video interview

How to excel in video interviews

Written on June 22, 2020 by Jason Horwood

One of the main things that has happened in the world of employment thanks to the onset of the Coronavirus Pandemic, is that more and more people are having to work from home. The good thing about this is that although there has been a period of adjustment for many employees who are not used to working remotely, it has meant that projects are still ongoing (rather than having ground to a halt).

Big data and analytics are becoming more important to many companies’ business strategies at the moment, as they are adapting and changing to fit the new business environment that we find ourselves in. The result of this is that we are still seeing video interviews taking place as companies are still hiring in order to meet their business goals and growth plans.

In a similar way to working from home, video interviews will also be a new experience for many candidates – and an experience that makes them face any number of challenges during what is, already, a stressful situation. With this in mind, the team at Agile Recruit have pulled together their top tips for excelling in video interviews:

Tip One: What type of video interview can you expect?

There are two main types of video interviews:

  • Live Video Interviews – this is a video interview where you see the interviewer through a live connection. These usually tend to take place using software or apps such as Google Hangout, Skype or Zoom.
  • Recorded Video Interviews – this is a video interview where you will record your answers to written or video questions which have previously been uploaded by the interviewer.

If you have been informed that you will be undertaking a video interview as part of the recruitment process, then you should ask your recruiter to let you know what type of interview to expect in advance.

Tip Two: Test your internet connection and webcam in advance

It is really important to check your internet connection in advance of the interview, not just in general but also specific to the platform that your video interview is taking place on. As the vast majority of employees are now working from home and homeschooling their children at the same time, there has been a much larger pressure placed on the internet and so many people are experiencing slow down and buffering where they normally wouldn’t. It is also a good idea to have a test run of the platform as well, so you are au fait with how to use it before the interview starts.

Tip Three: Do a soundcheck

As well as checking your internet connection and webcam work, you need to make sure that the interviewer will be able to hear you as well. Having to repeat the answer, or mess about with the sound settings, can disrupt your flow – and also may annoy the interviewer as well. If there is another noise in the background, such as children, or a partner making conference calls, then you may want to think about using headphones with a mic attached.

Tip Four: Get alternative contact details for the interviewer

It is always best to have a back-up plan in case the video interview just doesn’t work – for whatever reason. If you can get contact details for the interviewer, either a phone number or a LinkedIn profile connection then this will give you a fall-back option if all else fails.

Tip Five: Check what is behind you

Try and keep the background to your video interview as plain as possible, so the interviewer does not get distracted. If you haven’t got the luxury of a home office, then choose a room where there is a blank wall or bookcase behind you which will look professional.

Tip Six: Remove any distractions

Noise from children, partners, the TV or pets can be a distraction for both you and the interviewer so ideally, you need to find a quiet place where you won’t be distracted. However, you should also be prepared to carry on with the interview if your child barges in or your pet make noise.

Tip Seven: Prepare in advance

You should treat the video interview in the same way as you would a face to face interview – and prepare for it well in advance. Prepare answers to questions you think might be asked, have some questions for the interviewer prepared and even pop down some tips for yourself to remember during the interview (smile, look at the webcam, speak clearly).

Tip Eight: Dress for the interview

Just because you are not leaving the house to go to the interview, does not mean that you shouldn’t dress the part. You should dress as if you were going for a face to face interview, not only because it will make you feel the part, but it will also give the interviewer the best first impression of you.

Tip Nine: Keep a glass of water next to you

A lot of people find that they get dry mouths when in an interview situation, and so having a glass of water next to you during a video interview is a good idea. It can also buy you some time if you want to collect your thoughts before answering a question, just take a sip and collect your thoughts.

Tip Ten: Make eye contact, and keep it

Video interviews will never be as personal as live interviews, and so you have to make more of an effort to make eye contact, smile and speak clearly. Another thing to remember is to try not to move or fidget too much as if you or the interviewer has a slow connection, you will appear out of focus and a little fuzzy.

If you are looking for your next big data or analytics job, then we may have just the role for you. Take a look at our current jobs or get in touch with one of our expert consultants to find out more.