COVID-19 has changed the way many of us work and the hiring process is no exception. More and more employers are making the most of technology and moving their interviews online, so it’s really important you feel comfortable and confident in front of the camera.
We know that for many people, the thought of online interviews can be daunting, which is why at Vision for Education, ABC Teachers and Smart Teachers, we do everything we can to make the process as stress-free as possible.
Want to know more about acing your video interview? We sat down with our Head of Permanent Recruitment, Luke Geraghty, to discuss his top ten tips for making sure you shine during your interview.
1. Preparation is key
You wouldn’t turn up to a face-to-face interview having done no research about the company you’re interviewing with. It goes without saying, that just because the interview is online, it doesn’t mean that standard interview practice goes out of the window. Before your video interview, take some time to research your potential employer – if you can demonstrate you’ve taken the time to get to know about them and their culture, they’ll see that you’re serious about securing a role with them.
2. Set up your space
Not only will you feel a lot more relaxed if you invest a little bit of time before your interview to set up your surroundings - it will also indicate to whoever is interviewing you that you’re a professional and serious about the opportunities they can offer you. You want to make sure you are in a well-lit (but not overly bright), uncluttered space, ideally sat at a desk or a table.
3. Test out your tech
It’s important to make sure you have enough time to resolve any tech-related issues that might arise before your video call. Make sure you test out your camera and microphone beforehand and download whatever software you need to participate in the interview (such as Microsoft Teams or Zoom). You’ll also want to check that your internet connection is strong enough ahead of time. Where possible, avoid using smart phones or tablets, as it’s a lot harder to participate in an interview if you’re too busy concentrating on holding your device.
4. Dress the part
Dress as if you’re attending an interview in person. Not only will you feel better, you’ll also convey a sense of professionalism. Avoid bright colours and loud prints, or material that makes a lot of noise when you move. You want something that’s simple, presentable and comfortable, that won’t distract you or your interviewer.
5. The early bird catches the worm
You’ll be given a time to join the call when your interview is set up. Log in five to ten minutes before your allocated time – this is also a really good opportunity to double-check how your set up looks and take a few deep breaths before you begin.
6. Engage with your interviewer
It can sometimes be a little bit difficult to get a real sense of what someone is like over a video call. With internet lag and the lack of face-to-face interaction, they can feel somewhat unnatural, but they don’t need to.
Whilst the method of interviewing might be different to what you’re used to, many of the fundamental elements are still the same – such as listening to what is being asked of you, answering in a succinct and engaging manner and asking questions that show you’re really interested in the company. You want your potential employer to see you as someone they could easily work with – regardless of whether you’re interviewing in person or online.
7. Avoid interruptions
Turn off any notifications and put your phone on silent – you want to be cool, calm and collected throughout your video call. If you’re trying to interview in a busy household, let them know you’re on an important call and try to make sure you’re in a private space, ideally where you can close the door to minimise distractions.
8. Have your CV and some notes to hand
Make sure you have a copy of your CV, a pen and some notes to hand. You may want to refer to your notes briefly but avoid sounding like you’re reading from them. This is the ideal place to jot down some key information about the company, along with any question you might have. It also helps to have a printed version of your CV readily available, as the interviewer will no doubt want to discuss aspects of it with you.
9. Posture and body language
We know it’s nerve-racking, but good posture and body language will really help to beat those interview jitters. Whilst you’re at home, you might have a tendency to be more relaxed, but remember sit up straight. You’ll look and feel more alert.
Remember to maintain eye contact (by looking at the camera, not the screen) and use your body language (hand gestures and facial expressions) to show you’re actively engaged in the conversation. The last thing you want is to be so deadpan that the interviewer thinks your screen has frozen!
10. Have a test run
Rope family or friends in to help you prepare by having a test run. Take a look at some questions you might get asked and get them to interview you via video call. You’ll get to understand how the process works and iron out any issues you may not have thought of before.