How to Tackle a Video Interview 101

Interviews. For some people, being confident and charismatic in an interview comes naturally. Yet, most of us are usually gnawing at the end of a pencil, pacing up and down the hall and making so many notes we could create a novel – just to get through it. Add a video interview to the mix and we’re a nervous wreck.

However, it doesn’t need to be like this. We get that an interview can be challenging enough, despite trying to get through a virtual one. One thing we can’t avoid is that the world has changed, and remote interviews are most likely here to stay. What we can do, however, is help you prepare and become more comfortable with the idea of a video interview!

Below, we’ll take you through our Leonid consultant’s top tips for tackling those video interviews.

1. Dress to impress

While it’s tempting to be business up top and pyjama party down below, we don’t recommend it. We’d be lying if we said we don’t do it ourselves occasionally, but when it comes to an interview, you want to feel the part as well as look it.

You don’t need to go out and buy a new suit, but a simple shirt and smart trousers will be enough to make you feel more professional and this will translate to you appearing more confident in the video interview.

We also recommend that you try to avoid anything with a slogan, any kind of sportswear brand or anything too bright or eye-catching– let’s leave the Hawaiian shirts for vacations! It’s important that the interviewer’s focus is on you and not what you’re wearing.

2. Be prepared for your video interview

Just like an in-person interview, it’s vital that you turn up prepared. This means you know who the company is and have thoroughly researched what they do, their USP’s and where they operate, you know the role details and requirements, and you may have also been able to look up your interviewer on LinkedIn to find some common ground.

Coming prepared will go a long way with helping to ease those pre-video-interview nerves and will enable you to focus on the conversation and the interviewer’s questions, rather than panicking about your lack of preparedness. While in a face-to-face interview you would have a notebook with some questions and ques, in a video interview you don’t want to always be looking down or away from the camera. Alternatively, write your questions and ques on post-it notes and stick them around your screen, so you don’t have to keep looking away. Eye contact is everything when it comes to a video interview.

During the LeonidLive video interview process, our consultants will ask you several pre-set questions, dependant on the role you are interviewing for. You will be given these questions before the live recording to ensure you are well prepared to answer them. See, we told you video interviews aren’t that bad!

3. Do a tech check

Undeniably, there are a few extra things that can go wrong with a video interview. However, if you prepare by doing a thorough tech check then there should be nothing to worry about. Of course, you can’t help things like your WIFI suddenly disconnecting, a power cut, or your chair breaking, sending you falling to the floor (we’ve never seen this happen yet…), but you can minimise the risk.

Some tech things to check before your interview:

Test the video interview platform

Check if the interviewer can send you a test link to check you can get into the video interview platform (we always do this with LeonidLive). It’s also a good idea to familiarise yourself with the layout and check where the mute, camera and share screen buttons are.

Do a soundcheck

Try to use headphones to avoid any background noise. It’s also best not to wait until the last minute to try to connect them in case there’s a problem. If your headphones are also connected to your phone, consider turning it off or setting it to do not disturb so that your headphones don’t divert to a call halfway through the interview.

Camera check

Ensure your camera is turned on and working ok. We also recommend giving it a clean to remove any fingerprints or dust!

Are you connected?

Ensure the WIFI you will be using is strong enough to support the video call. The minimum speed for video conferencing is 1 Mbps but depending on who you’re sharing the connection with, opting for something a little higher like 3 Mbps is advisable.

4. Set up your video interview environment

The most important thing when considering your video-interview environment is to ensure you can set yourself up in a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed by other people or noises. This could be a home office or a call booth in a co-working space. If you’re working from home, be sure to let the other home occupants know that you will be on a video interview, so they don’t come bursting into the room with a question or a coffee for you!

Some other things to consider include:

Check the lights

Be sure to position yourself in a place with lots of natural light. Make sure the light source is in front of you if possible so that the light hits your face head-on.

Check your background

Use a plain wall or an uncluttered office as your background. It may sound obvious but avoid having any family photos, posters, or other distractions on the wall behind you.

Watch out for loud noises

Working from home, there can be lots of noise distractions, from neighbours building work to washing machines, doorbells, dogs barking and other house inhabitants. While you can’t prevent all of them, try to foresee these and minimise noise as much as you can.

5. Practice makes perfect

Just like a face-to-face interview, it can help to do an interview rehearsal to make sure you know how to answer some of the most common interview questions. If you’re not used to doing video interviews, then this is even more important.

As a friend or family member who doesn’t live with you if they could hop on a video call and help you practice. It can be beneficial to work out how you will conduct yourself on the call, the volume you’ll speak at and how you’ll sit. Most of this will come naturally but practicing with a friend or family member can help to pin-point any bad habits before the video interview.

6. Show up on time

If you were travelling to an interview, you’d aim to get there 5-10 minutes early, right? With a video interview, it shouldn’t be any different. While you don’t need to join the call 10 minutes before it starts (in fact, doing this may disrupt a meeting the interviewer is already having in that same space), it’s best to have the joining screen up so you’re ready to enter the meeting room a couple of minutes before.

7. Don’t leave long silences

When you’re in a face-to-face interview, it’s easier for the interviewer to interpret your body language and act accordingly, e.g., by taking a pause in speaking while you’re making notes. However, in a video interview, it’s not so easy to interpret your body language so you will need to be more vocal.

If you need to stop to make some notes or are pulling up a file on your screen, let the interviewer know as they may otherwise interpret the silence as poor communication skills.

We get it, video interviews can be incredibly daunting, but don’t let it put you off. The LeonidLive video interview platform that we use with every candidate enables you to put your whole self forward to potential employers and lets your personality shine through. There’s so much more to you than a CV, and we make sure our candidates get that across during initial interviews, increasing your chances of being successful.

If you’re still feeling apprehensive about the LeonidLive platform, have a chat with one of our consultants. Just get in touch with us at info@leonid-group.com

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