Top tips to master a video interview

man holding a screen on which a woman appears by video conferencingAs well as focusing on your studies you probably haven’t failed to notice the news and social media reports forecasting the impact that Covid-19 may have on jobs and the economy. If you are searching for summer job opportunities or your first graduate role that you may be feeling uncertain about how this will impact you. Whilst it is likely that there will be some changes to the job market over the next few months, many writers have suggested that there will be opportunities for you too.

What we do know is that it is even more important now to be prepared for the recruitment process and make sure that you are ready to articulate your transferable skills, attributes, knowledge and experience to the roles that you are applying for.

One of the biggest changes to the recruitment process is that rather than being invited to a face to face interview you are likely to be invited to a video interview. Being called for a video interview might make you feel uneasy, however don’t forget if you frequently use FaceTime, WhatsApp or attend lectures via MS Teams then you have already been using some of the skills and technology that you will need to participate in a successful video interview.

Here are Marjon Futures five top-tips for a successful video interview:

First impressions still count. Make sure that you are wearing appropriate interview attire, that you have practiced making sure the technology works, that the interviewer can see you and that your background looks professional and tidy. Position yourself centrally within the screen. These preparations will make sure that the interviewer sees you are well organised and professional.

Make sure you are authentic. Wherever possible make sure your personality still comes across and you are still ‘you’. Be positive, maintain eye contact and be yourself. Try to avoid using hand gestures and nod to signify to the interviewer that you are listening. Being authentic will make sure that the interviewer will be able to work out whether you ‘fit’ their team.

Don’t forget this is still an interview! You might be sat at home but remember this is an interview and treat it accordingly. Make sure that you can close yourself away from family, friends, house mates and pets. Distance yourself from any distractions. Make sure that your phone, and notifications on the device that you are using, are all turned off. This will ensure that the interviewer knows that you are serious about the vacancy and the recruitment process.

What format with the interview take? Do your research; will your interview be ‘live’ where you speak to a representative from the organisation or, will you be asked to complete an ‘on demand’ video interview? An on-demand video interview will require you to answer and record your responses to several pre-set questions, so you won’t be interacting with anyone from the organisation. Will you be interviewed by one person, or several? Knowing what to expect will help you feel more prepared and confident about what you expect.

It’s still an interview – remember the basics. Whatever format your video interview takes it is still an interview. As you have already been invited for interview you have demonstrated many of the skills, attributes, knowledge and experience (SAKE) the organisation is seeking in your application to fill the vacancy. Remember, to secure a job offer you will need to keep demonstrating this ‘fit’ during your interview.

Don’t forget Futures online has a fantastic Interview Simulator to, letting you practice your responses to camera.

Re-visit the job advert, job description and person specification; refresh yourself on what the organisation is searching for. Re-visit your research on the organisation; what is their vision, culture, passion? How can you demonstrate at interview that you share this? How will you use your practical experiences from your degree, part-time work, volunteering or placement to demonstrate that you have demonstrable experience of using the SAKE that the organisation are seeking. Can you demonstrate that you can make an impact and ‘hit the ground running’? What will stand you apart from the other candidates?

If you are a Marjon student, graduate or alumni who is applying for jobs or preparing for interview and you would like to discuss your ideas, concerns or would like to discuss your process for preparing for interview the Marjon Futures team can help. Connect with us via futures@marjon.ac.uk


Thank you to Phillippa Elford of the Marjon Futures team for writing this.  

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