Woman writing in notebook while working on laptop

July 13, 2020, by stykjsk

My tips on video interviews from home

By Katy Skillen, MNutr Nutrition and Dietetics, second year student blogger

Well, I never thought that I would be having a job interview in my bedroom. But I guess we are living in very unprecedented times.

Normally, a job interview would involve me getting dressed up and sitting in an office across a desk from my interviewer for example. But this time (like everything these days) it was very different. My interviewer was a face on my laptop screen, and the setting was my bedroom. So how can I channel the intensity of a face-to-face interview while being at home?

Here are some tips I learnt…

Get fully dressed

As tempting as it was to stay half in lounge clothes, I wanted to feel focused and motivated. These are two emotions I do not associate with my comfy sweats. Getting ready just as I would for a face-to-face interview (I even put earrings in!) made me feel a lot more professional, prepared and confident on screen.

Silence in the house!

If you’re like me, with family all home-working, then it is likely that your house may be pretty busy. I made sure that my whole family knew the times I was doing this call, so no one was going to play music loudly or interrupt half way through. Background noise is definitely the most annoying thing during zoom calls, so make sure that this does not disrupt your interview.

The right setting

As silly as this sounds, the right camera angle and lighting on a video call is actually quite important. Give yourself enough time to sort this out before the call is due to start. I made the mistake of solely relying on natural lightning from the window. This was going well, right until a cloud moved over the sun and then I was just a shadow on screen, which I found easily distracted me. Choose a room with the best lighting that will work if the sun disappears and have a lamp on standby that you can easily switch on.

Don’t look at yourself

Okay, I am admittedly guilty of doing this a lot. I know it’s very tempting to look at yourself in the corner of a video chat, but try to give the interviewer some eye contact. Try to look right in the lens when you are answering a question, in order to engage the best that you can with the other person. Also, try not to let your eyes wander around your room while you’re answering questions, and of course never look at your phone!

Be polite

Just because a video call feels more relaxed, it doesn’t mean that it is. This is still a real, formal interview and needs to be treated like one. Try to keep a good posture and avoid using casual language. Most importantly, be on time for the call. Everyone knows you’re in your house most of the day at the moment if you’re home-working, so you really have no excuse to be late!

Job interviews are always going to be nerve-racking, but the more practice you have the easier they will get. Just stay calm, give clear and honest answers, and most importantly, be yourself. You’ll do great!

More employers are moving their recruitment activities online, for example, using video or telephone interviews. Visit the making applications webpages for advice on how to prepare. You can also book an appointment with an adviser to chat through any questions you have.

Posted in Applying For JobsCareers AdviceInterviewsStudent BloggersUncategorized