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13 steps to a perfect video job interview

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Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the video job interview has become the new normal.

Zoom, Microsoft Teams, WhatsApp and FaceTime are all increasingly being used as a simple, safe and time-saving medium to manage the hiring process. So, in a world where we have got used to looking presentable from the waist upwards, we thought we’d share some top tips for ensuring video interview success.

Over the years, Workforce have placed thousands of candidates; relocating them from all over the UK and Europe, often based on their successful video interviews.

That’s why we’ve decided to put together this handy guide to help you nail it!

First things first, it’s important to make sure your surroundings are appropriate

When choosing the perfect place for your interview, make sure it’s:


1. Well-lit

Situate yourself near a window or a lamp and ensure your face is clearly visible on camera – not too dark and not too bright.

2. Quiet

Choose a room where you can be alone, with no pets, children or loud devices in sight (or sound). Even something like a working washing machine or a dishwasher can create a lot of noise for your device’s microphone.

3. Private

The last thing you want to happen during your interview is a background actor stealing your thunder. If you live with other people, inform them about your interview and ask them not to interrupt you until you tell them otherwise. It won’t hurt to lock your door as well, just in case.

4. Appropriate background

When you choose where to sit, look behind you and analyse everything that could be seen in the background. Keep it as neutral as possible and get rid of anything that could be considered inappropriate, controversial or unprofessional.

So you’re all set, now ensure that your technology doesn’t let you down

Once you’re sitting down and settled in, it’s time to do everything you can to prevent any technical difficulties from occurring.


5. Check your Internet connection

If you live in a big place, find the room closest to your router if you can. You can easily check your Internet speed online by just typing ‘internet speed test’ into Google and clicking ‘Run Speed Test’.

For good quality video during a one-on-one conversation, your internet speed should be at least 1.5 Mbps.

6.Test your camera and audio

Do it either in the app you’ll be using (Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype etc) or on a website like webcammictest. Or even better – do a trial run by ringing a friend or family member!

This is also the perfect way to double-check other things such as the lighting or your background.

7. Mute your phone

Your phone ringing mid-interview is always bad – not just because it makes you look impolite, but also because it’s likely to distract you.

Just to be safe, put your phone in a ‘do not disturb’ mode or turn off your notifications – this way you won’t be tempted to look at your phone and lose track.

8. Close any applications and tabs on your computer that you don’t need

Even if you use a laptop with a powerful processor, this isn’t the time to take chances – close all windows and software that you won’t be needing during your interview.

Make a good impression

All your surroundings and devices are perfect – what’s next?


9. Have your CV and notes at hand

Whether you can print them off or just have them open on your computer, having your up-to-date CV along with some useful notes can always help you manage any stress and avoid going off-topic.

10. Have a contingency plan

In the unlikely case that everything fails (knock on wood, cross your fingers and pray to the technology gods it’ll all be fine!), before the interview, make sure your interviewer has your phone number so that they can call you and complete the interview over the phone if needs be.

11. Prepare

Just like in a face-to-face interview, you should always do your research. No matter what the position is, familiarise yourself with the job description and think about what makes you the perfect candidate. Then find out as much as you can about the company, the department you’re applying for, and freshen up your CV to be able to quickly provide evidence of your experience. Don’t forget to prepare some questions to ask the employer as well.

12. Remember it’s an interview

Make eye contact by looking straight into your camera as much as you can, make hand gestures when you speak, nod and smile to show you’re constantly engaged.

Because you’re likely to be attending the interview in your own home, maybe even in your bedroom, there’s always the danger that you end up feeling too comfortable. Remember that you can be seen at all times, so put as much scrutiny to your behaviour, appearance and body language as you would for a face-to-face interview.

13. Look the part!

When in doubt, business casual is always a safe bet. Here’s a handy guide we found that explains things a little clearer.

Make an effort – brush your hair, make sure you don’t look like you just got out of bed. Goes without saying – the safest bet is to prepare for this meeting as though you were going into an office to have the interview.

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Maximum file size: 516MB