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Video Interviewing Do’s and Don’ts

Video interviews are becoming more and more typical in this progressive and busy world. With the novel COVID-19 pandemic already changing the way businesses run, with possible long-term effect, video interviews will become a common occurrence for us all.

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Lawsons recruitment have found themselves giving advice on best practise for interviewing online for a number of years already, as often a job role will come up for a Project Manager, for example, on a construction site in the South East, and the ideal candidate will be North West. This is a good second stage interview process after an initial phone call, and is an efficient use of time for both client and candidate. 

The dos of a video interview

✅ 1. Always do a dry run

A few days before, it is worth doing a practise run with a friend or family member. Make sure that you have a good connection, the camera is clear and positioned well, and that you have chosen a quiet place in your home with a simple background so the interviewer is focussed on you and not the book shelf behind you.

 

✅ 2. Fully Charged

Make sure your device is fully charged! Put it on charge the night before, and if using a tablet, try to secure it in a stationary position so you aren’t holding it for the interview. If you can avoid using a smart phone, that would be ideal, as the picture will be small and likely a little shaky in your hands!

✅ 3.  Dress for the Occasion

As tempting as it can be when you’re at home, to wear your comfy casuals, dress as if you were going to the physical interview. Avoid anything bright or in your face, and make sure it looks smart and presentable while you’re sitting down. It is worth wearing it on your practise run, so you can get some feedback!

✅ 4. It’s all in the body language 

Confident body language is as important on screen as it is off. Do not be slouching on the sofa – make sure you are sitting upright in a chair. Look at the camera, rather than your picture on the screen, and try not to fidget or touch your face too much.

✅ 5. Be prepared

If you can, print off your cv / resume and have it stuck to the side of the screen. In any interview, it is best to go through it beforehand to remind yourself of your experience from years ago, but this way, you can easily refer to it to help answer any questions that are thrown at you. 

 

The don’ts of a video interview

❌ 1. Don’t be late

Sounds obvious, but it is all too easy to think to log in just moments before the interview is due to start. Technology can let us down at the best of times, so it is a good idea to login 10 minutes before. That way you can check that your surrounding is looking good – no dirty laundry in the background, and that the connection is good.

❌ 2. Don’t rely solely on technology – have a plan B

Just in case that technology does crash, even if it is half way through your interview, it would show good foresight to provide the interviewer with your telephone number and agree that they should call you if anything should suddenly fail.

❌ 3. Don’t mumble

The lines of communication across the internet can be a little fuzzy and delayed, so try to pronounce your words as clearly as possible so that it is easy for the interviewer to understand you. 

❌ 4. Don’t have your phone in eyeshot

It is so easy, and natural to look down at your phone when you see a message or email come in. This will not look good in the interview, and could give the impression that you are bored or disinterested. For the duration of the interview, it is best to have it out of sight and on silence.

❌ 5. Don’t rush off 

If you don’t like how you look on camera, or you feel uncomfortable in this new setting, you might be tempted to rush through the interview and shut the camera down as soon as possible. Please try not to! Don’t be afraid to ask the interviewer to repeat a question, and take the time at the end, to thank them for their time. It will pay off in the end.