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How Do You Stand Out In A Video Interview

Interviews, at the best of times, can be unsettling. In a virtual set up, the experience can be a bit more daunting.

However, the good news is that the questions you will be asked during a video interview, and the way you conduct yourself, will largely remain the same as a traditional interview. Having said that, you need to be prepared well and think about aspects that you may not have thought of in an in-person interaction – because in a virtual setting, there are some key facts to keep in mind.

Here’s how you can ace a live video interview:

1. Equipment

It sounds obvious, but it’s easily left to the last minute. Ahead of time, you should familiarise yourself with the functionality of the video conferencing platform, check that your internet connection is stable, it may even be worth investing in a second router if your connection tends to drop off.

Practice is the key to success, ask a friend to video call you so you are able to test the camera and sound, take the time to go over some mock interview questions with them so you get used to delivery on the screen.

Close all unnecessary browsers, the interviewer doesn’t need to see your shopping habits at the top of the screen, closing apps/browsers will also help stabilise your internet connection. Using your smart phone for a video interview should be a last resort, however not all of us have the luxury of a laptop/desktop per person in one household. If you do have to use your phone let the recruiter know and explain your situation ahead of time. Last, but by no means least, whether it be a laptop, tablet or smart phone, do not forget to charge the device!

2. Preparation

As a rule, it’s not a good idea to sit with your back to a window. Instead, sit facing the window, so the light falls on you. However, natural light can change depending on the time of the day, so use two desk lamps either side of you (ideally), to illuminate your face and position the webcam so it aligns with the interviewers eyes.

Your background should be uncluttered. While it may be a personal choice, but try and avoid artificial backdrops, even the professional ones. Keep it simple with a nice painting hanging up or a bookshelf with nothing embarrassing on it (not a bed preferably) – these small touches count.

Like any interview, dress to impress, but avoid patterns, dots, stripes as they do not always translate well on screen. Again like a ‘traditional interview’ arrive early be at your desk ready to start an interview a minimum of 10 minutes before.

3. Delivery

Lights, camera, action you are ready for your close up! Make sure the sound levels are correct, no harm in asking the interviewer if they can hear you clearly at the start of the interview, maintain good eye contact and body language but avoid moving too much as it can be distracting. Talking about distractions, put your mobile phone on silent and in the other room if possible, close down all notifications, pop ups, emails and find a quiet space. Spend the interview focused on answering the questions that you worked so hard to prepare for.

  • Communicating effectively is key

    • Articulate well – in a virtual setting it becomes all the more important to
      communicate well. So articulate your answers well and speak at the right volume.
    • Make eye-contact – as said above, when answering the questions, try not to look at the person’s video, but directly at the camera. This will have you making the eye-contact that’s critical during an interview – it will inspire confidence in you and show that they have your full attention.
  • Reflect optimism with your body language – have a good posture, sitting upright in a chair. This makes a big difference in how you are perceived at the other end.
4. Final tip

Some organisations may have a dedicated video conferencing system, others may rely on what’s already out on the public domain, if you are using personal software make sure you have an appropriate login name… missy234567 does not portray the professional you!

Video interviews are not just a fad during the pandemic, as the recruitment process becomes more global, my prediction is that we will see a rise in video interviews as part of the hiring process. Be ready to take your digital interviewing skills to the next level in order to secure a successful outcome!

Written by – Roshni Barot, Employer Engagement and Skills Development Manager, at the University of Birmingham Dubai.

Date added
30.07.2020

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