By Matt Edwards
Video interviews are slowly becoming part of the hiring landscape in Australia, and have been embraced by the team here at UTS:Careers. As my colleague Michelle Maarhuis explained in a previous blog post: “A video interview helps to quickly identify whether a person could be a good cultural fit within the company, as you get an insight into an applicant’s personality. It also livens up the recruitment process, which for me is a win-win.”
However, being on the other side (taking a video interview as a job applicant) can feel daunting, and I clearly recall how nervous I was as I sat at my dining room table and clicked the start button on the interview for my current role.
Whether my dog was going to bark or not, if my walls were clean enough, or if the lighting in the room was adequate, were not things I have had to worry about in previous job interviews – but that’s what getting a job in the modern workforce entails now.
I am here writing this as UTS:Careers’ Communications and Events Officer, so obviously I didn’t do too badly in my video interview, and I have some tips I would like to share.
#1: Don’t think of it as totally new invention
Yes, video is a new medium to be interviewed on – and yes, it has its own aesthetic requirements. However, in terms of function it’s just a replacement of the phone screen that has been part of the interview process for an age. You probably won’t be asked to perform any new tricks, or do anything out of the ordinary in the interview process.
The video interview is an efficient way to get answers to the general questions that are often asked at the beginning of an interview. We’re talking things like: ‘Tell me a little bit about yourself’, or ‘What was your favourite thing about your previous role?’, as well as salary expectation and when you are available to start.
#2 Show Yourself
The advantage of a video interview over a phone screen is you get the chance to show a fuller version of yourself than you have the chance in a phone interview. Whack a big smile on your face and be enthusiastic when answering questions. The interview is a chance to show off your personality so don’t be shy about it.
#3 Prepare, Prepare, Prepare
Do thorough research on the organisation, the role, and the industry. Make a list of talking points you would like to bring up in the actual interview, and be ready to speak on a range of topics for 2 minutes or so. A video interview doesn’t have the same conversational ebb and flow of an in-person interview, so be prepared to stare down the barrel of your camera and answer confidently and succinctly.
#4: Take time to Set Up (But don’t be distracted by it)
Take some time to create a good set up for the interview. If you are using a laptop, put a few thick books underneath it so the camera is at eye level, find a bright room with a non-distracting, tidy background, and if you are going to do your interview in your bedroom – make your bed! But remember not to let the stress about this part of the process distract you from thorough interview preparation.
#5: Practice, Practice, Practice
Once you have your interview space organised, record yourself answering some practice questions. Watch yourself back, make adjustments to how you present, and do it again. Presenting on camera is a little different to answering questions in person and you may not feel natural doing it, so having a practice run will make yourself feel significantly more comfortable when doing the actual interview!
Matt Edwards is a Communications and Events Officer at UTS: Careers. In the role he manages regular email communications to staff and students, as well as helping to organise successful events for UTS students.
Featured image courtesy of Pexels.