10 tips for a successful video interview

28 September 2020

By Rianne Neale

10 tips for a successful video interview

Video interviews are fast becoming an essential part of recruitment. In fact, according to research by Software Advice, more than 60% of hiring managers now use video interviews for their remote job interviewing needs.

But why video interviews?

For a kick-off, they’re a great way to overcome geographical distance, enabling employers to meet potential candidates in a virtual interview setting. And employers are starting to understand that a CV alone doesn’t do candidates justice, opting for a more personal touch, and shortlisting applicants for face-to-face interviews only when they’re being seriously considered.

What can I do to improve my video interview?

To help you feel more comfortable and confident, we’ve put together 10 tips to guide you through the process, so you can prepare and succeed at video interviews.

1. Dress to Impress

Dress for the job you’re applying for, not the one you currently have. In a video interview, the employer will identify whether you fit their organisational culture – so present yourself professionally. Over 50% of a first impression is based on appearance, meaning the clothes you choose to wear could be the deciding factor of a job offer.

2. Consider your environment

Your surroundings matter. Don’t sit with a cluttered background or living space behind you, avoid bedrooms, gardens, or bathrooms, and make sure you’ve considered potential interruptions. While a neutral, plain setting is ideal, many employers understand that you’ll likely be doing the interview before or after work, or during your lunch break. In these cases, a coffee shop or in the car is perfectly acceptable.

3. Ensure you have a professional username

Whichever software you’re using for your video interview, ensure your username is appropriate and non-offensive. This will be the first thing an employer sees when adding you to the interview software, so it needs to be professional. If you’re concerned that your username might damage your image, create a new account for the purpose of the video interview.

4. Allocate enough time for the video interview

Video interviews are much quicker than those conducted face-to-face, but it’s still important to allocate the right amount of time. Don’t cut the call short because you need rush off somewhere. We’d recommend allowing an extra 15-20 minutes to the estimated interview length.

5. Look directly at the camera

Just like a face-to-face interview, you should use direct eye contact during your video call. To do this, you’ll need to look at the camera, as opposed to looking at yourself on the screen. In fact, we’d recommend that you switch off all notification pop-ups and avoid flicking through browsers or documents unless specifically requested by the interviewer.

6. Take your time to respond

Don’t feel pressured to respond quickly during the interview – acknowledge the question and take some time to pause before rushing to answer. It’s essential that you take a moment to think and gather your thoughts (and words!). A considered, relevant answer is more valuable than a rushed one.

7. Use gestures and body language

You need to present yourself as a confident and professional candidate. Use body language to express yourself just like you would in a face-to-face interview. This includes having a good posture, smiling, nodding (when appropriate). Try to avoid crossing your arms.

8. Practice

Once you’ve completed one video interview, you’ll feel confident doing more. Overcome any nerves for the first one by practising with a friend or family member. On the day, speak clearly and slowly – and check that your audio, webcam and internet connection aren’t going to let you down.

9. Sell Yourself

This is possibly the most important point of all. You need to sell yourself as if you’re selling a product. If you’re seeking a position as a salesperson, it’s vital that you demonstrate your ability to convince and entice the employer. Demonstrate your skills and what makes you different from competing candidates, supporting your claims with real-life scenarios.

10. Expect the unexpected

Video interviews are prone to issues. Internet connections can fail, and employers understand this. But whether the connection is faulty on your side or theirs, you need to be proactive in trying to solve the issue.

Zetter uses video interview technology to help connect the right candidates with the right roles.​

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