As organisations across the globe respond to the challenge of continuing to hire during the coronavirus pandemic, video interviews have become the accepted way to connect employers with Financial talent. Whilst this is an excellent interim solution for replacing the face-to-face interview, there are a few basics you will need to master if you want to succeed in giving yourself the best possible chance of landing your dream position.

To help you make the right impression, Halliday Marx have put together some top tips to keep in mind.

Preparation is everything

Be prepared – especially with your technology. Allow plenty of time to set up and if possible, give yourself a trial run with a friend or family member to check everything is working. This will really help to relax your nerves and prevent any embarrassing mishaps during the interview. Turn off phone and email notifications to avoid interruptions, and close any unnecessary web browsers, tabs or applications.

Ensure the camera angle and distance show your face, check the signal and connection (and have a backup plan should it drop out). Phones and tablets can be propped up against something so that your picture is not wobbling as you move your hand.

Clear your desk space of anything not required for the interview and have a copy of your CV, along with a pen and paper for notes.

A little extra preparation will make all the difference.

Professional Impression

Find a quiet, well-lit, private setting that is free from interruptions. Whilst a video interview may seem less formal than its face-to-face counterpart, this is not a phone interview and there is still a dress code. Dress as you would for a face-to-face interview. Not only will this ensure you are perceived professionally by your interviewer, but it will help to put you in the right space for marketing yourself and delivering a polished interview.

If possible, a blank, neutral-coloured wall is the best backdrop for a video interview. A busy looking back-drop and clutter are distracting for the interviewer.

Body Language

Whilst it is a good idea to treat the video interview as if you were sitting face-to-face with the interviewer, there are a few extra video interview tips to think about when it comes to presentation:

  • Maintain eye contact by looking at the camera, not the screen (this can cause you to appear as if you are looking down or away from the screen).
  • Act naturally, rather than too stifled – but try to avoid fast hand gestures and movements which may appear blurry on screen.
  • Pause between answers and allow time for the interviewer to fully listen to the response and form a reply.
  • When listening, nod and smile to show you are engaged.
  • Ensure you are seated at eye-level to the camera
  • Maintain a good posture with both feet on the floor and your arms folded on your lap, with your back flat against the back of the chair.

“One great way to identify any mannerisms or nervous habits you might be completely unaware of, is to video yourself beforehand,” advises Halliday Marx Director, John Marx.

Whilst it is important to act naturally, the dreaded nerves can encourage gestures that are distracting for the interviewer. Awareness can help to keep things under control.

Treat it like a Face-to-Face Interview

Regardless of how the interview is conducted, the preparation and execution should remain largely the same. Research the company culture, get as much information as you can regarding the organisation, it’s mission statement and its customers. At Halliday Marx, we spend a great deal of time upfront working with our candidates to ensure they have access to as much information as possible, including the position, what is required, who they will report to, who they will work with and who will conduct the interview. All this information will support a smoother and more polished experience.

Avoid rushing through answers and take the time to consider the questions to ensure all points are covered. Aim to use concrete examples to back up points, and be genuine and engaging with responses. Don’t forget to prepare some questions of your own. Most importantly, be yourself – your specialist recruitment consultant will have worked with the employer to ensure you are a good match for the role – so use this time to show what makes you stand out.

Summary

Organisations need to continue hiring regardless of the currently challenging landscape. Technology is making this possible, and although video job interviews require some unique preparation, the interview itself is no different from any other – so don’t be put off by the medium. Follow our top tips and you will build a strong connection with your future employer and give yourself the best chance of progressing to the next step.

Good luck!

If you’re considering your next career move, or just looking for some advice, call us on 020 7096 8200, or write to us at info@hallidaymarx.com

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