With remote interviewing becoming increasingly popular amongst employers, its highly likely that you will face a video interview in the pursuit of your next dream job. And although video-calls make interviews incredibly convenient, they come with their own set of challenges that are stopping some job seekers from getting the jobs they deserve.
So, we rounded up 18 pro tips from 10 of the best careers and business experts we could find, from job site bosses to video-conferencing specialists – to help you ace your next video interview.
Lee Biggins – CV Library | Founder & CEO
1. Dress for success
Just because it’s a virtual meeting, it doesn’t mean you don’t need to dress up. Make sure you’re wearing a smart and professional outfit and get this ready the night before. Not only will this impress the interviewer, but it may also give you the extra boost in confidence you need to secure that role.
2. Confirm the (virtual) address
Verify the call links and ask for support from the interviewer if there are any technical glitches. If not, it could really harm your chances with a recruiter as it will give the impression you lack attention to detail and have turned up ill-prepared.
3. Look at the camera (not the screen) when speaking
Eye contact is essential during an interview and many people make the mistake of discounting this when it’s via video so, look at the camera on your device and not your screen.
Phil Haynes – Zoom | Head of global talent acquisition
4. Stay engaged with the interviewer
We notice when you keep looking at your phone, writing, or talking to people offscreen. When listening, show you are engaged by maintaining eye contact with your interviewer and exhibiting positive and professional body language.
5. Have an appropriate background
A messy room or view into your bathroom is a distraction from your story. Give yourself some privacy and quiet space. Even hanging a curtain to separate an area of your room can help. A virtual background or blurred background can also help you shine.
Margaret Buj – Interview-coach.co.uk | Founder
6. Show enthusiasm on camera
You want to sound (and look) enthusiastic and energetic, not bored or uncomfortable. You should try to come across as passionate about the job and the company you’re interviewing with.
7. Make the most of post-it-notes
Research the company ahead of time and prepare your answers to common interview questions, such as:
- Why are you interested in this role?
- What do you know about our company?
- What do you consider to be your biggest professional achievement?
Avoid memorising each response, so you don’t sound overly rehearsed. Instead, write some high-level thoughts down on Post-it Notes that you can stick to your computer. (ensure that they can’t be seen by the interviewer)
Marcus Wermuth – Buffer | Manager & remote work advocate
8. Be authentic and up-front
I am always a fan of being authentic. So if you have a baby, pets or puppies or anything that you might need to check on. Mention it to the interviewers. We are all just humans and those things are normal when working from home. Starting the interview with that can often send a great signal.
9. Minimise distractions
Turn on Do Not Disturb on your phone and PC. And if possible maximize the video call window so you can be fully focused and not distracted by the next email in your inbox.
Lisa Phelps – Adecco | Executive director
10. Test your tech
Before you take part in your remote video interview, test your microphone, speakers and camera and familiarise yourself with the interview software. Also check that you have a reliable internet connection that does not drop out and ruin your interview.
11. Sell, sell, sell
Remember to sell yourself. Whilst the interviewer absolutely wants to get to know you and your personality, the key purpose of the interview is to find out how your skills/expertise will benefit the organisation.
Rachel Jay – Flex Jobs | Remote content specialist
12. Arrive 10 minutes early
For an in-person interview, it’s courteous to show up approximately 10 minutes early. This tip also applies to video interviews, but the benefits go beyond just showing that you’re a punctual person. Arriving early for your online interview gives you a few extra minutes to log in in case you have issues.
Reuben Yonatan – GetVoIP | Founder & CEO
13. Have a back-up connection
A hiring manager won’t judge you (or your internet) if there are connection issues on your end, but delays don’t help either side. Have your phone’s wifi hotspot already set up so you can switch to the backup at a moment’s notice and reconnect with seconds delay rather than minutes. If you have to call into the interview and make it audio-only, so be it—as long as you’re still there.
14. Take notes and ask questions
It’s okay to type or write information down if the interviewer gives you the go-ahead. Don’t let it distract you from the conversation, but I’ve found that in remote interviews, the “do you have any questions for me?” phase is always a bit slow. If you take notes you’ll have insightful questions to ask at the end that show you’re engaged and heighten your consideration from the hiring manager.
Zoe Morris – Jefferson Frank | President
15. Run a practice call
Try calling someone around the same time, from the same spot you’ll be interviewing in, to see how everything looks and sounds, and ask them for feedback rather than seeing how you appear on the tiny preview on your own screen.
Nick Derham – Adria Solutions | Director & IT recruitment specialist
16. Take it seriously
Just like regular interviews, preparation is the key to acing a video interview. Candidates should prepare for video interviews as they would for a meeting office, researching the company and the person interviewing you, analysing the job description, preparing to answer competency-based questions and technical questions and, of course, thinking of a few questions to ask back at the interviewers when they give you a chance to do so.
Branka Vuleta – Legal Jobs | Founder
17. Close all your browser tabs
During the video interview, you want to be sure you shut down all your private tabs since they might distract you. Plus, if somebody sends you a message, the interviewer will hear this too and you’ll come off as unprofessional.
18. Talk loudly and clearly
You want to be sure the interviewer clearly understands what you are talking about. Some research says that almost a third of job seekers talk too quickly during video interviews. That said, make sure the interviewer understands what you’re saying, take your time to say what you have to say.