Video Interviewing Tips for Candidates

By June 29, 2015Interview Tips

Although interviews can be really nerve-racking, a good first impression can really make a difference. More and more companies are using video interviewing for early-round candidate selection, which helps bring a candidate to life much earlier in the process. We’ve put together our top 5 tips for candidates to excel in their next video interview.

Be Aware of your Background and Environment

Your viewing environment should be quiet, simple and well illuminated. Make sure that the area your recruiter will see on video is clean and tidy. Don’t sit with a window right behind you – it’ll create a shadow and make you very hard to see. Have your laptop at eye-level (put books underneath it to elevate as necessary) and put a desk lamp nearby so you can adjust the light. Once you decide where to complete your interview (most people complete their video interview at home according to this new research by Sonru), make sure that everyone knows to keep quiet. Don’t let housemates, pets, deliveries or doorbells disturb you!

Of course, some things are out of your control. If your dog Fido jumps on your lap with his loudest squeaky toy and messes up your interview, don’t worry. A great video interview software provider will have a support team there to help, 24/7.

Prepare Beforehand

Sounds obvious, but have you fully charged your laptop or mobile device? When is the last time you turned on your webcam or microphone? Don’t leave it until the last minute to test your equipment. You don’t want to miss your chance because of a faulty wire or bad connection. Completing a video interview is really easy and the system will flag if there is any issue with your hardware. With Sonru, a 24/7 support team are on-hand to help in the unlikely event that you have a tech issue (less than 1% of people do!).

Put your laptop or device on Do Not Disturb, blocking all incoming notifications and calls. Turn off Skype and Facetime. Make sure you have nothing running in the background. It’s a good idea to tell people you’re doing an interview, and not to call or interrupt you. Even put a sign on the door “Dream Job Interview in Progress. Please do not Disturb”. It’s just you and your interview.

Dress to Impress

It’s really important to dress as you would for a face-to-face interview, even though you know the recruiter will only be able to see you from the waist up! It may be tempting to wear your most comfortable sweats and a crisp white blouse, but dressing formally will actually make you feel more confident and assertive. Even your body language will change. This will ultimately affect your interview performance. Try to avoid busy patterns and crazy designs, instead opting for a block colour.

Dressing formally also makes sure you’re ready for any situation, so if one of your interview questions is “Can you do the Macarena?” you’re ready to perform!

Practice Makes Perfect

As with everything, practice makes perfect. People are becoming more and more familiar and comfortable with video interview technology, thanks to mainstream social applications like Skype, Facetime and even Snapchat! Pick a time that suits you to complete your interview and then put aside time to practice. Log in and familiarise yourself with the system. On the Sonru system, only you can see your practice interviews, so it’s the perfect time to make a mistake. Practice, practice and practice again. You’ll gain more confidence with each practice interview and you’ll ooze coolness when completing the real deal.

Not many things in life are free, but practice interviews are – some candidates complete 100+!

Make Eye Contact

This might sound like a silly tip – the interview is one way, so how can you make eye contact? Look at the camera, not at yourself on the screen. When a recruiter reviews the interview, you’re recording will be looking directly at them, making eye contact. This exerts confidence and will be more engaging for the recruiter. Don’t stare – act natural, as if the interviewer was there in the room with you! Some candidates put an image of a friend or loved one behind the camera. If this helps you, do it!

Sonru has made this easier for you, by making the live screen quite small on our candidate interface, helping to make sure you’re totally focused on your answers.

Above all else, have confidence in yourself, your experience and your abilities. You’ve got this!

What tips have worked for your candidates? Read more here.