When the pandemic started to take hold of Australia last March, there was a 67% increase in job interviews being held remotely via conferencing software. Months later and the trend doesn’t seem to be going anywhere fast. So how does one best prepare for a video interview?
Video interviews can make elements of a job interview tricky, such as picking up on body language, showcasing your personality and getting a sense of the atmosphere, however, there are also some elements of being interviewed remotely that you may use to your advantage.
Here are 9 video interview tips to make a good first impression:
- Choose a professional setting
- Ensure that all of your technology is working and charged
- Dress as you would if you were doing a face to face interview
- Prepare as you would if you were doing a face to face interview
- Set your camera at eye level
- When the interview starts, ask if everyone can hear and see you
- Use the remote setting to your advantage
- Take a breath between answering questions
- Leave a good lasting impression
Choose a professional setting
One of the great things about a video interview is that you can do it wherever you want, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you should. Choose a professional backdrop that has few distractions. A blank wall is the ideal backdrop because it eliminates distractions. You should avoid sitting anywhere noisy, busy, messy or where there may be unexpected interruptions.
Ensure that all of your technology is working and charged
It may seem like a no brainer but forgetting to charge your laptop or not testing out your speakers could be detrimental to your first impression. You should do a practice session using the software that the organization would like to use ahead of having the call so there are no technical glitches during the call, and more importantly, you know how to hang up once it’s over!
Dress as you would if you were doing a face to face interview
Avoid “mullet dress”, a term that has existed in the Urban Dictionary, since 2011. It’s may seem surprising that dressing for business on the top and for relaxing on the bottom has been around since before COVID-19 but there you have it.
Dress for the video interview as you would if you were doing a face to face interview. Studies have shown that the term “dress for success” does apply in the real world. If you dress in a way that makes you feel confident and professional, you will excude that aura, and that is what potential employers want to see.
Prepare as you would if you were doing a face to face interview
While we may feel more comfortable in our home setting, it doesn’t mean that we should skimp on putting the work in where needs be. It’s healthy to feel a bit of an adrenaline rush before an interview, if you have just Googled the organization half an hour before your interview, there is a strong possibility that everything you have just read could rush out of your mind.
Put enough prep time in before a video interview and you should reap the benefits.
Set your camera at eye level
This might seem like a simple one, but test out where you are in the camera’s focus before joining the call. The camera should be at eye level. You don’t want to be looking down at the interviewer, giving them a nostril shot and you don’t want to be looking up at them either.
As you don’t have the opportunity to speak face to face, you should do your best to make the video interview feel as realistic as possible as well as creating as few distractions as possible.
When the interview starts, ask if everyone can hear and see you
It’s just something to get out of the way. Everyone, at some point has said the words “you’re on mute” in the last few months. Making sure that everyone can hear and see you from the beginning gets that awkwardness out of the way and is a thoughtful way of breaking the ice.
Use the remote setting to your advantage
Preparation is key ahead of an interview, but there are some perks to the remote setting. If you are further along the interview process and you want to impress, it could be an idea to jot down some notes in big writing and leave them beside your laptop or computer. Simple dates and buzzwords could go a long way.
Take a breath between answering questions
When you are face to face with during an interview, it’s easier to pick up on social cues, even simple things like being able to tell when someone is finishing their sentence and is ready for your answer. A simple way to combat the ambiguity that comes to remote communication is to simply slow down. Take a breath between answering questions, give yourself some space to fully think about what you want to say before saying it.
Leave a good lasting impression
Leave a good lasting impression! If you have the opportunity to inject some personality or interesting details about yourself towards the end of interview, that is a sure way of leaving a lasting impression and staying in your employer’s minds whilst they are shortlisting. Don’t rush to get off the call towards the end, thank your employers for their time and tell them that you look forward to hearing from them soon.