You’ve always been told that a firm handshake and a warm smile are key to making a good impression at a job interview. However, the growing trend for video interviews may mean you need a smile that is extra special. This digital approach to recruitment means it might be time to swap that handshake for a reliable webcam and a tidy living room.
Recruitment in the selfie age is focusing on video technology; it was only a matter of time before it happened. But just because you’re a YouTube and Snapchat fan, doesn’t make you an instant video interviewee star.
From a recruiter’s point of view, there are plenty of benefits of digital interviews: faster; more convenient; more cost-effective; and help filter candidates at an earlier stage. But, are candidates as enthusiastic about a video job interview?
For some, the answer is probably not. Job interviews can be nerve-wracking at the best of times, but at least you vaguely know what to expect with the traditional style of interview. Introduce something new – such as video technology – and job-seekers suddenly feel less sure about what is expected of them.
However, before you let your nerves get the better of you, there are certain things you can do to make a great impression on camera. Here are a few tips to help you improve your video interview skills and secure the role of your dreams.
Make sure your technology is good to go
Just because your video platform, webcam, microphone and speakers were working last month, doesn’t mean you should take it for granted that is still the case. Always check your tech the day before and again right before an interview. Once the interview starts, you’ll have enough to think about without the nuisance and embarrassment of technical issues. It’s also worth checking your Skype name makes the right impression.
Practice makes perfect
Just as you might practice interview questions in front of a mirror, it’s time to practice in front of a camera. The difference is, with a camera you’re able to watch yourself back and see how you can improve. You might be cringing at the thought of it, but it’s the only way to know how you come across when a camera is placed in front of you. You could even ask a friend to conduct a mock video interview so that you get used to dealing with issues such as a slow connection or time lapses.
Consider what’s behind you
You are the main focus in this interview, so choose a background that is free of clutter, well-lit, business-like, and located somewhere you are unlikely to get interrupted. If you feel your house might be too noisy, a quiet coffee shop may be an option. Put your phone on silent and disable any on-screen notifications to remove anything that may distract you during the interview.
Dress for the occasion
Just because you are not physically travelling to the interview, doesn’t mean you should dress any differently. Choose clothes that match the job you want – and don’t be tempted to just dress from the waist up. As with any job interview, the more professional you feel, the more professionally you will act.
Focus on your body language
You might not be shaking anyone’s hand in a video interview but body language will play a big part in how you come across to the panel. Keep your body language open, while avoiding over-the-top gestures or facial expressions. So, smile, look engaged, and don’t slouch!
Be the star that you are
Think of the interview as a show – with you as the star. But don’t forget you’re also the sound person, the light person, the camera person and the make-up artist…