Attending an interview can be slightly daunting, especially in recent times when many interviews are held online via video call. Preparing for a video interview should be no different than a face-to-face one. As long as you have done your due diligence, you should be confident and ready to nail it. Here are our top tips on how to prepare for a virtual interview.
Treat it like a face-to-face interview
Yes, you may be sat in your lounge with the cat and a cup of tea, but you need to treat your virtual interview in exactly the same way as you would if you were visiting them at their place of work. Professionalism, organisation, and appearance will still be very much front of mind for the employer.
Over 75 % of people who recently changed jobs used LinkedIn to inform their career decision
Make sure your social profiles are up to date
In the virtual age, many employers will check out your social media accounts before hiring you. Ensure your LinkedIn profile is up to date and aligned with the positions you are interviewing for. Is your work history up to date and are the dates the same as your CV? Have you added in any recent training and skills development? Upload a professional and friendly looking profile picture. Ideally a professional headshot, and not a holiday snap from Spain.
According to a 2017 study by YouGov, these are the top reasons that people get rejected due to content on their social accounts
– Stand Out CV.
According to a 2017 study by YouGov, these are the top reasons that people get rejected due to content on their social accounts – Stand Out CV.
- Offensive language (75%)
- References to drug usage (70%)
- Poor spelling and grammar (50%)
- Drunken behaviour (47%)
- Political activity (29%)
- Vanity (26%)
Prepare questions in advance
Have a list of questions prepared. Make them relevant to the position and not about the salary and benefits. Here are a couple of good examples:
- What skillsets are the team missing that you’re looking to fill with a new hire?
- Is this a new role that has been created?
- What training programs are available to your employees?
- What metrics or goals will my performance be evaluated against?
Dress for the interview
Whether a face to face or video interview, we would suggest following the same advice. Depending on the role you are interviewing for, we would always suggest you dress appropriately. Smart business attire for senior or management roles, dress or smart trousers and top for women. Yes, it’s likely that they will only see the top half of you, but often just dressing smartly will make you feel more confident and ready for the interview. Don’t forget the simple things, making sure your hair is brushed and styled and your nails are neat and clean – all of these things can still be picked up and noticed by an interviewer.
You only have 7 seconds to make a first impression
Choose a good spot
Set up somewhere where the light is in front of you, and you can be seen clearly. Avoid window light behind you as it can reflect on the screen and make it harder to see your face.
Check your technology well in advance
Ensure your laptop or computer is fully charged before the interview. Test your microphone and speaker, and check that you have a good internet connection speed in the room you have chosen. If they send you a link to join (Zoom or similar), test it out at least ten minutes before the interview, if not more, just in case you need to download any software, and to ensure everything is working smoothly. Being late is not an option.
Turn off your phone, emails, and any social media on your computer to avoid beeps and pings throughout your interview. If you have to have your phone on, keep it on silent and avoid checking it throughout the chat. Eye contact is key to keep people connected through a video call. Keep your eyes on the camera, and avoid looking at your video reflection. If you have other people / dogs / children at home that are likely to make noise or distract you, head into a different room and ask not to be disturbed until you’re finished on the call.
Sit at a desk / table, ideally in an uncluttered clean environment. No-one wants to see you sat on your bed. Alternatively, you can opt for a virtual background, again pick something relevant to your position, an office / work environment. Don’t speak from a beach or field of sunflowers.
On the call
Speak slowly and clearly. Listen and try not to speak over your interviewer, which can easily happen on a video call. Be still and don’t over gesticulate, smile and nod, and let them know you are listening to what they are saying. If you would like to make notes, that’s fine, but let them know you are doing so, so they know why you are looking away from the screen.
They’ve seen your CV, they know your skillset, this is where they find out who you are. Be authentic and honest and show your personality. Make sure to thank them for their time and tell them you look forward to hearing from them soon.
If you want some help with your interview, or your next opportunity, feel free to give Inavise a shout. We are a boutique recruitment consultancy who love helping candidates succeed.