How do I prepare for a video interview? Pt. 2

Lucas Clarysse, Unsplash

Welcome back to part 2 of ‘How do I prepare for a video interview?’

As promised, today I’m going to blast through a bunch of ideas that a lot of people overlook whilst preparing for a video interview. Today you’ll find hints and tips that are so easy to get right. But when you get them wrong, it can have a major impact on the way your interview goes.

  • Test the interview link beforehand. As in, 2 or 3 days before your interview. I’ve had candidates miss interviews because they didn’t realise their computer wasn’t compatible with the software needed. Do not let first time you test your interview link be 1 minute before the start time.
  • Turn off all other windows, screens, applications, notifications – on all devices before you start. It’s so much easier to get distracted in a video interview vs face-to-face. In person, you have no choice but to be present. Kill any possibility of your attention being diverted.
  • Practice, practice, practice. Do a trial run beforehand with a friend or relative. Is your wifi strong enough? Do you know how to share your screen if you need to present? Don’t expect or rely on these things to just sort themselves out automatically when you jump on the call.
  • Ask housemates/family to be in another room and to keep the noise down – book this in advance so they have a heads up. Also, ask, nicely, if they don’t mind not streaming on the wifi for the duration of your interview. Particularly, if your connection is known to be a bit dodgy.
  • Back-up tech. Technology tends to fail us just when we need it most. If your laptop decides not to turn on, can you use an iPad or tablet? If your wifi decides to cut-out, are you able to tether internet from your phone? Think of what else could possibly let you down and think of contingency plans.
  • This one’s a cheeky one. One major advantage of video interviews is that you can actually create your own ‘cheat-sheets’. Yes, I know I said remove all distractions. And I stand by that. But if you can have a list of triggers to hand on screen, this will ensure you’re able to mention all of your great selling points. And act as a cue for any burning questions you definitely want answered. The key here is to not use this as a script. Practice everything thoroughly beforehand. Use this only for small words or phrases that trigger key-points in your mind.
  • Lastly, expect the unexpected. There’s a good chance that something may go wrong. Hopefully, you’ve taken care of everything we’ve spoken about. So, if it’s not one of the above-mentioned, then it might be your cat jumping on to the table mid-interview. If something goes wrong, don’t ignore it or try to pretend it didn’t happen. If there’s unexpected builders drilling next-door, address it and apologise. The interviewer will understand, and they’ll appreciate you tackling it head on.

Remember, these are all tips to incrementally up your video interview-game. If you can’t implement all of them, that’s ok. Do what you can and work with what you have. I just wanted to highlight some key aspects that can be easily rectified.

I’ve been in interviews where people haven’t thought about something we’ve just discussed until it’s too late – and it’s actually happened in the interview. I don’t want that to be you.

All the best.

Thoughts/feedback/questions welcome.

Ash

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