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How to video interview

With the most recent government guidelines instructing all companies, where possible, to move employees to home working, self-isolation for 14 days and minimal human contact, the hiring process has moved from face-to-face meetings to video.

While the content of those interviews is ultimately the same and the candidates and hiring managers should treat them in the same way as in-person interviews, often this doesn’t happen and candidates don’t see the importance of this first stage in the hiring process.

I’ve put together the following to help everyone get the most out of their video interviews and show just how invaluable they can be at this crazy time.


Will they hire me from a video?

Companies are always proud when they are able to quickly fill positions. They may be less concerned about that measure during the pandemic, though. In other words, companies may take longer to make you an offer with no agreed start date.

It would be highly unusual to offer someone a job offer off the back of a video interview alone, especially for senior roles, but it can significantly reduce the hiring time by eliminating first stage interviews when the world bounces back from the current situation.

Another issue is on-boarding. All new starters need to be welcomed, trained and invested in within the first few weeks in a new role, or they will have no guide on what is expected or what is required of them, not to mention the potential feelings of isolation of joining a company from their bedroom or home office. If everyone is going to be out of the office, working remotely and not meeting regularly, it may be harder to get people on the same page culturally too.

While no one wants to take part in prolonged hiring processes, you need to remember that we’re currently dealing with unprecedented circumstances. If you are looking for a new role then you’ll need to get on board with these changes and embrace the technology available to be considered for roles, no matter how long it takes.


Do your homework

Fortunately, the first step in preparing for video interviews is not unlike what you did before the pandemic began. The key is to do as much work and research ahead of an interview as possible.

During your research, it’s important to find potential topics of conversation with the interviewer(s). Generally, video interviews tend to contain less small talk and be shorter than in-person meetings. So, it’s even more important that you make an effort to form a bond with the person on the other side of the screen. Look at the company’s social media, recent industry events or news. Make sure you do some homework on the person interviewing you too. Perhaps you can mention something they said on a podcast or elsewhere and ask them about their time with the business.

You are also likely to be asked why you want to work for a certain company. Again, do your homework and make sure that you haven’t just scanned their website’s home page. Every agent gets told they were “founded in 1976” and are “a local independent”! Instead, be creative; look at their market share, the senior team, their glass door or google reviews.


Think about where you a doing the interview

Unlike in-person interviews, those done by video often open a window into your personal life. A hiring manager will make assumptions about you based on your surroundings. Mountains of washing, messy beds and choice wall posters may affect your chances of getting hired.

Make sure you have a neutral background with good lighting, ideally natural light and make sure the camera is at eye level rather than up your nose!

For those of you who don’t have access to a webcam or a laptop with a built-in camera, the technology we use can be accessed from your mobile, but make sure the phone is on a stand or propped up, no one wants to feel sick from camera shake.


During the interview

While many of the formal job interview questions will be the same whether in-person or over the video, you should consider asking about the timeline for the hire you are interviewing for and you should ask if the position will be remote until the pandemic is over and how the onboarding process will proceed if the company continues to work remotely for a month or two.

It’s important to tell the hiring manager how interested you are in the opportunity and you should thank the person for their time, tell them how impressed you are with the team and say how honoured you are to be considered for the position.


Uncertain times

Things are a bit crazy right now and you should expect the unexpected during these next few weeks while people are working from home and a video interview with the kids and family about may not be the easiest to do, but people will understand.

Do your best and remember to treat a video interview in the same way as a first stage face to face interview. This is your opportunity to shine and secure that next stage interview.

Good luck!


For further tips and advice, give us a call – 01865 411522





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