How to Undertake a Successful Video Interview image

How to Undertake a Successful Video Interview

Staff Squared date icon3rd July 2018

Tag iconManaging staff

Online video interviews are becoming increasingly more commonplace, especially in the early stages of the interview process as a way of filtering through a large number of candidates. 

This isn’t the only benefit of holding video interviews though, as they are popular for a number of reasons including:

  • Saving time and money.
  • Removing geographical restraints.
  • Automating candidate screening.
  • Improving the quality of data in the recruitment management system.

Conducting interviews in this format also means that the recruiter and their colleagues can re-watch the interview rather than having to read through and relying purely on notes.

Types of Video Interviews

There are two main types of video interviews. There are synchronous and asynchronous.

Synchronous interviews – conducted live over the internet with both the live interviewer and the candidate in attendance. There are often used in place of a face-to-face interview. These will usually take place using a service such as Skype or Google Hangouts.

Asynchronous interviews – these are pre-recorded by the candidate at a time convenient to them. They will usually answer questions already which are displayed on screen or pre-recorded by the employer. The hiring manager is not present for these types of video interviews. Some people may find recording themselves without actually speaking directly to someone a bit odd and maybe even difficult, so practising your answers before hitting record is advisable.

Top Tips to Follow if you want to ACE your Video Interview

As beneficial as video interviews can be to both the interviewer and the candidate, they don’t come without their challenges.

Attributes such as connectivity problems and time delays can make smooth sailing during online interviews a bit tricky. Then, of course, there will always be the odd person who doesn’t feel comfortable being on camera which can sometimes put them at a disadvantage compared to other candidates.

There’s no need to worry, though. With some preparation, these issues can be overcome or altogether avoided and help you move on to the next stage of the process. Just follow these simple but effective steps.

Tidy Surroundings

Be aware of your surroundings and make sure that the area you choose to sit your interview is presentable and tidy. Placement is vital. You don’t want to be sat in front of a loud and busy background as you want the interviewer to really focus on you. We suggest a light, neutral and uncluttered area.

Stay Well Lit

Think about the lighting in both the room as a whole and the spot where you plan to sit. The last thing you want is for the interviewer to not be able to see you properly. They’ll want to be able to see your face clearly in order to assess your responses and overall demeanour.

Top tip! Try not to sit in front of a window to avoid glare.

Peace and Quiet

Got kids? Ask someone to look after them during the interview. Have housemates or live with a partner? Impress on them the need for absolutely NO interruptions until you tell them you’re finished.

We all saw that live BBC interview that went viral when the kids of the guy being interviewed burst into the room. Funny, yes. Likely to win you any brownie points with an employer, no.

Likewise, if you have pets then shut them out of the room and if your dog is a barker, arrange for someone to take Fido out for a walk!

Dress Professionally

Don’t for a second think that it’s okay to dress down just because you don’t physically need to go into the office to have your interview. Dress as if you were going in to meet your interviewer in person – that means no half-hearted attempts at looking professional like wearing pyjama bottoms under your shirt or blouse. This isn’t a 1980’s sketch show and you may find you have to stand up at some point – exposing your nightwear to your potential employer – and looking like you’re a corner cutter in the process!

Be Mindful of Body Language

Similarly, remember that body language is just as important as if you’re sitting in an office with your interviewer. Don’t slouch, pay attention and look interested! Also, be aware that the sound is not going to be as clear as if you were talking to someone in ‘real life’ so make sure you’re speaking clearly.

Maintain Eye Contact

In a face to face interview, looking at the person you’re speaking to is a given, but talking to someone via a laptop can make that a little tricky. If you look at the person on the screen, you won’t be seen as giving your full attention so you’ll need to make sure you’re looking at the actual camera to ensure eye contact with the other person.

Preparation is Key

Finally, just as you would in any interview, remember that preparation is key. Just because you’re not physically in front of your interviewer, that doesn’t mean you can wing it. If you need notes to prompt you, that’s fine – just try not to lean too heavily on them or it’ll look like you’re reading from a script and will come across as awkward or even a bit fake. Interviewers aren’t bothered about you giving seamless answers to their questions, they just want to understand you as a person and whether you seem to have bothered to research the company at all.

Close Background Applications

Don’t forget to close down background applications and web pages, particularly ones that may make noise. Make sure that you turn your phone off or, at the very least, turn it to silent to avoid any potential distractions.

Don’t Let your Device Die!

Before the interview, you should test the device, camera and any software that you are required to use to make sure that it all works. While you’re at it, check your internet connection and ensure that you have a good picture and sound quality. Your interviewer will need to both see and hear you during your meeting.

Last of all, ensure your device is fully charged or plugged in – the last thing you want is your phone or laptop battery dying mid-interview!

Written by Clarisse Levitan

Lead First Line Customer Support Agent - Staff Squared

Clarisse works as the Lead of our Customer Support Team to provide all of our customers with the very best care and guidance when using their HR software.

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