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Job Hunting Tips

Video Interview Tips for Candidates

Video Interviews are becoming far more commonly used in hiring processes, especially at the moment, and we wanted to bring you a few interview tips and tricks that will help you get your technical setup sorted and help you with how to handle yourself during the interview.

List of Tips (Overview)

  1. Consider your surroundings
  2. Dress appropriately
  3. Test your phone/computer
  4. Check your connection
  5. Look into the camera to make virtual eye contact
  6. Wait before you answer
  7. Speak slowly and clearly

Interview Prep/Setup

Unlike most other interviews, it will be up to you to get a lot of things set up beforehand. Whilst your focus needs to be on nailing the interview, there are a few things that you should consider in advance, to make the interview as successful as possible.

Find somewhere comfortable to sit

In most cases, you’ll be sitting for at least 45 minutes to an hour, so you need to make sure you are sitting in a comfortable chair so you won’t constantly need to readjust your position. You also want to make sure that the place you are sitting is bright and that you remove any clutter from the background.

Tip: Try sitting in the location and take a screenshot then you can take a detailed look for any shadows on your face that could make it hard to see you and anything else about the setup you may want to change.

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Dress Appropriately

Whilst it might feel more comfortable and relaxed to interview from home, you should still take the interview seriously and give a professional first impression for the employer by dressing appropriately for the interview. The simplest way to select your outfit would be to wear what you would have chosen if the interview were to be face to face.

Things to consider:

  • Busy designs such as patterns and stripes may not show up well on camera
  • Make sure you dress fully (no pyjama trousers) just in case you need to stand up for any reason

Have a glass or bottle of water

Talking for long periods can make you thirsty so ensure you have a drink to hand in case you need it, you don’t want to be walking out to get a drink partway through.

Technical Setup

Test Your Phone/Computer

In the days before your interview, try having a few test calls with friends and family members and ask them for feedback on how you sound, if the lighting looks okay and if you can be seen clearly.

Make sure that on the day, you fully charge or plug-in the device so you don’t get cut off due to power issues.

Check Your Connection

If you know there is a spot in your house with a bad connection, simply don’t sit there. Find somewhere with a strong connection, preferably connected via a wire if possible,

Consider Headphones and Microphone

If you’ve ever done a video call, even just with friends and family, you may already know that using headphones with an integrated microphone can massively improve the quality of the audio and reduce some of the background noise and feedback you get from playing audio out loud.

Don’t worry if you don’t have access to this however as modern phones and computers are very good at keeping call quality high.

Check the platform being used

If you don’t already know, email or call to check the software you will need to use so you have it installed and set up ahead of time to avoid delays at the start of the interview.

Prepare Anyone You Live With

If you live with family or housemates, make sure that they know you have an interview and that you mustn’t be disturbed. Just before the interview, remind them of the importance and request they don’t make noise for the duration.

During the Interview

So now that you’re all set up, the only thing left is the interview itself. This is where it can get tricky, you don’t have all of the usual advantages of a face-to-face interview such as shaking hands and making eye contact.

Making virtual eye contact

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As above, making eye contact can be quite difficult in a video interview but just as you (hopefully) wouldn’t constantly stare into the eyes of your interviewer, you can replicate giving eye contact often in your video interview by l simply looking or glancing directly into the camera from time to time. This will show that interviewer that you are engaged and taking in what they are saying.

The same goes for answering questions, try to look directly into the camera when answering as you will then appear to be directly looking at your interviewer on the screen and are more likely to make eye contact with them.

Consider your body language – Use positive body language

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The use of body language is incredibly important in a video interview as this will help give them a more physical sense of your personality. A few simple tips are:

  • Good posture – Sit up straight in your chair, ensure your feet are planted on the ground and you rest your arms comfortably in your lap or on the desk.
  • Make sure you smile – This will also make you feel more confident and appear so
  • Use hand gestures where appropriate
  • Try not to fidget or readjust your position too often
  • Avoid looking around the room and allowing your attention to stray from the device

Don’t be tempted to wander around

You should keep your phone or device in the same place and try not to pick up your device and move around. This will come off as being very unprofessional and you may not realise something inappropriate or that you wish an interviewer not to see, come into shot.

Wait before you answer 

With even the best internet connection and video quality, it’s harder to tell sometimes if a person has finished speaking. Due to lag or delay in the video or audio, it may appear as if the interviewer has finished speaking but its best to allow a moment to ensure they have finished before speaking to avoid talking over them and allow them to hear your answer.

Don’t be afraid to clarify if you didn’t hear the question

As above, if quality or connect make it hard to understand a question, find a polite way to ask them to repeat the question.

Here are 3 example sentences you can use when you need to ask someone to repeat something:

  1. I’m sorry, I want to make sure I understood you perfectly, would you mind saying it once more?
  2. I’m sorry, I didn’t fully catch that? Would you mind repeating it?
  3. I’m sorry, I didn’t hear you clearly. Could you say that again?

Speak slowly and clearly

Not only will this present confidence, but it will also help if there are any issues with connection with words getting cut off or misheard. It will also be worth checking with the interviewer at the start of the call that they can hear you clearly.

What to do if you have technical issues

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First things first, don’t panic, you’ll just make yourself worry which may impact your interview performance and you never know if they can still see or hear you. The best course of action will be to ask them at the start of the interview for a phone number you can call them on if there are any technical difficulties with the video or audio during the interview.

General Interview Tips

The interview may not feel like a usual interview in many ways but the standard interview practices still apply:

  • Act professionally
  • Have a copy of your CV with you for reference
  • Research the company beforehand
  • Prepare a few questions of your own for the interviewer (the interview goes both ways)

Video interviewing doesn’t need to be stressful or scary and if you use our tips above, you will do fine. Most of all, remember that the interviewer has a position to fill, so they want the interview to go just as well as you do so they can find the next amazing member of their team.

If you are currently looking for your next role or are considering a change, make sure you reach out to us through our LinkedIn profiles (Luke & Ryan)  or our company page ABR Talent.