Video interviews are becoming increasingly popular especially during this current pandemic. The interview process normally consists of having a phone interview first then a face-to-face interview. However, if the face-to-face interview has been replaced with a video interview; you would need to do the same amount of preparation or even more, to ensure you are comfortable and confident during the interview. If you have a video interview coming up, don’t worry, you’re in good hands; here are our top tips on how to prepare for a video interview.
What should I do to prepare for my video interview?
The key to preparing well before your video interview is to treat it like a face-to-face interview and do all the steps (with a few extra steps) you would need to succeed. This starts off with research, then having a practice run and finally setting up your space ready for the big day!
Research is key to acing your video interview as it shows your interest in the company and the role. First you want to research more about the company, so look into the size of the company, their latest projects or news; the structure of the company and more about what they do and the services they offer. You can do this by looking on the company’s website but also do some further digging on the LinkedIn page and other social media for any new pieces of information you can find out about the company and the role itself.
You should also look into the industry and market the company are in and if they have done anything unique or interesting that has been featured in the news. It would be great to find something you are interested in about the company because it shows that you have done your research and are actually interested in what the company has to offer.
Next you want to gain more knowledge on the area of work the company is in as a whole. Where does the company sit in their industry? Who are their competitors? What current events are happening in the industry that might impact the company? It’s important to develop your commercial awareness of the area you want to work in in order to succeed in your interview and also understand your job role better.
Another part to your research should be to refamiliarise yourself with the job description and compare the tasks and skills to your CV. This is to ensure you tackle the right points and link your skills to the job description, when answering questions and giving examples of your skills during the interview. If you wrote a cover letter for the job role you can expand on the points you have made in the letter and highlight which examples link to the skills in the job description and the skills demonstrated in your CV. This will make it easier to glance at when answering questions or when you are going over your notes before the interview.
2. Prepare interview answers using STAR Principles
After gathering information about the company, industry and linking your skills to the job description; next would be to prepare a few answers to common interview questions. This will ensure that if you do get nervous or stuck on a question; you have some idea of how to answer it correctly to demonstrate your suitability for the role well.
Most interviews include competency type questions that ask about situations where you have demonstrated certain skills. So, it’s a great idea for you to come up with a few scenarios where you have demonstrated the key skills in the job description from your own experience using the STAR interview method.
3. Set up your space
Now you are ready and prepped for the interview, you need to set up and consider where you want have the interview. Normally for a face-to-face interview you wouldn’t have to think of this step but because you will be at home you would need to consider the lighting, the sound and test any microphones and video cameras to ensure they are working on the video call app such as Zoom or Skype, the employer has scheduled.
Try to set up your interview space in a bright room; preferably in front of a window to ensure you get natural light. If you are living with other people make sure to let them know to not make noise when you have the interview and try to eliminate any noise in the room that could distract you; such as a pet or loud appliances. You also want to be set up on a spacious area such as a dining table, where you can have access to your notes, the job description and other information you may need during the interview.
4. Practice run
A few days before your interview, it’s a good idea to do a practice video call with a friend or a previous colleague to test that they can hear you well and see you. You also want to go through the most common interview questions such as Tell me about yourself?, What are your strengths and weaknesses? etc… to ensure you have some framework in your mind on how you would answer those questions.
Top Tips for during a video interview
Now you’ve prepared you are ready for the interview. During the interview you want to consider these tips to ensure your message comes across well and you are confident.
Although they can only see you from the chest up, make sure you dress smartly as you would with a face-to-face interview. Also make sure you are not in front of a distracting background eg. in front of a tv that’s on… Sitting in front of a wall if possible is best as they would be focused on you.
Smiling is a great way to help ease nerves and to show your enthusiasm in your answers.
Although they can see you make sure you speak slowly and clearly. This ensures that you have time to think of your answer; but also for them to hear what you are saying properly.
Make sure you have questions you want to ask at the end of the interview; these could be prepared questions although it is good if you have questions that link to some points they have said in the interview, to show you were listening and are interested rather than reading questions from your notebook.
During the interview it is a good idea to take some notes down about the company or any other key information that they mention that might not be in the job description itself. This information will be useful when you are reviewing the job if you are invited to a second interview or to reference in a thank you email after the interview.