Mastering the video interview

Over the past few years technology has had a major impact on almost every aspect of our lives, one trend in particular that seems to be ever growing in popularity is the use of video interviews.

Video interviews come with many benefits to employers and candidates alike. Utilising tools such as Skype, Facetime, VoiP and Viber means hiring managers can interview candidates at shorter notice without location being an issue. It also allows them to see more of your personality and gain a better understanding of how you could fit in their organisation and working culture.  To candidates it can save booking time off, eliminate expenses and most importantly save you that nerve-wracking fear of being even five minutes late because your train is cancelled or because there is a traffic jam on the M25.

There are generally two types of video interview that you might encounter – the live interview directly with a hiring manager or recruiter, or a pre-recorded interview where you will record your answers in response to set prompts or questions.

The use of video interviews has seen the development of stronger relationships between agencies and candidates. When acting as a conduit between you and the company you’re hoping to work for, a recruiter will be your greatest champion when trying to advance the interview process. Therefore making a strong impression during an initial video interview can go a long way.

Don’t let your next interview become a digital disaster with these useful tips that will help you breeze through your next video interview:

  • As always; preparation is the key. Research the company and in particular draw out what would endear them to work there.
  • Ensure you have double-checked all equipment and technology you are going to need is working properly. This includes Internet connections, microphones, webcams and making sure your devices have ample battery power.
  • Email the interviewer or agency all the material (CV, cover letters, portfolios etc.) they might need 10-20 minutes in advance.
  • Make sure there is no background noise – the microphone will pick up more than you think.
  • If you are conducting the interview from home, ensure all family, friends, pets, housemates know you’re about to speak to a potential employer. Attempts to photobomb the interview don’t come across well!
  • As with all interviews, take time to compose your answer. It’s ok to take a few seconds before you respond (in fact, often the delay in the video feed will cover this up).
  • Looking at the camera as opposed to the screen. Not only will this create a more natural eye contact with the interviewer, but it also means you can place your key talking points/prompts on the wall behind the camera without having to break eye contact.

What does this movement towards video interviews actually mean to the relationship between candidates and agencies? At Highams it has become a tool that we are engaging with more on behalf of our clients, to really get to grips with our candidate's motivations and objectives – making it easier to match the right candidate to a role.

Michael Cash is a Consultant at Highams for Wealth Management. If you'd like to speak with Michael about a role P: +44 (0) 1 883 341 144 E: