Video Interview Guide & Tips
FRAME Recruitment is passionate about providing the best advice to you in your career. We have put together our top online video interview tips in this handy video interview guide that will help to present the best version of yourself.
Online video interviews are a fantastic way for our Architecture and Interior Design clients and candidates to meet; they provide both parties with the opportunity to build a strong rapport and represent themselves as if they were in a face-to-face interview.
Conducting a successful video interview is based on three key elements and so, we have split this guide into three sections:
Before your Video Interview
Pre-interview preparation is a fantastic way to start on the path to success in your online video interview. It is just as important as the video interview itself and there are several factors you need to take into consideration.
Before we start planning on how you are going to 'wow' your interviewer, it is vital to discuss the time and date of your interview.
After discussing the logistics of your interview with your specialist FRAME Recruitment Consultant and you have received your video interview confirmation, make sure you take note of it and diarise the exact time and date of the video interview.
Do your research on the business and the interviewer/s
The practice or business website is good for this. If you want to stand out from the crowd and enhance your research even further, research recent projects, and news articles - go that extra mile, it will pay off. Do you know someone who works there already? Speak to them.
Utilise LinkedIn and check out your interviewer/s profile(s). This will show them great initiative and might even give you some common ground to talk about, including people you both know. Remember to request to connect with them, or utilise the 'follow' functionality. Putting a face to a name will build familiarity before you have met them and might even help settle your nerves.
On the subject of LinkedIn, before you connect with your interviewer/s, make sure your work experience and employment tenures match up with those on your CV. Gaps or different dates and information could raise a concern with your potential employer regarding honesty and attention to detail.
Treat your online video interview like you would treat any other interview, meaning the dress code should remain professional and well presented. The interviewer will be looking for candidates who professionally portray themselves. Ask yourself- “would I dress like this for a face-to-face interview?”
Plain conservative colours work best and avoid patterns, like ties with stripes, as they don't look right on video. Being smartly dressed from head to toe will help put you in the right frame of mind.
Your potential employer will ask questions about you in your video interview. Pre-empt this and prepare for questions or concerns they might have about you. Think about any skills or knowledge gaps that you have - how will you prove you are still the right person for the job? Most employers will want to know why you want to leave your current employer. Be prepared with a good answer.
If you have spent any time unemployed, think about how you used that time and what skills it has taught you, for example, resilience or perseverance. Showing that you can be adaptable to situations and take the best out of them could make you a very attractive candidate.
Prepare questions for the interview/s too. The research that you did on the practice or business should highlight some areas that you would like to know more about. Showing an interest in what they are doing and how you could be part of it shows enthusiasm and a genuine desire for the job itself. Remember to write your questions down and have them ready for the telephone interview itself.
Even if the interview has already covered the answers to the questions you wanted to ask, they will be impressed that you had questions prepared.
Preparing for the Video Interview
Now we have established the basics, you need to start preparing for the video interview itself.
Make sure you are set up and logged on to the video software at least 5-10 minutes before your interview. Run a test beforehand to avoid any technical glitches. You should also be interviewing using a PC/laptop and not an iPad or mobile phone where possible.
Ensure you are set up in a clean and quiet environment to avoid any distractions during the interview. Don’t forget to set the camera up to a good height so the interviewer can see you clearly.
Turn off email and phone notifications so you don’t get distracted.
The client will more than likely want to discuss your experience to date, so print a copy of your CV to have with you during the interview - this will help you when you need to reference back to points and relevant dates made in your application. Not knowing the start and end dates of employment can come across as unprofessional and the interviewer may question whether the information is correct.
During your Video Interview
You have now done all your preparation for your video interview, now it is time for the video interview itself.
The interviewer will be looking to hire individuals that they want to represent their practice/business. You should professionally present yourself and remember that your body language will tell the client a lot about you as a person- so remain engaged and portray a pleasant demeanour at all times. The interview may seem more informal over video but keep it professional in every way that you can.
Communication is key during video interviews but video software can create delays in the internet connection. You will need to speak clearly and slowly to ensure you are getting your points across, and that the interviewer can understand everything you are saying.
Body language and how it is read are magnified on video, but facial expressions are the most important. Talking with a smile has never been more critical, and you need to make sure that you are both "talking to the camera" and that your camera is directly in front of you and at eye height. If you plan to use a laptop or notebook, consider raising it.
Facial expressions, tone and hand gestures
There is a reason News Readers and TV Presenters are more expressive with their facial expressions, voices, and hand gestures to convey feelings or emotions on camera and the same is true for video interviews. Nodding your head more noticeably to show active listening, smiling more broadly, making greater use of hand gestures, and varying the tone and emphasis of your voice all help.
Choose a plain background
A plain backdrop will ensure that the interviewer's focus is on you and not on the books on your bookshelf. We all experience "Zoom-fatigue" and having a plain backdrop will remove unnecessary distractions. Some people like to use virtual backgrounds but remember as many people love them as hate them.
Try to avoid discussing salary during the interview. If the interviewer asks you about your salary expectations, we recommend advising the client that you have discussed the terms and contract offer with your FRAME Recruitment Consultant and further discussions will need to be done through them.
This is where the preparation work you have undertaken will come into play. You should be well prepared for questions from the interviewer and have your questions ready on hand.
You can never prepare for every question that an interviewer might ask of you. If you haven't prepared for the question, take a second to have a sip of water and think about your answer before you speak. Making sure you listen to the question before starting to answer shows great listening skills. It also means the interviewer won't need to ask you the question again.
Close the interview on a positive
Your video interview is coming to an end, thank your interviewer for their time and ask for any initial feedback. If you want the job, tell the interviewer that you are very interested in the opportunity.
Ask the interviewer what the next step will be. Will there be another interview? When will they be making a decision? How many other people are they interviewing?
After your Video Interview
Call your FRAME Recruitment Consultant
As soon as your video interview has ended, call your FRAME Recruitment Consultant to let them know how you think your video interview went.
After this conversation, your FRAME Recruitment Consultant will be able to start moving the process forward and discuss the next steps with the interviewer.
Follow up with an email
A nicely written email to the interviewer thanking them for their time and following up with any information that they have requested is a great opportunity to impress them. It will also show that you are keen to progress further with the opportunity.
Ask for video interview feedback - the great, the good and the bad
Whether your video interview was a success or not, always ask your FRAME Recruitment Consultant for feedback on how you did. They will chase this for you, as it is important you know how to improve next time.
Remember the old saying that 'practice makes perfect'. Even if you are not offered the job this time, every video interview is a good experience and an opportunity to learn.
Now that you have all the tools to succeed in your video interview, we wish you the very best of luck.
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