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Video interviews are becoming an increasingly popular method amongst employers, with hiring becoming more global and more employees working remotely, they’re a quick way to conduct first-round interviews. A 2019 survey from the Institute of Student Employers found 47% of employers to now use video interviews during their hiring process.
Whilst there are many advantages for employers to use video interviews, for candidates they are often an unknown territory, and can sometimes feel more daunting than an in-person interview. However, video interviews are a great way to impress an employer, show off your personality and find out more about the role you are applying for.
If you’re feeling apprehensive about an upcoming video interview, whether it’s live or pre-recorded, we’ve put together our top video interview tips along with example video interview questions, to ensure your video interview runs smoothly and you secure the next stage of your application process.
To ensure your video interview runs smoothly and you minimise technical glitches, it’s important to spend some time preparing your interview software and technology. You want to be able to press accept on a video call as soon as an employer calls, and for them to be able to see and hear you clearly. This will help create a professional, put-together profile and show that you have a basic technology understanding – especially important if you’re applying to IT, Software and Engineering graduate jobs.
Employers will let you know before your video interview what platform the interview will take place on, whether it’s Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts, or any other interview software, it’s important to download the software and familiarise yourself with the functions.
If you’re wondering how to set up a skype interview, here are our three simple steps:
You want to know how to use the basic functions of the video platform you will be using, such as how to adjust the volume, turn on your webcam, and how to start and end a call. It's also important to clarify with an employer who is initiating the call before your video interview, so you are prepared to start the call at the proposed time or are ready waiting to accept the call.
Before your video interview, you want to have your technology sorted, tested and ready to go. Checking your internet speed is one of the top skype interview tips. For a clear HD video connection, you need at least 10 Mbps (mega bites per second), test your internet connection a few days before your interview at SpeedTest, and if your WIFI isn’t up to speed, try swapping for an Ethernet cable or change locations.
Along with testing your WIFI, you also want to test your audio, run a test video call with another person and if they can hear background noise or your computer fan, you may need to use skype interview headphones. If your computer doesn’t have an inbuilt webcam, make sure to order one (Amazon Prime will deliver the next day if you need one ASAP) and if your budget permits, order one above the cheapest price to ensure good quality.
Preparing and setting up your technology well before your interview will allow you to test any problems and be as prepared as possible. However, often unexpected technology errors will occur that you have no control over, so before you begin an interview it’s useful to provide an employer with a number they can reach you on if your laptop’s having a meltdown. This shows imitative and is a good back up plan if your technology fails you.
If your video interview changes to a phone call or you have an upcoming phone interview, be sure to check out our graduate phone interview tips!
Some of the best video interview examples are those that take place in an appropriate and professional environment, you don’t the interviewer to focus on anything else than you and what you’re saying (i.e. your dirty washing).
Find a space that is well lit and set up your laptop so you are facing a window, this will make sure you have the most natural light and that you’re not backlit - ensuring an employer can see you as clearly as possible.
Run a test video call to see what your background will look like in a call, if it’s too dark swap settings and when you are happy set up your work-station here. Your surroundings and what’s in the camera frame all play a part in how an employer perceives you, so make sure your background is as neutral as possible.
It’s important with video interviews that you wear the same professional clothes that you would wear to a face-to-face interview. Be sure to read up on the company’s fashion culture and what an employer has advised you to wear to an interview and dress accordingly.
While it can be tempting to wear something comfier and more laid back, you still want to give off the same professional persona and show that you are serious about the role.
Maintaining eye contact and open body language is essential during video interviews, employers will be judging your online presence and how you present yourself when talking.
It’s important to maintain eye-contact with the interviewer, make sure your camera or webcam is at eye level and try to look straight into the camera as often as possible, avoiding looking down or distant. You want to sit up straight in your chair and maintain good posture throughout the interview, as slouching won’t help create a professional impression.
You also want to avoid crossing your arms as this shows closed body language and creates an uninviting image. It’s also important to reduce any fidgeting during the interview as this may be distracting for employers and take their attention away from what you’re saying.
Showing the correct body language is central to nailing the video interview, sitting up straight, not fidgeting and looking at the camera all show you’re engaged in conversation and completely focused on what the employer is saying.
There are two types of video interviews, live video interviews, which are real-time conversational video interviews and pre-recorded interviews, where candidates will listen or read a set of questions and respond after via video. Recorded video interviews are often the less used choice amongst employers, however, if you have an upcoming pre-recorded interview, here are some of our out top recorded video interview tips.
Pre-recorded video interviews will ask candidates to respond to a question via a recorded clip, it’s worth spending some time getting used to responding to questions in this format, as it can feel strange at first to speak in this unconventional way.
With pre-recorded video interviews, candidates will often have to respond straight away to questions or will be given a certain time limit, so preparing model answers is key to ensuring you are able to give a great answer in the time you have.
Make some notes for potential questions that may come up or topics that you want to speak about and have these ready when answering the questions. One of the main advantages to recorded videos is that you can look down at your notes during the interview for guidance and to include all the points you want to dicuss.
Check out our graduate Interview Questions Hub, with questions and answers to some of the most common interview questions.
With any interview it’s important to prepare interview questions you may be asked along with example answers. Video interviews are most often the stage before face-to-face interviews, this is an employer's first chance to get to know you and find out about your ambitions, so they will most likely ask general questions followed up with more in-depth questions during a face-to-face- interview. Visit our Graduate Interview Questions Hub for some of the most common interview questions and answers to prepare for your video interview and confidently answer any questions that an employer may ask.
Preparation is key for any job interview, you want to read thoroughly over the job description and research the company, so you’re confident answering any question and have a solid understanding about the role you’re applying for. Have a look at our full graduate job interview checklist for everything that's important to prepare before an interview.
It’s also important with video interviews to prepare questions to ask the employers, this shows you’re interested in the role and you're keen to learn more about the company. Check out the killer interview questions you should be asking an employer.
Watch our interview questions videos below for sample answers to the most common interview questions. Tip: change the playback speed in the settings at the bottom right corner, to suit your learning requirements. Subscribe to our YouTube channel for more great videos!
Video interviews don’t have to be daunting; they are a great way to make a great first impression on an employer and to find out more about the graduate job you’re applying to. Implement our top skype and video tips for job seekers to ensure a smooth video interview and to secure the next stage of your graduate job application – bookmark our tips for a successful face-to-face interview!