These days it's becoming increasingly more common to have an online interview rather than an in-person interview. The COVID-19 pandemic played a big part in the rise in interviewing via video, through means such as Zoom, Skype or Teams.
You'll likely have a video job interview if you are going for a remote-work position. However, potential employers hiring in-office employees also use live video interviews to find the right person for the job.
You may think an interview is an interview, whatever the means of doing it. However, there are significant differences between a traditional interview in-person to an interview done via video call. Read on as we share some interview tips to help enhance your interview skills for online interviews.
How are online job interviews different to in-person interviews?
Video job interviews, also known as online job interviews, differ from traditional face-to-face interviews because they are conducted virtually through video conferencing software.
They have several advantages in that they can allow a company to interview candidates from anywhere in the world without the need for travel, which can open up more opportunities for job seekers. It also allows more flexibility as there are fewer restrictions on time and location.
Furthermore, virtual job interviews can be easily recorded for later review by the interviewer, hiring managers or HR professionals, which is not usually possible with traditional face-to-face interviews.
In some cases, the early rounds of interviews may be pre-recorded video interviews, where the job candidates would be recorded answering pre-recorded questions and not meeting an actual person until further along the interview process. Pre-recorded interviews can actually be more daunting for some candidates.
Of course, there are a few disadvantages to interviewing over a computer screen. Although you can prepare your answers to common interview questions as you would for an in-person interview, it can feel more unnatural on a webcam than it would during an in-person interview. There's also the risk of technology failures on the day.
So how do you prepare for an online interview to give yourself the best chance? Let's take a look.
7 online interview tips for acing an online video job interview
1. Find the perfect spot.
As part of your interview preparation, you must ensure you know the perfect spot to conduct the interview. Whether it's at home or in an office, you need to find a quiet spot with a good internet connection and nothing to distract you.
You want to ensure there is enough natural light that your screen is not too dark, but ensure there is no glare on the screen to restrict your view of the interviewer.
Where your webcam is placed will be important. If you're using a laptop (for example), it's best to have it placed on a table at eye level rather than on your lap.
2. Test everything before the day of the interview.
Technology is wonderful, but it can be extremely stressful when it goes wrong. Before the day of the interview, test the video software, and make sure your webcam and microphone can both connect to it.
Ensure you've got the right video program set up. There would be nothing worse than moments before the interview starts realising it's a Skype interview, and you don't have Skype downloaded. Check what interview software you'll be using.
3. Don't risk being late. Log on early.
On the day of your interview, it's worth running one final check an hour before your interview to ensure everything is ready. Then, log on 10 minutes early so everything is ready for you to connect simply.
Being late for an in-person job interview doesn't look good, but external factors such as heavy traffic can cause this to happen. However, there are few viable excuses for being late to virtual interviews. Give yourself time, and you'll feel far more relaxed.
4. Prepare the same way you would for an in-person interview.
You should prepare for a video interview the same way you would if you were going in person. Even though an online interview is being conducted virtually, the interview format is likely to be the same, and it's still a real interview.
Do your research on the company, make sure you understand the job description and prepare your answers to common interview questions. As well as answering questions, prepare some of your own to help make you look prepared and interested in the company and the role. Doing a practice interview with a friend, family member, or recruiter can be beneficial.
5. Dress to impress.
Even if you're doing a Zoom interview, you should be dressed to make a good first impression. Although remote working and a more relaxed dress code in offices mean employees can take a more casual approach to what they wear to work, it's important to put your best foot forward for an interview.
Just because the interview is taking place online and you're at home doesn't mean you should be any less presentable. Plus, not only will it make a good impression, it will help you mentally get into interview mode and help you feel more confident.
6. Be aware of your body language.
One of the hardest factors about virtual interviews is giving the interviewer the best version of yourself. It can sometimes be more difficult to demonstrate your enthusiasm and professionalism over video. Be aware of your posture and sit up straight. You risk giving a bad impression if you're slumped in your chair.
Making eye contact is one of the hardest things to do during an online interview. Try to place your camera in a position that allows you to look at the camera directly. When you're answering questions, try to look directly into the camera rather than watch the screen.
7. Relax and try to enjoy the process.
Online interviews are similar to in-person interviews, the interviewer asks questions, and you answer to the best of your ability. A video interview will take the same amount of time and is just as interactive as in-person.
Make sure you smile and gesture as you would if they were sitting across from you. The more you can relax, the better you'll come across, and the better the connection you can make with the interviewer, the better your chances of success.
We hope these video interview tips will help you feel ready for your next video interview. If you would like any further advice, please let our team know.
Here at Venture Recruitment Partners, we can help you with your dream of finding a new job. Our experienced team is on hand to help. Please register with us today. Register with us · Venture Recruitment Partners (vrpartners.co.uk)