How to prepare for a Video Interview

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Around 87% of employers introduced video interviews since the outbreak of COVID-19, and it looks like they are here to stay. While you might think that this won’t impact your interview preparation, there are some key differences to get to grips with.

Before your next video interview – consider these top tips to help you create a great first impression with your potential new employer.

Get to know the video platform

If you are familiar with the platform that is hosting your interview call, you’ll feel more relaxed and confident. However regardless of your experience on the platform, it is still important to check and potentially change your video and microphone settings. If you are using a family laptop/ computer and have an account on the platform already, then make sure you have logged into your account and not someone else’s. We have seen previously that some candidates forget that their partner (for example) has logged in, and not realising, join a meeting with their partners name showing and not theirs.

If it is your first time, then you will need to choose a display name, so pick one that looks professional.

Do a test call

It’s always important to do test calls before any video interview. You can’t be as professional and personable on-screen as you are in person, if the tech side’s not sorted. If you start the meeting and there are tech issues, it will distract you from what you need to concentrate on, which is impressing your potential employer.

To avoid this, ask a friend or family member to have a practice video call with you, using the same platform you are having your interview on. This is not only a chance to test your equipment, including video and microphone settings, to see if is working but will also reduce any anxieties you might have of it failing on interview day.

With a test call, you’ll also be able to check how you look and sound. Ask your friend for feedback on how you come across and identify any bad habits you have (such as speaking too fast or touching your face too often). These are things you can adjust for the interview.

And if things do go wrong with the tech on the day? Don’t worry – employers are used to the technical hiccups of virtual job interviews. If you deal with any sudden problems in a cool and calm manner, they will also see that you can cope well under pressure - a definite plus point in professionals.

Clear your background

This is another opportunity to make a good impression. The interviewer is not expecting a wall of heavyweight books or impeccably styled interiors but aim to have it neat and tidy – chances are the potential employer would be distracted by mess.

Want a tip? Stick to a blank wall, or just use the blurred background filter to hide anything you are unsure about.

Log on early

With in-person interviews, transport delays are the likely cause to make you late, with virtual interviews, it’s technical issues.

Plan to get yourself ready to sit down at your screen early, closing any applications or tabs that you don’t need – make sure to switch your phone to silent or airplane mode before it starts too!

Starting early means you won’t have the last-minute panic of not being able to find the link to join the interview – or worse, an unexpected software update minutes before your time slot. As an extra precaution, make sure you have to hand an alternative way of contacting the recruiter if you do hit a technical hitch trying to join the call.

...But prepare the same

Do not make the mistake of thinking a remote interview needs any less preparation than if you were meeting face to face. In fact, the lack of in-person contact means that you should perhaps do even more to show you’re enthusiastic and knowledgeable about the job you’re going for.

So find out as much as you can about the company and the role, what the workplace culture is like and prepare some decent questions to ask your interviewer.

In the age of coronavirus, showing what a good fit you’ll be with the company you’re interviewing with still means preparing carefully. But adding some technical preparation on top will give you even more chance of success.

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