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Smashing the video (skype/zoom/facetime) interview

If you haven’t had to do a video interview in the past few years well get ready, as video is becoming more common than not in the recruitment world.

Why? Because it’s super convenient as it deals with remote location issues, time constraints and making unnecessary doctors’ appointments! There's no need to lie to your boss anymore about that specialist you’re booked into see, when you can pop down to your car and interview from the back seat!

For the past 5 years I’ve conducted hundreds of these interviews and seen superstars and epic fails. Here's my top tips on how to smash it!

Do a test run – whichever tech platform is being used, test it well before you need to use it. If possible, test it in the same location you will do your interview from so conditions are the same (wifi, lighting, random noises). Video a friend or family member to work out any kinks so you’re not remembered as the skype interview that kept dropping out.

Prep your backdrop – what do you think looks more professional....., a nice wall behind you with a picture and you sitting in an upright chair or you lounging on the sofa with last week’s laundry piled up beside you ready to be ironed? It sounds so obvious but keep your backdrop clean, professional and hide all distractions – this needs to be all about you, not your macramé owl wall hanging.

Dress for success – this is key. Dress EXACTLY as you would if you met your interviewer face to face. Research the company across their website/socials to get a feel for their dress standard then step it up. It’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed.

Be early – Have everything set up and ready to go 10 minutes early. Take some deep breaths, ground your thoughts and get your game face on. There’s nothing worse than when I video someone and there’s no answer at the other end.

Be present – Doing a video interview can be really weird. You can sometimes see yourself in a mini screen, so you need to learn where to look and keep your focus, so it’s all about the person interviewing you. Smile, make eye contact, nod when you agree and make sounds like ummm and aaaah. This shows you’re engaged and active instead of disinterested and passive.

No chats – So the interview is over, and you’re really pumped and want to send the interviewer a thank you note. Don’t do it over skype chat or similar message methods via the technology you just interviewed on. They may not see it and it’s just not the done thing. Instead, connect with them on LinkedIn and send them a lovely note, email them directly or send them a massive bouquet of flowers (just kidding on the last one but fyi, that would totally work with me!)

My final piece of advice would be this. Don’t be afraid to cheat a little. Have some notes written down to remind you of how fabulous you are or what questions you have – just keep them out of video view!

Video is here to stay so embrace it, practice and smash it!

Be Fabulous xx


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