Five top tips for a video job interview
Our guide to success
It's no longer uncommon for an employer to interview candidates for a job using video conferencing software like Skype or FaceTime.
With an increasing amount of employers using this method to recruit at a range of different levels, it's more important than ever to be prepared - just in case you're invited to one. However, despite its steep rise in popularity, the vast majority of us are still relatively inexperienced at the techniques that could ultimately secure our dream job. There are pitfalls, as with all types of interview, but with a little planning and few tips from us, you can go into one feeling confident.
There's a very good chance that you will be asked for an interview over Skype, so make sure you've got the version that works properly with your choice of device – we'd recommend a laptop if possible. It's definitely worth having a few practice calls with friends or family members to run through your prepared questions and answers, and to check the connection. Make sure you have at least 1.2mbps of bandwidth. The best kind of connection is LAN, then Wi-Fi, and a mobile 3G or 4G connection should be your absolute last resort.
Oh, and one more thing – you might want to check your Skype handle. Having a name like UNICORNcharlie7 might have been amusing when you were 15, but it's not going to cut it with a potential employer.
3. Body language
You might not be in the same room as your interviewer, but you still need to be aware of what your body is doing. So make sure you sit up straight, minimise fidgeting, look attentive, speak clearly and show enthusiasm.
4. Eye contact
Everybody knows the importance of good eye contact during face-to-face interviews, but it's important to not forget that during a video interview too. Rather than looking at the screen, look into the webcam itself. It may feel a little odd at first, but you'll look like a confident candidate from the other side. If you have to rely on notes, try not to rely on them too much if you can help it.
The most of obvious thing is that you don't want to make a video call in a busy room, where those that live with you etc. might be walking through. It won't look professional if your phone keeps going off or your computer's applications notify you when you get a new message. Treat the interview with the same level of importance as one that would be conduct at the interviewers' place of work. So no distractions!
So, those are the pitfalls to avoid but there are also several positives to being interviewed by a video call:
1. You can arrange a convenient time to conduct the interview
2. You can be interviewed from the comfort of your own home
3. You won't have to factor in travel time, stresses or cost
4. You will be able to avoid accidentally bumping into current colleagues
5. It also means that you can easily apply for a position overseas