How to Smash Your Video Interview – Top Tips from Senior Sales Recruiters

In this current climate, hiring managers are having to adjust to remote interviewing. While some companies are putting their recruitment on hold, we have found that more hiring managers are becoming open to continue their recruitment processes. 

Video technology has been the saving grace these past weeks in helping to alleviate some of the challenges, particularly in the workforce. 

We spoke to some of the senior members in our team for their tips on how to nail a video interview and they shared their words of wisdom.  

Environment  

Choose a location that’s free from distractions. A hiring manager is going to struggle to concentrate on the interview if they’re focussed on reading a poster behind you or wondering why you have so much paprika on your spice rack. Anything that can steer the interviewer’s attention away from you and what you’re saying will leave a lasting impression on the interviewer.

Set yourself up somewhere quiet where you can concentrate completely. If you live with people, then let them know that you’re going to need a certain space free of all distractions for at least an hour. No dogs barking, no family in the same room, and no Professor Kelly’s children running in live on BBC News.  

If you know that you’ve ordered yet another parcel from Amazon Prime, leave a note on the door asking the courier not to knock or ring the doorbell. You don’t want to be mid-way through a long answer to ‘what’s been your biggest achievement in your career?’ and become distracted by the doorbell.  

Preparation 

Prepare like you would for a normal interview and then some. Natural social cues that keep the conversation going won’t be as easy to pick up on in a video interview – no “would you like a glass of water?” or “did you manage to find us okay?”Make sure you have a lot to say that will get across your personality as well as your enthusiasm and experience for the role. 

Do a test run to check that you can be heard clearly by calling a family member or friend. This is also useful to test your broadband and ensure it’s working well. This is important to avoid the absolute panic inducing catastrophe of your internet cutting out just before or during the interview – the kind of panic that would result from this could shave a few years off your life expectancy. If you check in advance and your broadband isn’t working well, at the very least a phone interview can be arranged. 

This might be an obvious point but a vitally important one – put your phone away and turn off any alerts that may come up on your screen. That includes any emails, texts, social media alerts, software updates, any other notifications that might show up. In a face to face interview, your phone wouldn’t be in front of you and a video interview should be treated the same. 

Prepare half an hour before the interview is due to start so you feel calm and centredVideo interviews can be jammy as having notes nearby of any speaking points can help to ease some stress. 

Be sat with 

  • glass of water  
  • Notepad and pen 
  • The job description 
  • Your CV 
  • The usual prep such as how you have done against your targetfor the last three years, what you have earned, business deals you can thoroughly discuss 
  • Notes of any questions you may have 

Appearance  

Dress as you would for a face to face interview which unfortunately does not include the old joggers or pyjamas on bottom. Doing so will make you feel more confident and prepared. Avoid wearing something that looks creased or untidy when sitting down. It’s a good idea to wear your interview outfit in your trial run with a friend or family member to see how it looks on screen.  

Consider the company you’re interviewing for. Dressing for an interview with an eCommerce start-up will be less formal than a big corporate organisation – it’s best to do your research for this. 

Lighting is important – you want to set up lighting that’s bright and illuminates your face from the front but not glaring. Ideally, there would be a window facing you to naturally highlight your face. Try not to move around too much to change the lighting which could be distracting. Do this by keeping good posture – feet on the ground, arms resting in your lap, and sitting up straight.  

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