Updated: Apr 15, 2020
The COVID-19 lock-down might have forced us all to stay at home but it hasn't stopped companies from hiring IT staff. Many of us are not used to interviewing via Video Conference (VC) and consequently don't do as well as we could. Here are a few tips to help you do your best.
Remember it is an interview. Do your usual preparation. Read the company website. Look at the interviewer's Linkedin profile etc. Make sure you have the date and time correct. Double-check the load shedding schedule.
Before the interview
1. Lighting should be in front of you. Lighting coming from behind you makes you look dark and sinister. 2. Place your device at eye level - too low and the interview gets to look up your nose. 3. Focus your eyes on the camera rather than the interviewers face on your screen. This will ensure you come across as though you are making eye contact. 4. Find a quiet, well-lit place free from as much background noise as possible. Microphones often amplify background noise so while it isn’t loud for you, it is for the interviewer. 5. Test whichever platform (e.g. Zoom, Skype, Teams etc.) is loaded on your device and that you know how to use it. Check your device's video and audio is working properly. 6. Tidy the room and make sure that everything in the camera's view is appropriate. An inappropriate picture (even though a joke from a good friend) can be misunderstood. 7. Dress professionally, VCs create extra sensory load for everyone so simple block colours with a collar (i.e. not heavy patterned clothing) comes across better. 8. Using an unobtrusive headset beats using your device speaker and microphone because it reduces feedback/ echo for the interviewer. 9. Have a pen, paper and a printed copy of your CV on your desk if possible. 10. Most importantly remember to sign out when you are finished. The interviewer might still hear you tell your family/friends “that you aced it”.
During the interview
1. Be aware that there is often an audio lag causing people to talk over each other. 2. Exchange phone numbers with the interviewer in the event something goes wrong. It is even better if you do this before the interview. 3. Listen, nod and smile so the interviewer knows you are engaged and it demonstrates passion and energy which is far easier to convey face to face. 5. Make notes during the interview and circle back to them if needed. 6. Ask questions about the company, work etc. when invited to do so. Don't talk about money unless they do. 7. It is often smart to mute the microphone while the interviewer is speaking. Remember to unmute before speaking.
What happens when things go wrong 1. If your technology stops working, try and re-establish the connection via the original method. If this fails, use the backup telephone numbers above.
2. If noises interrupt the conversation - apologise and either deal with the noise or ask if you can wait a moment for it to subside.
Video interviews take a bit of getting used to. If you struggle at first, you will get better. The worldwide COVID-19 lock-down will ensure that these interviews become more the norm even after the lockdown ends.
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to email us.