Top 7 Tips for Video Interviews in the IT Sector
As pandemic restrictions are easing in the UK, many changes that COVID-19 brought about may be sticking around. Ways of working such as virtual recruiting and remote working may continue as life goes back to more normality. This means that your next job interview may be done virtually via video call.
A video interview is still an interview. You still need to prepare. If you turned up scruffy, late, or unprepared for a face-to-face interview you would be unlikely to be successful. The same is true for a video interview but probably more so. You still need to research the company, the interviewer, the sector, and be prepared with relevant and incisive questions. However, there are distinct differences between video interviews and in-person interviews.
Whether you have done lots of video interviews or this will be the first time in your job search, a video interview does not need to be stressful or difficult. A video interview gives you the chance to show that you can manage the situation. The following tips are a great checklist to give you the best chance of success.
These top 7 tips for video interviews in the IT sector will help you ace your next video interview and get you on your way to the next stage in the interview process.
1) Find a Distraction Free Space
When deciding where to do your video interview, look for a quiet place with few distractions. Make sure that anyone else who might be at home knows when you are interviewing and not to bother you during this time. Be aware of outside noises that could be heard and if possible close your windows to avoid sounds that might be a distraction such as construction or car alarms. However, if you are likely to be interrupted for some other reason such as a dog in the next room or an expected delivery, mention it to the interviewer ahead of time.
2) Check Your Background
Don't have your washing hanging up behind you! Choose a background for your video interview that avoids distracting clutter or decoration being in the camera shot. Choosing an area with a neutral background such as a blank wall is best.
Lighting is important for a video interview. Nothing is worse than a video call where it looks like someone is sitting in a dark room or you cannot see the person's face. For video interviews, natural light is best with the light coming from behind your camera, and not from behind you. If it is difficult for you to find a location with good natural light, it might be worth getting a ring light to help make sure you are lighted properly.
4) Test Your Audio and Video
A few days before your interview you should test your equipment to make sure everything is working properly. This includes testing your webcam, microphone, and internet connection. Also, make sure you have downloaded any apps you will need such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Skype, or another platform. It is always a good idea to do a test run with a friend or family member to make sure that everything is in working order.
5) Camera Positioning
Position your webcam, computer, or phone so that you can look at the camera rather than your screen. This will allow you to naturally look at the interviewer during your conversation and will avoid a positioning where you are looking down at the camera. Ensure that you are positioned as close to the centre of the shot as possible while also not being too far or too close to the camera. There should be a bit of space on the screen above your head and the top half of you should be visible.
6) Dress for Success
Dress for your interview as you would for an in-person interview. Doing this will put you in the right frame of mind and help to boost your confidence. As tempting as it may be, don't assume you will be seen only from the waist up. It is also best to avoid wearing busy patterns or bright, distracting colours. Also, make sure that your outfit is wrinkle free and looks nice when you are seated. It would be a good idea to have your outfit ready the day before your interview so that you can see how it looks on screen when you do a trial run.
7) Make Eye Contact and Smile
It can be easy for your eyes to wander when you are not face-to-face with an interviewer. Make sure to make good eye contact by looking into the webcam. Also, remember to smile. Even if you are nervous, making an effort to smile and show interest in what the interviewer is saying. This will show the interviewer your genuine interest in the role and your engagement with the interview process.
Good luck on your video interview - you got this!