Our Guide to Successful Video Interviewing
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Our Guide to Successful Video Interviewing

Video interviews are here to stay, so how do you radiate confidence through the screen and give yourself the best chance of landing the job?

Frame 25 guide to successful video interviewing

Video job interviews are much more common today than before the pandemic struck in 2020.

In fact, the use of video interviews since 2019 has increased by 57%, and more than half of employers say they’ll continue to use video interviews after Covid restrictions are lifted as they can streamline recruitment processes, reduce costs and benefit the environment by reducing the need for travel.

So as it looks like video interviews are here to stay, you need to know how to radiate confidence through the screen and give yourself the best chance of landing the job.

Frame 25 has compiled this resource in order to help you make the most of your opportunity.

Preparing for a video interview

Consider how you want to appear in your interview to create the best possible impression.

What can you do to ensure you come across as your confident, relaxed best self: a warm, engaging, professional?

Before we get into a list of dos and don’ts, here are a few key tips:

  • Use a computer rather than your phone. It looks more professional and it’s what your interviewer will expect. You don’t want them raising an eyebrow at all, especially within the first 30 seconds. That said, make sure your phone is charged and ready to go just in case your computer crashes for any reason. If your laptop’s going to go, it’s going to go at the most inconvenient moment.Ideally, give your phone number to your interviewer before the appointment in case you’re disconnected during the call and you can resume the conversation the old-fashioned way.
  • Try to ensure you have the best possible internet connection for your interview. If you need to, ask your household not to stream video while you’re on your call, and get familiar with using your phone’s hotspot as a backup. Remember, it’s your upload speed that you need to test, not the download speed.
  • Position your laptop on a table that frames your face centrally: not too high and not too low. Use a few books under your computer if you need to. You want your interviewer to see you as their equal, on their level, literally.
  • Disable your computer’s screensaver so you’re not forced to sign back in during the call.
  • Print copies of your CV and any questions you might want to ask your interviewer, and have them to hand during the call, with key lines highlighted or in bold. You’ll be glad you could easily glance at the points you most wanted to highlight or raise.
  • As well print-outs, you might want to share a document, webpage, social media profile or images with your interviewer, so understand how to screenshare on the platform you’ll be using. If you do share your screen during your interview, try not to scroll too fast, and be mindful that the interviewer might not be able to follow your cursor as you describe what you’re presenting. Be ready to stop sharing at the appropriate moment to avoid boring your audience.

Dos and don’ts

Do

  • If your interviewer is based in a different country, check the time zone the interview is scheduled for.
  • Find a quiet space with few distractions. If applicable, tell those you live with when and where you’ll be interviewing to minimise noise and interruptions.
  • Pay attention to your background. It doesn’t have to be plain but it shouldn’t be cluttered, distract your interviewer or detract from the positive impression you’re trying to create. If you’d prefer to use a virtual background, aim for an office setting rather than a beach, mountains, or outer space.
  • If possible, make sure the main source of light is behind your computer, facing you. Invest in a lamp if you need to. Avoid lighting your face from above, below or one side.
  • Make sure your computer is charged or have your power cable plugged in and ready to use should you need to. Avoid delaying your interview by having to get up and grab your charger from your bag in another room.
  • Test your computer with the platform on which the interview is to be held to make sure audio and video work properly. Whether it’s Zoom, Teams, Webex, Google Hangouts, Skype or another platform, test your settings with a friend or family member before your interview.
  • Log in early to avoid delays which may be caused by an automatic update or similar.
  • Put your phone on silent and place it face-down during your interview. The last thing you want is to be distracted by notifications coming in right, left and centre.
  • Smile often.
  • Make eye contact, which can be counter-intuitive when using an online video platform. Look at the camera frequently, rather than the image of the person or people you’re talking to. This really boosts the ‘human’ aspect of communicating with strangers through a screen when it matters.
  • Have a pen and notepad beside you to jot down key points made by your interviewer, and help you remember things you want to say at an appropriate moment. If there’s more than one person interviewing, and the platform you’re using doesn’t display the names of the speakers, make a note of them as the interview gets under way. Not only will this help you to use the names of the people you’re speaking to but it’ll help you stand out as it shows your potential employer how keen, bright and engaged you are simply because you’re making lots of notes.
  • Have a glass or bottle of water beside you, placed well out of harm’s way so you can’t knock it over when you’re focused on pitching yourself.
  • Rehearse the key stories you want to tell that sell you and why you’re such a great fit for the role you’re interviewing for.

Don't

  • Fidget with things around you, keep looking at your phone, bite your nails or play with your hair.
  • Look down or away from your screen all the time.
  • Engage in a separate conversation, for example if someone around you interrupts your interview. According to one study, of the 72% of job candidates observed who did not receive offers, the majority (about 80%) appeared to be distracted, failed to engage their recruiter in a meaningful way, or seemed as though they were reading from a script.
  • Wear clothing with patterns or colours that are the same as your background. You don’t want to appear as a floating head, so aim to stand out in more ways than one.

Don't forget...

Just because your interview is taking place online, you still need to prepare the same way you would if you were visiting your potential recruiter at their office.

Research the company and role, prepare to answer the same questions you’d face if your interview were in person, and list a few questions you can ask your potential employer.

Your interviewer is looking for a warm, engaging professional who can do the job they’re looking to fill, whether your initial meeting takes place online or offline. Show them that’s you.

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