7 easy ways to impress on a video interview

Most businesses have experienced a shift in recruiting and hiring new employees due to COVID. The effect COVID has had on managing the recruitment process differs from business to business; however, a common theme is that companies have moved towards video interviews.

Video interviews come with advantages for the hiring company, such as streamlining the recruitment process, easily comparing candidates and reducing recruitment costs. Whereas, for candidates, the thought of a video interview can be terrifying!

Here are 7 easy ways to make an impression on a video interview:

1. Test your equipment and do a trial run

There are a few ways things can go pear-shaped when jumping on video with a potential employer. Put your mind at rest and test your camera and speakers a few days before the interview. Go the extra mile and ask a friend to do a trial run with you.

Don’t forget to jump online at least half an hour before your interview and do a final check:

  1. Internet connection
  2. Speaker and volume
  3. Camera
  4. Background and lighting

2. Dress to impress

Just because your interview is via video doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dress to impress. Dress as if you already have the job and are getting ready for your first day. We wouldn’t advise showing up in your best blouse or shirt paired with your comfiest pair of pyjama pants.

Dressing to impress will make you feel more confident in your interview.

3. Be Prepared

There is nothing more nerve-wracking than doing an interview you are not prepared for. Research the company and role you are applying for and be able to utilise this information in a conversation. Practice makes perfect!

4. Background and lighting

Avoid using a computer-generated background. The interviewer will want to get a feel for your personality, and your environment plays a huge role in first impressions when connecting via video. Using a computer-generated background can portray you have something to hide. Instead, take some time to discover the best place within your home to place your laptop or smartphone and play around with positioning. Some important things to remember when setting up a backdrop:

  1. Clean the area – you don’t want any dirty socks hanging around!
  2. Don’t go overboard – think simple
  3. Use items such as bookcase, plant, shelves, vase with flowers, artwork – something that shows your vibe
  4. Keep your camera at eye level or slightly above (for a flattering position) and straight on.

Ensure you have good lighting, see your face, and be careful that you are not lost in the sunlight streaming in your window. Consider purchasing some small, cost-effective lighting such as a tabletop ring light. Good lighting can provide a polished, professional finish to your video call.

5. Look into the camera

This is a no brainer! Eye contact is paramount in interviews, and just because you are not face-to-face doesn’t mean you can skip this one. As a bonus, the more time you spend looking into the camera, the less time you spend checking yourself out in the tiny square on the screen!

6. Prepare notes

Being able to take notes is a huge win for candidates! Meeting with your potential employer via video means that you can have some sneaky notes on hand to refer to in the moments your brain goes on holiday. Have a few headings on topics you wish to address, and for each of those headings, have 3 bullet points. Think short and sweet; something that can jog your memory. DO NOT, however, read from your notes. You must allow them to flow naturally, and you certainly don’t want to get caught with them on the screen for your interviewer to see!

7. Arrive early

The early bird gets the worm and makes an impression for showing up early (and not late!). Plus, it gives you confidence and peace of mind that you are not hurrying to get equipment to work in case of equipment malfunction.

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