Advice From Our Recruitment Experts
The nature of interviews has inevitably changed significantly over the past year as we have adapted to a decline in face-to-face interactions with stay-at-home restrictions. Video interviews are now an accepted norm, much to Microsoft Teams and Zoom’s delight, and the future of the recruitment process is uncertain. Will face-to-face interactions resume to pre-covid levels, or will the infiltration of video calls remain the norm for everything but final-stage interviews?
Time will tell and it may depend on roles and industries, but for the meantime we can provide you with our best interview do’s and don’ts straight from the recruitment experts here at Kevin Edward.
The Basics: Preparation
A reminder on interview basics regardless of the medium:
- Ensure you know your CV/Resume and are prepared to answer questions or expand on it. Be prepared to answer questions on any career gaps or frequent job changes.
- Be ready to answer experience-related questions thoughtfully using the STAR technique to ensure you stay on-topic and effectively communicate your value. This involves describing the situation, the task, your actions and your response/what you learnt from the experience.
- Research the company you are interviewing for, their products/services/offerings, key contacts, latest news, and their mission, vision and company values. Doing so will also help you to establish whether you’re a good fit for the company culture. Their LinkedIn page can be useful for the latest news/developments.
- If you feel comfortable doing it, demonstrate your commercial acumen by preparing a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis to show you are aware of where they lie in the market.
- Remember to sell yourself. More often than not you will be competing with other candidates, so ensure you communicate why you would be a good investment for the company and what value you can offer them – supported by previous achievements.
- Be prepared with a list of questions to ask the interviewer, this communicates that you have thoughtfully considered the role and are eager to learn more. Common questions include “What would a normal day in this position look like?” and “Is this is new role or am I taking over from someone else?”. Our recruitment experts at Kevin Edward provide all our candidates with a list of common tricky questions, and top questions you should ask in an interview.
- Go into the interview with a positive and open-minded attitude. If there is anything that somewhat puts you off the role or company remember that this can be addressed at a later stage. Once you’ve said no you cannot say yes later.
Video Interview Do’s and Don’ts
- Ensure you are using an appropriate device, a laptop or desktop is highly recommended. Using mobile phones should be avoided.
- Ensure you have a quiet and tidy environment for the interview. If you are at home, inform those you live with about the interview; you may even consider sticking a note on the door “Interview In Progress” to avoid unnecessary disturbances.
- Dress as you would for a face-to-face interview; if in doubt choose something smart and neutral and avoid excessive jewellery.
- Ensure your laptop is charged/on charge before the interview, and that you have a stable internet connection.
- Test your video to ensure your head and shoulders are in view, the lighting is correct, and that the background is appropriately tidy – first impressions count.
- If you are unfamiliar with the technology for the video call, such as Zoom or Microsoft teams, try a test-run with a friend or your recruiter. Here at Kevin Edward we frequently support our candidates in ensuring they feel confident before their video interview, in using the technology and providing preparation information about the company they will be interviewing for.
- During the interview, ensure you appear engaged and interested, keep your focus on the screen and take your body language into consideration. For example, crossing your arms can subconsciously communicate that you are reserved; sit tall and use your hands in conversation to communicate that you are engaged and open.
- Take time to consider your answers; if you need a minute to put an answer together it’s okay to ask “Please could you repeat that?” or say “I’m just going to take a second to consider that” – keep up efficient communication with your interviewer.
- Talk slowly and take breaks, allowing the interviewer to interject in your answers. This will stimulate more of a flowing conversation where you will feel more at ease.
- Avoid trying to fill silence with “waffle” while you consider your answers, you want to communicate efficiently and stay on topic to ensure you fully answer the question.
- Don’t talk too fast due to nerves or try to rush the interview – this is difficult to avoid but can be overcome by being consciously aware of your pace of speech.
- Avoid referencing that you would do things your own way to achieve targets, or any comments that may communicate an essence of “cutting corners” or not operating “by the book”.
- Don’t talk down on past colleagues or employers, or entertain any gossip during the interview. This could depreciate your integrity and reflect badly on your morals and values.
- Don’t be afraid to show your personality, your interviewer is human too and relatable experiences (within reason) will help to build rapport with them.
Our Final Interview Tips
As is the case with face-to-face interviews, first impressions are key. With a video interview this encapsulates your appearance, your video background, and your preparation in ensuring that you are familiar with the technology and organised with your interview preparation. As video interviews become more of a norm, there will be less of a tolerance for mistakes and a lack of preparation.
Author: Lauren Smith, Group Marketing Executive