype interview offers the opportunity to use notes, your CV or other prompts if you feel they are helpful. Make sure however not to give the impression of reading from a script. Never use the keyboard: you might think it is sensible to take notes but the interviewer might think you are replying to emails.
Be conscious of body language
With no one else in the room it can be easy to forget you can be seen! Remember to act exactly as you would if you were sitting in the same room as the interviewer.
Double check arrangements
With video especially useful for long distance and cross border interviewing check time zones. People often state “GMT” when they actually mean British Summer Time (BST) so best to check. Also don’t be late! Ensure you have allocated enough time: while video interviews are often shorter and it might be a quick chat it could be a full 60 minute workout so check beforehand.
By following these handy tips, you can ensure you are well-prepared for your video interview, hopefully settling those nerves, and increase your chances of being offered the management consultancy job of your dreams!
For more information on how Prism Executive Recruitment could help you with your job search, visit our candidate services page or contact Chris Sale (Managing Director) on 01344 636426 or [email protected]
We also have lots of help and advice for your job search within our candidate services blogs.