Written by: Nova Buchan
No one was prepared for what our reality would be today but life as we know it has changed and we need to adapt. If you are job hunting and going on interviews, it is important that you are well prepared for a video interview.
Here are the top tips to help you make sure you are well prepared.
- Test your Technology
This may seem like an obvious thing to do but every company will use different software applications to conduct the interview. Make sure to download it and test it with a family member or friend before your interview to make sure the software is working. Familiarise yourself with the way it works a few days before your interview, to prevent any technical issues on the day that will waste the interviewers time. Look for features like share screen and files which can make your interview more seamless and professional. It is important to test your microphone and audio levels and make sure your camera is working before the interview.
Some of the most used interview platforms that our clients use are; Zoom, Webex, Google Hangout, Microsoft Teams, Skype and BlueJeans (I am sure there are many more on the market).
If you want to come across as professional as possible, it is important that you find a space that is quiet and has no distractions. Turn on your camera and look at what’s in the view of the camera. Make sure there are not any inappropriate pictures or objects in view (keep it as neutral as possible).
Keep the room you are in as private as possible too by preventing your partner, children, or pets from walking in that will take away the focus from you in the interview. Also make sure there are no distracting sounds in the background like a washing machine on high rinse-spin cycle. Remember to put your phone on silent and close all other applications on your computer.
You want to look your best so make sure that the lighting in the room is perfect before the interview. The light source needs to be in front of you and not behind your camera. You should be looking into the light. Natural light works best. If the room is too dark, I suggest you use a table lamp and position it in front of your device.
Make sure the camera is at the right level and you fit into the frame nicely. Elevate your device to avoid staring down into the camera, make sure you are at eye level to the camera. Do not sit too close, rather have your shoulders in the frame. If you are using a mobile device, make sure you have a tripod that can stabilise the phone, so it does not move during the interview.
- Dress Professionally and Be Confident
It goes without saying that you need to make a good first impression. Dress like you would if you were going to an interview. Try to avoid patterns and stripes that fight with the camera. Choose neutral colours that complement your skin tone. I suggest wearing a suit.
When talking to the person conducting the interview, make sure you are looking directly into the camera so that you can develop a personal connection. Sit up straight and be mindful of your body language, you need to be giving off good energy. Make sure you take pauses between questions in case there is a delay, the last thing you want to do is talk over someone else. Most importantly calm your nerves beforehand and practice your main talking points if you are nervous and when you speak, watch your pitch and pace. So, breathe and slow down— it is easy to stop listening and to talk over people on online calls.
- Vocal Preparation
A job interview is a vocally demanding event and when you are stressed and nervous the throat can tighten up. To help prepare your body, drink plenty of water to hydrate the vocal cords and perform a few simple vocal exercises. Vocal exercise releases tension, it prepares the throat for extensive use and ultimately helps your voice sound its best. Warm up exercises are used extensively by actors and to limber up the vocal mechanisms before a performance but can also be used by candidates preparing for an interview. If your interview is in the morning a few simple warm-ups can help remove the slightly hoarse sound that happens after a night of sleep. When your voice is warmed up you immediately sound more confident, comfortable and at ease during the interview.
- Pen, Paper & Resume
It is not a good look to be typing while you are talking to the person interviewing you. It can be noisy and distracting and it will look like you are not engaged in the conversation. I suggest you have a pen and paper at hand (let the interviewer know beforehand that you will be taking notes during the interview), and have your resume printed out so that you have a reference point during the interview. I suggest that you also have a few questions ready to ask the interviewer at the end of the interview. It is always a good idea to have a glass of water close by too.
- Be Prepared
You have made it this far, so it is important that you come across as confident and well prepared for the interview. Before launching into it, a great way to break the ice and to help you both feel at ease, is to briefly introduce yourself.
They want to know why you are in the interview, why they should hire you, what the reason is behind your decision to choose this career path and what motivates you. Let them know why you are excited about the opportunity and end on a positive note. Keep it short and relevant.
Make sure you have done research on the company and the person interviewing you. Visit their website, visit their social media pages and see if there are any recent news articles on the company.
They will be looking for your level of engagement, how well you will fit into the organisation and your ability to connect with the person that is conducting the interview. Make sure you really engage. Listen to their questions, be present. Speak clearly and slow down when you speak. End on a strong, positive note and be sure to thank them for their time. Let them initiate the end of the meeting and once the interview is over, make sure you are disconnected from the video call!
Most importantly be relaxed and confident.
You have got this, Good Luck!