Like it or not, video interviews are now part of the recruitment landscape.
With LawLink’s short handy guide, you can make sure that you avoid common pitfalls and come out looking like the likely candidate.
Here are the basics:
- Make sure you find a quiet, private place where no-one else in your household will disturb you. You may need to put a sign on the door to remind people that you’re in an important meeting.
- Make sure your background is neutral, professional and tidy. (Take down those thrash metal posters and replace them with … well, something more suitable!) Remember, prospective employers will be looking for visual clues and hints from your surroundings to assess your personality. You could use this to your advantage by perhaps displaying a framed certificate that you’re particularly proud of behind you or even a sports trophy. A bookshelf also makes a great background and a healthy plant can also look good. Spend some time and really make sure your background looks great.
- Next, get the lighting right. If you sit in front of a window the interviewer won’t be able to see your face. So face the window or have a soft light shining from behind your screen. (This is also more flattering!)
- Test your internet, your sound and your webcam. Having those kind of glitches at the start of lockdown was ok but not now and close any unnecessary tabs or apps on your desktop to make sure your tech isn’t hindered in any way. Put your phone on silent.
- If you’re using a laptop, make sure it’s on a desk and not on your knees, and raise it up using a pile of books so that you can give the impression of looking at your interviewer eye-to-eye, rather than giving them the opportunity to look up your nose. You need your face to be about mid screen – not too high or too low.
- Need we say it – dress professionally! Please, no Hawaiian Shirts or sportswear. Dress for a virtual interview as you would for an actual one. Avoid bright colours or busy patterns on shirts/blouses and ties but add interest with tasteful additions of soft colours. Do a practice run with a friend to try out the outfit and background.
- Have a pen, paper and copy of your resume on your desk.
- Body language – remember to nod and smile, try to keep ‘eye contact’ by looking at the top part of the screen near the webcam and not off into the distance. Remember, you’re on camera so try not to bite your nails /scratch your head / play with your hair / touch your face.
It sounds cliched, but we’ll say it anyway: relax and remember to be yourself.