14th May 2019
While CMA prefers to meet candidates in person, to get a true feel for their character and thereby better determine which jobs are a good fit, many employers don’t have the luxury of time. As such, video interviews are becoming increasingly common.
If you’ve never had a video interview before though, the thought can be a little daunting. It seems so unnatural. How do you behave in front of the camera? Is there anything different you should do? Fear not, here are our recruiters’ top tips for acing that video interview:
It might seem like a novelty, especially if this is your first, but it’s crucial you treat this like any other face-to-face interview. Do the requisite preparation, research the employer and be ready – just as you would for a ‘normal’ interview. After all, the aim is the same: to get you through to the next round of screening.
We’ve all had video calls where the other person’s line failed or they ‘Skyped’ (froze) mid-conversation. You don’t want the connection to drop out during your interview, so check everything works in advance. Ensure you have the right log-ins and contact details of the person you’ll be speaking with. If you’re using a third party platform, ensure you know how to use it. Charge any devices as appropriate and if possible, have a back-up option available, even if it’s your mobile phone.
Remember that BBC News video where the interviewee’s children burst into his home office? While we may have smiled, this is an example of an interruption you really don’t want during your interview. To avoid befalling the same fate, identify a quiet space for your chat and arrange for the children and/or pets to be happily occupied elsewhere. An extra tip is to assess the walls behind you and move anything that might not be ‘interview appropriate’.
A common misconception about video interviews is that they are more casual. We recommend dressing as you would for the face-to-face version, i.e. business attire, unless otherwise advised. It’s not just about the image you project to the interviewer, but also the mind-set it creates. You feel more positive and professional when you’re dressed for the part.
Body language is important, so pay attention to what your arms are doing and how you’re sitting in the chair. Crossed arms can appear defensive and closed – not something you want to project if the employer is looking for team fit. Being on camera makes the best of us feel a bit uncomfortable, so it’s a good idea to practice in advance, just for a bit of reassurance. Ask a friend or your recruitment consultant to be the interviewer and provide feedback.
As the interview is taking place in your own environment, you have immediately removed some of the stresses associated with interviews – such as worrying about getting lost or being late. Take advantage of being in a familiar, comfortable room. Have a cup of tea or glass of water to hand. Place your notes within easy reach and perhaps even have the company’s website open on a laptop or other device for quick reference. With any luck, this fact should alleviate some of your nerves.
Various surveys claim that well over half of recruiting managers are conducting initial conversations this way, so it’s only a matter of time before you’ll be invited to one.
Don’t forget, you can always turn to your recruitment consultant for some help – they liaise with hiring managers daily about interview feedback, so are well placed to advise. If you have any questions, please get in touch.