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Home Enquiring Minds 10 tips to ace your next video job interview

10 tips to ace your next video job interview

Leo Cussen Centre for Law 01 Feb 2021
Image of laptop and coffee cup

COVID-19 has changed the way we live. It’s also changed the way companies recruit.

With studies showing that up to 86% of employers are conducting their interviews online during the pandemic, there’s a strong chance your next job interview will be virtual.

Here are 10 tips to ace your next video interview:

1. Set up your space

Choosing the right environment for your video interview is crucial. Make sure you set yourself up in a quiet, private, well-lit spot, free from possible interruptions. If you live with others, you may want to lock your door or let others know you can’t be disturbed. Have your CV and other important documents on your desk in case you need to refer to them. Make sure you have a pen and paper to write down any important information during the interview. It’s also important to ensure your background is clutter-free and professional.

2. Confirm interview details ahead of time

Check with the employer if you’ll need to have anything with you for the interview and if you will be required to screen share any materials such as your CV. You should also check if the interview will be live or pre-recorded. Unlike live interviews, pre-recorded interviews require applicants to record a video of their answers which the employer watches at a later time. If it’s a live interview, you should find out what platform you’ll need and make sure you’ve got the required software. The most common platforms include Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, Webex and Skype.

3. Check your tech

Do a test run on the relevant platform to make sure everything is working as it should. Call a friend and check the stability and reliability of your internet connection. Pay particular attention to your sound and camera quality. If you’re using a personal account to make the call, make sure that you have a professional username appearing on the call. It’s also important to close any programs you have running in the background on your computer, as there is nothing more frustrating than having an interview interrupted by email or calendar pings.

4. Dress the part

You should wear exactly what you’d wear to an in-person interview. It might be tempting to only dress appropriately from the waist up, but dressing the entire part is the best way to get you in a professional mindset. You’ll be amazed how attire translates into attitude. To come across well on camera, it’s also best to avoid overly bright colours and patterns.

5. Use direct eye contact

Make sure you look directly at the camera when speaking. You may be tempted to look at the interviewer on your screen, but if their image is not aligned with your camera it will look as though you’re staring in another direction. If you feel more comfortable looking at the interviewer while you’re speaking, be sure to place their image as close to your camera lens as possible so that you’re not looking off to the side.

6. Use body language to connect

In pre-coronavirus times, you might have relied on a handshake or an informal chat at reception to build rapport. While video chats make this harder, it’s still possible to connect with your interviewer through body language. Nodding, smiling, and using hand gestures can all demonstrate positivity and engagement.

7. Watch the time

It can be easy to get carried away with your answers in a virtual interview, particularly with video lags and less visual cues. Be mindful of this and focus on keeping your answers concise. If your interview takes the form of a pre-recorded video, you will likely be given a strict time limit for each question, so be sure to keep an eye on the clock.

8. It’s okay to have a ‘cheat sheet’

One of the advantages of a video interview is that you can have some notes in front you without the interviewer noticing. Perhaps you have some great talking points that you’re afraid of forgetting, or some specific questions you’d like to ask the interviewer. There’s nothing wrong with writing down a few key points and sticking them behind your laptop or camera so that you’re not looking off to the side. But to sound natural, you should only use notes as a prompt and avoid reading out large chunks of information.

9. If things go wrong, don’t panic

Where technology is involved, there’s always a chance that things may go wrong. Make sure you have your interviewer’s phone number on hand to contact them if your connection is interrupted. If you can’t log back into the video call, contact the interviewer to explain the situation and ask if you can continue the interview by phone or reschedule for another time.

10. Send a thank you note

After the interview, email the interviewer to thank them for the opportunity and to reiterate your interest in the role.

By keeping these tips in mind while you are being interviewed via video, it will help you make the best possible impression with your interviewer.

Issued in February 2021 by Legal Super Pty Ltd ABN 37 004 455 789 AFSL  246315 as trustee for legalsuper ABN 60 346 078 879. This publication has been reproduced with the permission of Leo Cussen Institute (trading as the Leo Cussen Centre for Law). This publication includes general information only. This information is of a general nature and does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. It should not be considered to be personal advice. Before making any decision in relation to legalsuper, you are encouraged to obtain and read a copy of legalsuper’s Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) The PDS can be obtained at legalsuper.com.au.

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With studies showing that up to 86% of employers are conducting their interviews online during the pandemic, there’s a strong chance your next job interview will be virtual.

Leo Cussen Centre for Law

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