We’ve all had an experience with a video interview which went less than ideally. Poor connectivity, a last minute download of required software, timezone mix ups, poor sound – trust us, the list goes on and on! With more companies than ever before interviewing conducting video interviews, here are five tips and tricks:
1. Preparing as a candidate
When it goes well, a video interview should be the closest thing to an in-person interview. However, loads of things can go wrong which are pretty easily controlled with a little bit of preparation on both sides. We advise setting aside some time to prep our candidates, who might not be as familiar with the process.
It is a video interview and you are expected to use your camera. Mutual webcams are important as they mean you both can see non-verbal cues, not talk over each other and in general have a much nicer experience.
Ensure everyone is aware of what software will be being used, so all involved can download it in advance. Zoom is a great tool for this as it is available on a freemium basis.
Remember about good camera set up. Good lighting, plain backdrops and angles are all very important.
Double check time and date, especially if you’re speaking to someone in a different timezone.
2. Test in advance
Have the software downloaded in advance and be familiar with how to use it. Try a test call with a colleague to make sure that your camera and microphone are working correctly, and that you’re comfortable sharing links, etc. And practice what you preach – make sure your camera eye line, lighting and backdrop is appropriate as well!
3. The sound on silent
A working microphone is important, but be mindful of the sound environment you’re in while taking the call. What other noises might it be picking up? Calling in from a coffee shop might look chic and urban, but it’ll be adding a lot of unnecessary noise to the call. Similarly with leaky headphones and faulty equipment – extra noise disturbance creates a bad first impression and wastes time. If you are calling from home, know who else is there and let them know you’re having a call and need some quiet time. Everyone remembers the famous televised bombardments, but it’s all too easy for a roommate, partner, child or pet to enter the room while you’re mid-call.
4. (Back)drop it like it’s hot
Questions of religion, location, age, family or economic status have no place in an interview and yet, video interviewing someone in their home suddenly brings all of that very much into the mix. You should be mindful of your backdrop – aim for as neutral and simple as possible.
5. First impressions still count
A video interview is always going to be preferable to a call. It should be as close to an in-person interview as possible, so how you act, speak and look all will have an impact. Remember that while you may be at home, you are still representing yourself and your company with an external client so dress appropriately. And dare we say – dress appropriately all the way. Too often a professional top half and pyjama-ed bottom half make appearances on video calls.
If you would like to discuss what other tips and tricks we have, please don't hesitate to get in touch.
www.cactusrecruit.co.uk firstname.lastname@example.org 0161 470 4597