When the coronavirus pandemic hit the UK back in March 2020, overnight it caused disruption and changes to businesses. A lot of businesses have frozen recruitment due to the uncertainty the pandemic has bought with it, however many businesses are still recruiting people for roles. They have just had to adapt how they are doing this.
The main change is that interviews, instead of being held at the business premises, have now had to be conducted remotely, instead of candidates meeting their interviewers, they are doing their interviews online, sometimes by telephone call but the majority are done via video call.
Before the pandemic hit, some companies had already started to use video interviews to interview candidates, these were usually the first-round screening process interviews, for companies in the healthcare, technical and finance sectors.
These were used to save time conducting interviews, as when they are done remotely more can be done in a certain period of time.
However, since the pandemic almost all companies have found themselves conducting interviews this way.
Top Seven Tips for Video Interviews.
Test Technology before the interview
Before the day of your interview test the technology that you plan to use, don’t leave this until 5 minutes before the start of the interview, it needs to be done before hand. Test the microphone and camera on the computer, laptop or phone you will be using to ensure it works correctly and is loud enough and clear enough to hear and see you.
Ensure that the WIFI connection is sufficient, if there are issues with the connection, arrange for your computer, laptop or phone to be plugged in with a cable, rather than rely on WIFI connection.
Make sure you are connected and dialled into the video call in plenty of time, do not attempt to dial in on time or a few minutes beforehand in case of any issues.
Have a backup plan if something goes wrong
Ensure you have the interviewers contact number or email address, if the worst does happen and you cannot connect to the required technology.
Make sure your computer, laptop or phone is fully charged before the interview and keep the charger close by in case you need it, or have it plugged in during the interview just in case.
Dress for the interview
Candidates still need to dress the part and look professional as if they were actually attending the interview, you wouldn’t turn up for an interview with a smart top half and pyjamas bottoms, even though your bottom half can not be seen on camera, candidates are more likely to feel dressed for the interview and professional for the interview if they dress how they usually would. After all you don’t want to be wearing pyjama bottoms and for some reason need to get up during the interview.
Decide where to sit, surroundings and remove distractions
Before the interview ensure where ever you are going to sit, the lighting is sufficient, windows should be to the side or in front of you when conducting a video call, not directly behind you as the glare can mean the interviewer will not be able to see you very well.
Think about what will be in the background for your call, move any items that could be a distraction or tidy up clutter, best place would be to sit with a plain background behind you if possible.
Ensure you are in a quiet space and will not have any distractions, such as a mobile phone or television on, or have interruptions from other members of your household.
Have a copy of your CV and the Job description and person specification close by
Have copies of relevant documents next to you for you to refer to if needed, this will save you having to open new pages on your computer while in the middle of talking to your interviewer. Let your interviewer know you have a copy by you if you refer to it, out of curiosity as they will not be able to see what you are looking at.
Keep Eye contact and be mindful of Body Language
Make sure you know where to look at the camera on your computer, laptop or phone. Just as you would in a face to face interview, ensure that you make eye contact with your interviewer(s), this will show them you are focused on the interview and are not distracted by something around you, remember they will only be able to see your screen and small surrounding so it is important to be looking at the screen and at them, rather than out of the window or looking at the floor.
Remember body language is a huge factor in communication, sit up straight and pay attention, don’t slouch in your seat or have arms folded, or lean on one hand, as this can come across that you are not fully committed to the interview.
Remember a remote interview is the same as a face to face interview
- Make sure you have done your homework, research the company in advance.
- Practice some interviews questions and answers you think you may get asked.
- Have some examples of achievements and skills that you have in front of you to refer to, to prove why you are suitable for the job.
- Ensure you answer the questions asked in as much detail as you can.
- Above all be yourself and remember to stay calm.