Looking for a new job can be daunting, but in the current COVID-19 crisis it can feel downright impossible! With the world of work changing like never before, video interviews are a format more companies are having to rely on, so it definitely pays to make sure you’re prepared.
be ready to provide evidence of your skills
During an interview, you usually need to bring documents with you - think resume, portfolio and any other supporting documents - to discuss with and impress the hiring manager. This is no different just because it’s happening via video.
You should be prepared to share documents, so have anything you think could be relevant ready on your desktop or in an open tab. This way, if you’re asked to share anything, you won’t have to ask for time to find it. You can also keep a ‘cheat sheet’ detailing your biggest achievements handy in case you need a reminder of what to highlight.
stay focused on the interview
If you choose to use a cheat sheet, it’s advisable to keep it off your screen - keeping it to an old school notebook is advisable. This keeps your device clear of anything that could compromise you if you’re asked to share your screen. This is particularly likely during tech interviews, when you might be asked to walk an interviewer through your coding, for example.
Software engineering manager Sid Savara told Forbes that he has “seen candidates have chat windows open where they are asking friends for help during the interview, or searching Google for help”. He’s even seen interviewees complaining to their friends about the interview via chat while still speaking with him. You don’t want to jeopardise your chances of getting the job, so make sure your focus is solely on the interview.
ensure your body language is positive
Body language can help to maintain your calm demeanor, so keep it open and approachable. Just because you’re not speaking face-to-face with the interviewer doesn’t mean you won’t need to portray confidence and positivity.
Maintain eye contact with your interviewer - even though this can be tricky when you’re doing so through a screen. Mashable advises finding “a balance between looking directly at the image of your interviewer on the screen, and addressing yourself directly to the camera”.
The right outfit can boost your confidence, so ensure you are dressed professionally. It’s important not to neglect the bottom half of your body, as many candidates do when taking part in a video interview. You don’t want to be caught out in your pajama bottoms when you’re asked to stand up to deliver a presentation, after all.
practice with the video system
One way to help settle your nerves is to make sure you know the system. Log in ahead of your interview to figure out if you’ll encounter any password issues or other concerns you may not anticipate. You could also film yourself answering potential questions to establish whether you need to amend your body language.
Use this time to make sure you’re positioned properly on-screen so the interviewer will see you at your best angle. Career adviser Paul Bailo encourages job seekers to remember that “camera angles are important”, explaining that “you shouldn’t be looking up or down at the person you’ll be addressing”.
You should also ensure your video profile is up to date and professional. Get rid of nicknames on your profile, any unprofessional profile pictures or statuses full of emojis and in-jokes. You should be portraying yourself as capable and intelligent, not immature and trivial.
judge cultural fit
One of the most important parts of an interview is establishing whether you’d align with the company culture. This is why it’s important to pick up on any clues offered during a video interview to establish whether it’s the right place for you. Since you won’t be able to learn anything by going into the workplace, you’ll have to be more direct.
Asking the right questions can help you work out if you think you’d fit into the company culture, so carefully consider what you prioritise in a workplace. If it’s career development, ask about training opportunities, and if it’s the environment, enquire how your prospective manager would motivate their team.
Video interviews may be nerve-wracking, but they present significant advantages. You won’t run the risk of being late after getting stuck in traffic and you can choose an environment you feel comfortable in, for example. Remembering the benefits can help you stay calm during the process, while taking the above tips on board can help you nail your video interview.