How to Excel at a Video Interview

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In your excitement for a role have you thought about how to excel at video interview? You CAN take advantage of the platform to deliver a great meeting. Covid has accelerated the inevitable transition to this format. I spend most of my working week either in video interviews, or gaining feedback from interviewers who have performed them. My checklist for how to do an impactful video interview is here.

You truly can excel at video interviews, which make recruitment faster and more flexible. No travel is required thereby cutting costs and environmental damage. They create a level playing field for people with disabilities who might otherwise find it difficult to visit the location. They will certainly outlast the pandemic.

Recently career coach Sherry Bevan, shared an infographic on what to do before and during a video interview. Nailing these pointers frees you to focus on focusing on your personality story and tailoring your answers for a competitive edge.

Check your Tech

All media: Webex, Zoom, Skype and MS Teams have a desktop app (sit at desk, mobiles aren’t appropriate) that you must download well ahead of your meeting, practice logging on and having the meeting code handy if not built into meeting url. I like to see interviewees have joined a few minutes ahead of the meeting time. This shows your commitment to the interview process.

Check Your Appearance

Check your background and filter your lifestyle secrets to what is professional! Make sure your face, not your silhouette is featured,
Make sure notifications that might ping are turned off. There shouldn’t be any distractions from the actual conversation. You can use your familiar environment to really help you do well at a video meeting.

Check the Format of Interview

It’s appropriate to ask if there is a job specification. If there isn’t, look at other profiles in the company on Linkedin to find out how they describe tasks.Ensure you’ve really looked at the company website and recent press. Be aware of competitors (on the company’s Linkedin page, you could start with “people also viewed” companies on the right column on the screen). Apply to them as well! Be ready to find out what skillset would make the biggest difference?

Check your story

Have your personal story ready, your work scenarios chosen to describe the “Tell me about a time when…” type of questions. You should also questions for the employer about what are the real problems Its fine to have notes in front of you – notes can demonstrate that you are prepared, diligent and serious about the job. You then have the perfect opportunity in interview to describe how you would deal with it in your unique way.

Check your energy

One of my recent interviewees who was looking to come back to consulting after an industry change. A late 50s applicant; it was important he conveyed his energy and tech-savviness. I am afraid that he sat in silhouette (he was dark, the background was light) with a very distracting fan blowing in front of him. This distorted the sound and gave the impression that his personal comfort was more important than making a professional impression for 40 minutes.

Check-in for feedback

We gave him another chance but at the second interview, his camera was not working. After two attempts in a competitive market we had little choice but to prefer candidates who were two excellent interviews into process by then. Another example is a senior sales leader who presented a 40 page long business case and barely paused talking to allow for questions. Alarm bells if you are in sales! Good salespeople listen and diagnose, they don’t just transmit.

Check you’ve taken the feedback on board!

We fed back he had a good proposition, we wanted to give him a chance. For the second meeting, he did the same thing and had only taken two slides off his presentation. Demonstrating he doesn’t listen to buying signals, so he wasn’t right for us.

Check in with yourself

Be absolutely in tune with what you are good at and what your approach is. This is your differentiator and brings your energy out – the essence that will be magnetic for the right employer.

Check your confidence

Seeing your reflection on a video conference can affront self-confidence as it can feel like looking at yourself in the mirror for an hour. I recently came across the Womens Health Project Body Love podcast. This is a 30-day course of evidence based tools, coaching on swapping out aesthetic goals for rich and purpose driven ideals. The job search process tends to be one of self-discovery, so why not surrender to some personal transformation along the way. This confidence in turn helps you perform better in interviews.

Video interviews can actually enhance the intimacy and focus of an interview; there is less distraction from around an office, preparing coffee, getting settled in a room. It is all about you giving an excellent account of your experience and asking great questions. All the more reason to prepare great questions in advance.

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