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The dos and donts of video interviewing

We’re sure you’re already well aware that we’re living in the middle of a global pandemic. And here we are still almost 12 months on trying to navigate through a crisis we’ve never experienced before.

COVID-19 has meant that pretty much all of us have had to change the way we work. Recruitment has also had to adapt to restrictions with interviewing candidates and taking on new employees, as lockdown isn’t an ideal scenario for those looking for work. Socially distanced interview, outside…Weird, isn’t it?

So, what’s the solution?

For many, video interviewing has become as normal as working from home and waving to your co-workers on Zoom every morning. Whilst many hiring managers have had to quickly get to grips with measuring competencies over video, at Kensington’s we like to think we’ve kind of nailed it already. That’s only because we’ve had some neat software for the past 3 years, meaning that video interviewing is a totally normal part of our process.

During that time we have seen our fair share of good and not-so-good video interviews, so look at our dos and don’ts so that you bag your dream role with confidence. 

DO still dress appropriately. You may be sat in your makeshift office in the corner of your bedroom, but rarely do hiring managers want to see you sat in your pyjamas or Hawaiian shirt for your interview. Just because video interviewing feels totally informal, it’s still an interview and first-impressions count. Of course, there will be some company’s out there who would love to see a Hawaiian shirt, but do your homework and if in doubt, get yourself in your glad rags.

DON’T leave your personality at the door (or the second you see the hiring manager). Video interviews can sometimes make you feel more nervous than normal, it’s an odd situation meeting a stranger over video chat, especially one who you’re trying to impress. However, sometimes people have a tendency to get caught in the headlights and give off a very unenthusiastic, flat interview which can be perceived as a lack of interest for the role. Make sure that your interview is memorable (for all the right reasons of course).

DO use eye contact. Body language is still really important in video interviewing, if anything it’s more important because it’s harder for a hiring manager to make a judgement over the video call. If they see you looking up, down, or anywhere but at them when you’re answering questions, it can be really off-putting. Keeping eye contact shows confidence, honesty and that you’re completely ready to nail this interview and get the job.

DON’T be shy. We’ve seen many a video interview where the most talkative candidates suddenly lose their tongue. It’s really important to give detail in your answers and showcase your competencies. If you’re giving simple and short answers, the hiring manager isn’t able to get a full appreciation of what you’re capable of. The flip-side of this is talking too much, which can also be detrimental.

DO show optimism. Cultural fit is really important these days, not only do you need the skills to do the job but you need to fit into the company culture too. Hiring Managers will be put off by negativity, (chances are that COVID will be discussed, because at this point it’s not something we can just brush under the carpet). They want to see resilience, adaptability and a can-do attitude.

DON’T forget your surroundings. As obvious as this may seem, we’ve seen too many dogs, mums, flat-mates, you name it, wandering around in the background shouting about putting the kettle-on or some such. Sometimes this can cause a giggle or two, but overall, it’s pretty distracting and can feel a little awkward. Make sure everyone in your household is aware that you’re having an important call and to give you the space you need.

DO everything you would if you were leaving the house to go for a face-to-face interview. This is a small window of opportunity to really show the hiring manager that you’ve done your homework, you’re genuinely interested, and can absolutely do this job because you’ve talked them through your current role and how it relates to the position you’re interviewing for. Ask them questions (not sure what to ask? Read our blog to find out more…) and share your enthusiasm. Remember to wear appropriate clothes and check that your surroundings are free-from distraction. 

Now you’re armed with the dos and don’ts of video interviewing, it’s time to go and land that all important dream job!

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