How do I prepare myself for a video job interview?

With the current health and economic situation, companies who are actively recruiting are shifting from face-to-face interviews to the ‘new normal’ of using video conferencing tools to conduct job interviews. We’ve summarised some key points to help you be as prepared as you can for your virtual job interview, and included a list of interview tools that you may have to use for your interview.

Where do I start?

1- Preparation

Despite not meeting someone face-to-face you still need to prepare for a video interview. Your interviewer may be working from home, so they’ll have all relevant documents to hand and may have more time to think of possible questions to ask you. So, plan ahead and prepare as much as possible for potential questions; think about questions you’d like to ask the interviewer about the company too.  

Don’t forget, a trial run is a great way to reduce stress and anxiety before the real deal, ask someone to do a mock interview with you all suited and booted to help you prepare. This will allow you check your video and audio are working before your interview. When you’re doing your trial run, think about what the video camera is showing? what angle is it at? Is it just all your face? Remember hand gestures are another key body language signal that is important not to forget, so make sure they are in the shot. Just be mindful, connections can sometimes lag and so using too many hand gestures may not have the impact they would in person.

2- Time

You’ll be given a time slot for your interview so make sure to include a buffer for before and after the interview, as the interview may last longer than planned or be re-scheduled. With a buffer you can avoid unnecessary stress, be flexible and continue your interview without having to cut it short.  

3- Backdrop

Many people will be working from home and conducting interviews from their own homes. Therefore, it’s important to manage expectations and explain in advance if your home working environment isn’t an office or a quiet location. For example, if it’s a kitchen, living room or your children are around because the schools have closed, then it’s important to communicate this, so you start off on the right foot. You won’t be the only person struggling to find a suitable space, so just be honest.

If you want to ensure the interviewers attention doesn’t stray from you, try and find a backdrop where the background is plain, this means their attention will be completely on you and not on your photos or knick-knacks in the background.

4- Body language and attitude

Your body language is just as important in a virtual environment as it is in physical, face-to- face interviews. Although behind a camera, it’s still important to act as you normally would in an interview. It’s one of the best indicators the interviewer will have to judge your attitude and fit for the role. Let that personality shine through!

What tools are out there that I should know about?

Below you’ll find some of the most popular video conferencing tools that you may be asked to use for your interview:

  • Blue Jeans - Has a 30-day free trial, then two pricing tiers
  • Google Hangouts – There’s an advanced version of Google Hangouts Meet but it is a paid service
  • Cisco WebEx - Premium video conferencing features without the price tag. The free package includes 1GB of cloud storage, unlimited meetings of unlimited length and the ability to make MP4 recordings of them
  • FaceTime - Limited to Apple devices
  • Skype for Business - Microsoft's video conferencing app has a generous free tier
  • WhatsApp an instant messaging platform with the ability to video call
  • Uberconference - works for 10 people or less, 45 minute limit on each meeting which may be an issue for interviews
  • Microsoft teams - Only suitable for a Microsoft environment but will link in with Office 365
  • GoToMeeting - One of the few that are mobile friendly and has three pricing plans

Video job interviews are great, especially given the current climate, it means you can still apply for that dream job! We’re here to support our customers and candidates at this time, so if you’d like some more tips from consultants within your industry then please get in touch or have a look at our job search to find opportunities to suit you.


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