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Video Interviewing: Tips for Candidates

4 months ago by DATS Recruitment
Pexels Alex Green 5700184

​Only a few years ago, video interviewing was a relatively new phenomenon and tech-savvy, forward thinking companies were using it as a way to speak with potential new hires who were in a different country, wanted a recording of the interview to refer back to, or quite simply, as a way to save time.

As a result of the pandemic, though, there’s barely a company in the UK who hasn’t become accustomed to using the likes of Zoom, Skype or Teams as part of their daily routine. And, out of necessity, online video conferencing tools have become a standard part of today’s interviewing process when businesses are hiring.

Although we’re all now a lot more familiar with speaking to friends, family and colleagues through the medium of video, there can be something a little more nerve-wracking about being interviewed online.

But relax…our below tips have been put together to help you feel more confident and prepared for your upcoming interview.

Trial software in advance

If you’ve been invited for an online interview, chances are you’ll have received an invitation via email or through your online calendar. If not, make sure you ask the person interviewing you what platform they plan on using to conduct the meeting. And, once you know what it is take some time to make sure you know your way round it.

Do you need to download an app for the software to work? Do you need to create an account? Will you need a password to gain entry? Do you know how to use the basics like switch on your camera, mute/unmute yourself?

These all may seem self-explanatory basics, but it’s not uncommon to be caught off guard when you suddenly try to join a video meeting at the last minute and realise it doesn’t work in the way you’d expected.

Needless to say, that in an interview scenario you don’t want feel panicked or, heaven forbid(!), turn up late. So always check out and test run your video software first.

Check your internet connection

This is one variable that can sometimes be out of your control, but the last thing you want is to miss out on your big break because of a dodgy connection. Most homes have rooms with stronger internet connections than others, so plan to set up your video call in a space where the connection is strong.

If you’re struggling with wi-fi, again, think about this in advance, rather than when your interview is imminent. Speak to your provider for advice if you’re consistently experiencing difficulties with internet connection.

Plan questions

We’d always advise having plenty of questions prepared when attending an interview, but this is even more important when it comes to being interviewed via video.

When you attend a workplace for interview, it’s as much of an opportunity for you to learn about the company, its people and its culture, as it is for them to find out about you. But remember, if you’re interviewed remotely, you miss out on getting a feel for the business in the same way that you would in person.

That’s why it’s vital to have a list of questions at the ready. Be prepared to ask about the culture, the building and location you’ll be based in, peoples’ personalities, and so on. These are all things that you’d ordinarily be able to get a gut feel about on visiting a company, but you’ll need to ask specifics when talking through a prospective role online.

Consider your environment

An important one for the interviewer, but even more so for you…

As hilarious as online clips of ‘video-calls-gone-wrong’ can be, you don’t want to be the centre of that joke when you’re the one being interviewed.

As mentioned in a previous point, think about where you’ll set up for your video call ahead of it taking place. Stage your environment: consider the background, the lighting and any noises that may be picked up whilst you’re online.

At home or not, most of us will want to come across as professional and confident during an interview, so try to avoid anything that could be a distraction for you or the interviewer.

Dress code

We’re all used to dressing down a little more than we used to right now. And while that’s fine for some roles and organisations, make sure you’re not making a mistake by wearing your loungers when your interviewers pop up on your screen fully suited and booted.

Our advice would be to err on the side of caution and dress up, rather than down, if you’re unsure. Most employers will appreciate that you’ve made an obvious effort to impress, rather than no effort at all.

If you have no clue about the culture and dress code of your prospective employer, don’t be afraid to ask. First impressions mean a lot and this doesn’t change because you’re being interviewed online.

Ask for feedback

When you’re meeting with businesses online, rather than face-to-face, it’s a little easier to lose touch. So, make sure you understand what the next stages of the hiring process are by asking either the interviewer or your consultant. Also ask your recruiter to gain feedback on your behalf and don’t let all the effort you’ve put into preparing for your video interview to go to waste.

DATS Recruitment is proud to help candidates into new roles every day. If you want advice on video interviewing or any part of transitioning into a new engineering job, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Alternatively, if you’re a client looking for video interviewing tips, check out our blog specifically for you here.

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