As we move into the era of hybrid working, everyone is familiar with video meetings. We no longer need the old advice about practising with a friend to get used to speaking over video. But you might be invited to an interview on a platform you’re not familiar with. If you can, download any software in advance, and check out audio and video settings.
Have a plan B in case something goes wrong: this interview is really important for both you and the interviewer, and there are plenty of horror stories about video tech not working at the crucial moment. So make sure you have a back-up system in place beforehand in case there’s some kind of problem. This could be anything from an unexpected update on your desktop to a Wi-Fi crisis. For example, ask for a phone number you can call if you’re struggling to connect over video.
Create some privacy
Choose the right location for your interview. The café where you normally work might have distractions, noise, passers-by, etc. At home, you might be interrupted by family members, children, or even pets.
At home, speak to the people you live with about your interview so they know you shouldn’t be disturbed – you can put a sign on your door so they don’t forget. If you normally work in noisy environments like cafés, find somewhere quieter and more private for the interview. For example, check out local co-working spaces – many offer private meeting rooms you can book.
If there is an interruption, don’t worry. The pandemic has given lots of us a big insight into our colleagues’ busy home lives, and many people have had to work in challenging spaces. If you’ve done your best, your interviewer should be understanding.
Your face, your space
Make sure you put your best foot forward in your video interview. Dress well in clothing that works on video (for example, avoid busy patterns). Check how you look in your camera view before the interview.
And make sure your space looks presentable, too, especially if you’re dialling in from your home office. If your role is remote or hybrid, your interviewer might use the interview to check you have somewhere appropriate to work. Look at your background in your camera view and remove anything too distracting or private for the interview. Or use a virtual background.
Advantages of video
There are some things you can do in a video interview that you can’t get away with in person. For example, you can make notes of things you want to mention, key facts about your prospective employer, or questions you’d like to ask.
Keep the notes out of view of your interviewer – maybe you can put them on the desk in front of your PC, or even write them on sticky notes at the edges of your screen. Make the video format work for you.
With a bit of preparation and planning, you can ace your video job interview.
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