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How to Nail Your Next Video Interview

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Kia ora koutou katoa!

As COVID-19 changes we way we live and work, employers across Aotearoa are turning to video interviews as a safe and responsible option for continuing their hiring processes during the lockdown. The availability of video conferencing apps such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts and Skype make it easy for job seekers and employers to meet virtually rather than face to face. So, if you need to look for a new job during this time and are nearing the interview stage, you will most likely find that video is the next step.

Video interviewing isn’t new, but it’s natural to feel a little apprehensive if you haven’t had a lot of experience with it previously. However, with a bit of preparation, you can maximise your chances of success.

Here are our video interview tips to help you make a positive impression.

How to Prepare for a Video Interview

We recommend you set up your tech well in advance and check it is working. It might seem obvious, but we’ve all been in video conferences where a caller’s mic is on mute or only the top of someone’s head is showing on the screen. If you check your microphone, camera angle and internet connection beforehand, you’ll minimise the risk of any problems cropping up during your interview. You may also want to consider doing a trial run with a family member, friend or your recruiter to ensure your tech is working well.

When you’re setting up, it’s a good idea to opt for a well-lit, quiet location, free from clutter. Plain, neutral backdrops are ideal, as there’s nothing to distract your interviewer from focusing on you. If other people will be at home during your interview, make sure they know not to disturb you. Even seasoned pros are sometimes caught out by this! Consider pinning a note to your front door in case someone unexpectedly drops by. And, obviously, turn off the notifications on all your devices.

Finally, you might find it useful to print out your resume, the job description and any notes you have made so you have them ready to hand. Again, it’s a simple step, but one that is easy to overlook until you are mid-discussion and need a prompt.

Ensuring a Professional Presence and Presentation

Just like when interviewing face-to-face, presentation is key for video interviews. We’re often asked what candidates should wear: we suggest you dress as if you are meeting your interviewer in person (no pyjama bottoms!) but also consider how your outfit looks on screen.

Video interviews tend to follow the same format as in-person interviews in terms of questions, responses and examples. You should do the same level of preparation that you would when interviewing face-to-face, including researching the company, familiarising yourself with the job description, identifying examples from your experience to draw from when answering questions and coming up with questions of your own. However, to ensure your presentation is polished and professional, there is some specific video interview etiquette to bear in mind:

  • We recommend you look at the camera rather than at your screen. This might seem counterintuitive, but it ensures you maintain good eye contact with your interviewer.
  • Be aware that you may experience technical hiccups such as time lags or frozen screens. Pause after the interviewer is finished speaking to ensure there aren’t any delays, let your interviewer know if you believe you’ve missed something, and ensure you have their phone number on hand in case you need a backup contact method.
  • This is self-evident, but resist the temptation to multi-task at all costs! Your interviewer may not be in the room with you, but they will know if your concentration is not 100%.
  • At the end, don’t forget to thank their interviewer for their time and ask about next steps, the same as you would for any other interview.

Although video interviews come with their own set of nuances, with a little preparation and a professional approach, you will maximise your chances of success.

If you’d like further advice on video interviews or to learn more about your options when looking for a job in this challenging market, please let us know – we’re on hand to provide extra support, should you need it.

Ngà mihi nui!