‘Fail to prepare, prepare to fail’ is an old adage which more than ever applies when you’ve been invited to do a video interview. As an international construction recruitment agency we’re well practiced in advising our candidates on how to excel in worldwide video interviews.
Having a virtual interview introduces new challenges and opportunities to stand out. Here are our top tips to prepare for your virtual interview:
Create an “at home” professional interview setting
Firstly, decide where you will conduct the interview. Ensure you:
- Sit at a desk, not on the sofa.
- Have complimentary lighting. Sit by a window, if possible, for natural light.
- Consider the background of your video and ensure the room is tidy. Depending on the situation and job you may want to consider using a background image from the selection that comes with some video platforms.
- Ensure you have a good camera, ideally positioned at eye level and not looking up your nose. Consider investing in a separate higher quality webcam that can be mounted on top of your monitor.
- Invest in a good quality microphone or headset that is certified for use with your primary video conferencing app – you will get better integration and quality.
Dress as you would if it was an in-person interview, this not only conveys a professional image to the interviewers but will hopefully put you in the correct professional and confident mental state – so wear your work shoes not slippers.
Check how you and your environment look on screen to ensure you look your best.
Test, test and test again
All video conferencing applications have test options that will let you test video and call quality, use them and make sure the default device settings are correct for your equipment.
Always have a practice run with a friend or colleague to test the process especially if you’ve never used Zoom, Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams or such before.
Practice looking at the screen and camera and remaining alert and engaged, not looking down at your desk or around the room. As in any interview take time to think before answering a question and speak slowly and clearly into your microphone.
Make sure you know how to screenshare If you are going to have to show your work. One key tip is to only share the application you want to show and not your whole screen, which will avoid any embarrassing interruptions.
Learn how to switch your camera on and off and to mute and unmute your microphone – really understand you vc application – this way you can focus on the interview and not the technology.
Prepare any content and questions
First impressions count, so open as you would in real life with a smile and confident hello or introduction.
Have post it note prompts, stick them around your computer or put them in a word document on screen and be prepared for all questions including the old favourites:
- What are your weaknesses?
- Why should we hire you?
- What do you know about the company?
In addition, you should have the questions you want to ask to hand and any key points you want to convey about your experience or suitability for the role.
Avoid noise and distractions
Make sure everyone else in the house knows you are interviewing. If you live with family and dog, perhaps suggest they all go out for a walk.
Always close down other applications when on a call so the call isn’t interrupted by alerts and pings, and if you have limited internet bandwidth ask others to stay off the internet.
Follow these basic tips and you’re definitely one step further to securing your dream job.
Construction Recruitment Director, UK & Canada