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More Tips for Video Job Interviews

More Tips for Video Job Interviews

More Tips for Video Job Interviews

Every week I am providing Career and Outplacement Coaching to support clients to either upskill in their current or new roles, or find a new position due to redundancy.  So, you’ve trawled through lots of online job adverts, spoken to umpteen recruitment agencies, filled in countless job applications and finally you’ve got an interview and it’s online.  As a result of Covid-19 and the subsequent lockdown the majority of interviews are still taking place via video calls.  

For those not accustomed to being interviewed virtually, there are some practical tools and tips which can assist candidates in coming across well online.  Once you’ve practiced, dressed appropriately, chosen the background and locked the dog out, you’re ready to go.  Here are some of the answers to the common FAQs candidates have been asking regarding interviews held remotely:

1. Should I sip a tea or coffee during the video interview?

Even though you may be sitting in your spare bedroom/kitchen/dining room for your video job interview, it doesn’t mean that you should relax too much and be too informal.  Most candidates don’t tend to drink a hot drink in a face to face interview, so it’s best to stick to having a glass of water next to you in case your mouth goes dry, especially if you’re nervous.

2. Can I use humour in my interview?

The purpose of a job interview is for the employer to find the right hire and see if there is a good match between your skills and experience and those that the role requires.  You may have already completed a range of talent assessments or a personality questionnaire  which will have given the employer an idea of your personality type.  Hirers want to see your unique personality come through, which is easier when you meet face to face.  However, it’s still possible to show that you’re not a robot, so use limited appropriate humour where it fits in to your answers, but obviously avoid using ‘toilet humour’ and cracking jokes for the sake of it!

3. Do I tell the interviewer that I’m nervous?

The interviewers are used to candidates being nervous during face to face interviews and this can often be evident by trembling hands or candidates going red.  With video interviews, it is less obvious, but nerves can manifest themselves as quicker speech or rambling answers, so take regular breaths to slow you down.  If you do stumble over your words or clam up, then apologise for being nervous and explain that you are keen on getting the role.

4. What happens if I didn’t hear the question clearly?

Sometimes there is background noise during online interviews or the internet connection may have a wobbly moment, so it’s fine to ask the interviewer to repeat the question.  If in doubt, don’t try to second guess.

5. Do I just keep staring at the screen, as it does appear a bit rude?

It’s fine to make a few notes during an online interview so that you’re not just staring at the interviewer the whole time; of course, they will probably be making notes too.  However, you should maintain good eye contact and positive open body language. Don’t have your laptop or tablet too close to you so that your face occupies the whole screen!

6. What do I say if the interviewer asks me about my thoughts on working remotely?

Many organizations are continuing to allow their employees to work from home, with some like one of our clients, Twitter, advocating this for all staff - forever.  Google, Facebook and RBS don’t intend to bring their staff back in to the office until 2021.  The Future of Work looks set to involve blended working with a far more flexible approach to flexi- and remote  working.  Some job adverts for office roles are reflecting this flexibility, but if you’re anti remote working, as always, it is best to be honest up front.

7. Do I tell the interviewer I’ve been made redundant?

Again, honesty is the best policy.  Interviewers are aware of the current challenges in the UK job market.  According to City A.M over 100,000 jobs are set to be cut in the UK as a result of the pandemic and if you worked for any of the stalwarts of the British economy, such as BA, Centrica, HSBC, Rolls Royce, the major job losses will have appeared in the media. 

8. How can I appear confident in an online interview?

Sitting up straight, maintaining good eye contact and speaking clearly all help you to come across well.  As does limiting your answers to key examples in order to demonstrate your skills and experience succinctly in relation to the questions.  If you’re struggling with a critical negative voice, then use these techniques to deal with it.

Good luck and stay safe!

About Jill Maidment

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