Since the world went into lock down, you’ve probably become well-versed in video calling apps, whether it is to conduct team meetings, client meetings or as an important way of keeping in touch with family and friends to feel connected from a distance. The use of video is becoming more commonplace than face-to-face interactions in society in general, as well as in business interactions for some industries and sectors.
In the recruitment sector this is no different – if you are applying for a new job the likelihood is that you will be invited to a video interview and certainly for the foreseeable few months ahead with further safety measures being announced. Much like a face-to-face interview, there is a certain amount of preparation to do to ensure you are as successful as possible in the process and to minimise any nerves you may have.

We have put together a checklist of top tips to help you through the process.

1. Preparation

Do this as you would for an in-person interview, diligent and thorough company, and role research, familiarise yourself with common interview questions and prepare your answers, and in turn coming up with pertinent questions to ask your interviewer. Show your interviewer you are passionate about the role and their business. Make some notes to use a reference point but try not to rely on these heavily during your interview.

2. Dress

We are all guilty of getting a little bit slack with work attire during lockdown, I mean let’s be honest who really likes ironing shirts?! Formal workwear was not an appealing prospect during those ridiculously hot summer days, instead the temptation was to don shorts and t-shirts as a new kind of ‘working from home uniform’. Whilst more casual wear may be accepted by your colleagues and peers, a video interview should not be treated any differently to how you would dress for an in-person interview. As tempting as it may be dress formally on the top half, whilst secretly wearing pyjama bottoms underneath the desk, do not do it. Dressing from head to toe for your interview will not only put you in the right professional mindset, but will ensure that there is absolutely no room for any faux pas – it’s easier than you think to get caught out in situations like this, from possible beverage spills to accidentally changing your camera angle with an expressive hand gesture (we’ll get on to that in tip 5) …we’ll leave that there as food for thought.

3. Environment

Plan where you will have your interview, ensure the space is tidy, free from personal effects and has a fairly neutral backdrop so the interviewer can focus on you rather than getting their attention diverted with distractions in their eyeline. Ensure this will be a quiet, uninterrupted space during the time your interview is scheduled for. If there are any unavoidable interruptions such as a neighbour having building work done, be proactive and let your interviewer know at the start that there may be a little background noise. Minimise the risk of any distractions by turning off or silencing any devices you may have.

4. Tech

This is a key part of your interview running smoothly. Whilst technology is a wonderful thing, it is not always without the odd hiccup. There are a few key things you can do to ensure you are not having a last-minute panic before your interview with any tech-related issues.
Ensure you are using a laptop with a webcam for your interview, not a mobile phone. Carry out checks on the web cam, ensure it is working correctly and the screen over the camera is smear free. Ensure your audio works with and without earphones. Check your internet connection and coverage. Make sure you have downloaded and tested the app the interview is going to be conducted on.

5. Dry Run

Ask a family member or friend to do a mock interview with you on video – this enables you to become more comfortable with this format of interview before the real thing. Use the video platform that your interview will be conducted in so you can familiarise yourself with the settings, such as un-muting the microphone. Having a run through not only gives you a chance to practice some interview questions but enables you to assess the setup of your interview space, camera angle, lighting, and positioning to the camera. Also take note of your posture and body language, if you are overly expressive with hand gestures try to limit these or place your hands on your knees as they can be distracting on-screen.

6. Etiquette

Join the meeting early, you may have to sit in the virtual waiting room for 5 minutes, but that is far better than being caught off guard and unprepared. Even though it may feel more informal being interviewed from the comfort of your home or chosen location, do not forget to employ the same etiquette you would use if you were meeting your interviewer in person. For example, whilst you physically cannot shake hands it is still important to go through a proper introduction, making sure you are giving your interviewer eye contact. An important note here is to make sure you look directly at the camera rather than the interviewer on the screen. Whilst you’ll be giving them your attention and focus; all they will see is you looking down. Smile and use gesture to show you are engaged. Use verbal and nonverbal communication to demonstrate this, for example a slight nod of your head and a smile while your interviewer is speaking shows you are listening.

Remember, you and the interviewer have the same purpose, to see if you are a perfect fit for each other. Try to relax, enjoy the process, show the best version of yourself – and finally smile, you’re on camera!

The team at JMR Global Executive Search are on hand to assist with any questions or queries you may have and to provide coaching, support and feedback every step of the way. Please get in touch on contact@jmrglobal.com or head to the contact us page.