Got a video interview coming up?
Video interviews are part and parcel of the graduate job application process nowadays, especially if you plan on applying for graduate schemes.
They're usually the first chance an employer will get to see and hear from you and will determine whether or not you make it to the next stage of the recruitment process.
You might be invited to a pre-recorded interview, where you'll be asked to record yourself answering a selection of questions set by an interviewer, or a live skype interview where you'll speak to an interviewer in real time.
If you've got one around the corner, here's some top tips on how to make sure it goes smoothly.
1. Find somewhere appropriate to sit
Consider what the interviewer will see in the background of where you're sitting. Try to find somewhere with a plain wall or background and sit on a chair rather than a sofa or bed (which will tempt you to slouch).
Set up the camera beforehand to check how much of the room is going to be in view; if the interviewer can see your pile of laundry or the chunder chart stuck on the fridge, get rid.
Think about lighting too. Make sure the room is bright enough so that the interviewer can see you clearly and consider where the light is coming from - you don't want one side of your face in a shadow and the other glaringly bright.
2. Remove all distractions
Once you've found the right place to sit, you need to ensure that there will be no distractions. Noisy housemates, nagging parents, Hermes delivery drivers, yappy dogs and anything else that could interrupt the interview need removing from the vicinity.
Interruptions look unprofessional, but can also throw you off or cause you to lose your train of thought. The last thing you want is to get flustered ten minutes into the interview because your ASOS parcel has arrived.
And put your phone on silent.
3. Wear the right clothing (from head to toe)
Even though you're not meeting the interviewer in person, you should still wear the same clothes that you'd wear to any other interview. If you have no idea what you should wear to an interview, find some tips here.
If you look the part, it'll help you feel the part - it's important to look smart and be professional even though you're probably sitting in the comfort of your bedroom.
Also, avoid the mistake of only dressing your top half. It might be the only part of you in the frame but if for whatever reason you have to get up at some point in the interview, you'll regret not getting fully dressed. Take our Student Engagement Executive, Emma's, word for it - after the postman wouldn't stop ringing her doorbell during a video interview, she had no choice but to answer the door and reveal her pyjama shorts to the interviewer.
4. Try not to rely on notes
You should prepare for a video interview in the exact same way as you would a face-to-face interview. Have a think about the job role, the company and the questions the interviewer might ask during the interview beforehand so you don't have to think on your feet.
It can be tempting to refer back to your notes during the interview, but there's no subtle way to do it. An interviewer will notice if you keep looking down or off camera to try and read notes and might presume you're unprepared. If you go blank, you're better off being honest with the interviewer, taking a moment to gather your thoughts and then answering the question.
5. Triple check all of your technology
Do you have good Internet connection that won't cut off midway through the interview? Is your laptop fully charged? Does the camera work properly? Is the volume turned up so the interviewer can hear clearly what you're saying?
Make sure you've thought about all of these technological issues before the day of the interview to avoid any embarrassing moments once you're on camera with the interviewer.
6. Keep an eye on your body language
When you're in an environment that you're comfortable in, your body language will reflect that and it can be easy to look too relaxed. Remember this is an interview so it's important to act professional at all times.
Keep sat up straight and avoid moving around too much or it'll be distracting for the interviewer, particularly if the camera freezes or lags.
Eye contact is important too - make sure to look into the camera instead of at the interviewer on the screen or at yourself. Also, try not to gaze around the room too much and stay focused on what the interviewer's saying throughout.
If you're still on the hunt for the right role for you, check out our website for a bunch of student and graduate opportunities in a range of industries.