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POSTED Friday 01-07-22

10 Tips to Smash Your Video Interview – Part 1

Hello, and thank you for joining us. Let’s jump straight into this blog which is part 1 of 3. It was a rising trend before 2020. Now more than ever, it is common for many organisations to use video (recorded or live video call) during their recruitment process. Recruitment professionals, whether a live-video interview or pre-recorded answers to proposed questions, across the UK, increased their use of video comms by almost 60%. We are all happy that midway through 2022, things are heading back to being “normal” again, but the use of video is looking like it will be staying.

Our video interview tips will help you prepare and nail that interview regardless of the job level, executive or entry-level. Let us break down our top 10 tips to cover the pre-interview, during and post-interview process to ensure you’re ready.

Before – Do Your Research

It’s an old tip but still an important one. Some candidates mistake not taking a video interview as seriously as a live, in-person interview. It’s not a malicious mistake or an attitude issue. It’s a psychological awareness that your environment has not changed; therefore, that fight or flight mental reaction doesn’t kick in. Rest assured that sitting across the table from the recruiter and a video interview is just as important as each other.

Ensure you come to the video interview prepared. Research the organisation and role you’re applying for to understand what they do and how you can make a difference.

Research the organisation’s website and social media channels to get an insight into their mission, brand tone of voice and how they present themselves to clients. Just showing that you’ve looked into an organisation demonstrates your commitment to the application process and gives recruiters an insight into your personality. Obviously, the more senior the role is, the deeper your research should be.

In the same breath, don’t be timid to check out review sites or forums to get an accurate view from customers and clients of the organisation. Grasping what customers love and hate about the brand gives you, the candidate, an ideal opportunity to show how you can help improve areas the company may need your help with.

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Before – Prepare Your Answers

As a follow-on to the first tip, once you know more about the organisation, you can begin to pre-prepare your answers to upcoming possible or likely questions. Of course, it doesn’t always happen. Still, it is advantageous if the recruiter offers an insight into their objectives from the interview itself. You’ll be in an excellent position for the interview if you can already start connecting the dots between your skills, the job specification, and the organisation’s brand.

Rehearse your potential answers before the interview. Switch your webcam on and rehearse. Become accustomed to seeing your face on screen and looking directly at the camera. Doing this will help you remember the key points you want to convey, and you’ll be less likely to fumble over your own words. Many questions you could be asked could potentially be answered by a similar situation that you have found yourself in. Be bold enough to use examples like this, as you will strike the right balance between being prepared and not sounding robotic.

Before – Setup Your Location

A significant part of video interviews is that you have the control to attend the interview where you want. Whilst the perfect location helps you look professional, as the interviewee, it will also help you feel at ease.

Check your setup is in a stable location, with a neutral backdrop where you’re unlikely to be disturbed by others. By neutral, we mean the background can be decorated, but don’t have your favourite sports team over your backdrop. For example, candidates being interviewed via a live or recorded video opt for a quiet space in their homes like a dining room rather than a coffee shop, which can sometimes be noisy.

Next up is comfort. Whether you are doing your interview on a smartphone, laptop, tablet or computer, configuring your setup is a must. Once you’ve found somewhere to sit comfortably with a natural backdrop, find a way to set up and secure your device in a stable way directly in front of you. You can even use books, board games or even a recently delivered Amazon delivery box to ensure everything is the right height. The camera essentially needs to be just above eye level.

Consider your lighting source. If possible, the light should be shining directly onto your face. Don’t give yourself a stargazed look, but if you can, place a lamp in front of you. Ring lights are cheap these days; you’ll find many options online and in your usual hardware stores.

Of course, you can also position yourself in front of a window. However, placing the (only) light source behind you is a mistake newcomers to the video interview world make. Avoid this, or you’ll struggle to show your face correctly, and you might show a dark silhouette.

Before – Check Your Tech

Always check your tech. Technology can be temperamental and unpredictable even at the best of times. Ever forget that you had an update waiting to complete? Yes, that happens to the best of us. Best to not chose the morning of your interview to complete that update.

Check and test your equipment before starting from your camera settings to your microphone. It’s better to have issues during your test run than during the real thing. If you can, it’s advisable to record a short test video. It ensures that the lighting is good enough for your camera. Also that the audio is clear for others to hear you. Try it now; record yourself saying, “Hi, my name is… I live in… It’s really nice to meet you.”

Come back again when we dive into the second part of 10 Tips to Smash Your Video Interviews.

The second part will be published on Friday the 15th. See you then.

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