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A guide to video interviews

Most of us aren’t accustomed to being on camera, so the idea of a video interview isn’t necessarily appealing. 
 
However, given the increasing availability of video technology and the ease and flexibility it offers recruiters, video interviews are here to stay.

So, here are a few simple tips to help you through them:

Get the tech right

The worst possible start will be if the video doesn’t play, or the sound doesn’t work.

So, before you start, make sure everything is connected and charged, and run a test to see that your videos are recording as they should be. It may also be worth contacting your recruiter to check the format they’d like the video in.

Set the scene

Think about everything the video will pick up – not just you but your environment.

Find the quietest room possible to avoid noisy interruptions 
Try to make your background simple and neutral 
Avoid posters, paintings or books that could distract the viewer, and keep clutter to a minimum.

Don’t wear pyjamas

Just because you’re at home doesn’t mean you should dress like it.

Dress just as you would for a normal interview.

Looking smart and professional will present you as a smart and professional person, and will also make you feel more confident.

Act natural

People typically behave differently as soon as a camera is pointed at them. But you need to focus on being yourself and appearing comfortable.

  • Don’t look at the edge of the lens – look directly at it
  • Avert your gaze now and again, as you would in a normal interview
  • Don’t watch the image of yourself
  • Smile, but not constantly
  • Don’t fidget or move too often – stay central and relatively still
  • Position the laptop so you’re not too far above or below the lens, which can look odd.

Practice makes perfect

If you’re really nervous about how the video will look, take a few trial runs. And if you’re still nervous after that, get someone else to view them and provide some honest feedback.

Allow for spontaneity

Your fundamental goal in a video interview is to make it feel as much like a real interview as possible. If you do that, you’ll have a good chance.

The interviewer wants to see your personality in action; they want to get a feel for how you react and how you think. So don’t, for example, try to write and then regurgitate a script on video. Because when people recite scripts, the viewer can always tell (unless you’re a very accomplished actor).

Mistakes are fine too. Just apologise, and calmly start again. Anything too polished might seem disingenuous anyway.

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