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Today, video interviews have become an integral part of the recruitment process, and employers, candidates and recruiters have all had to adapt quickly. Virtual hiring and onboarding processes have been proven to be highly effective if done correctly – and even speed up the recruitment process in many instances. However, no matter how effective virtual hiring is, it is different from what many people are used to. Video interviews come with potential drawbacks, but interviewing remotely can also be advantageous to both companies and candidates. Make sure you’re fully prepared for your next video interview with these helpful tips.  

Find the right setting: start by finding a quiet place with plenty of natural light coming your way so the interviewer can see your face clearly. Ideally, set up in a spot with a neutral backdrop – such as a white wall – and where you can lock yourself away from any distractions.  Be aware of what the interviewer can see in the background and ideally use your desktop or laptop, not your phone.

Get the right set up: you don’t want to be close to the camera, or too far away. Position yourself so your head and shoulders are visible and there’s still a reasonable gap between the top of your head and the top of the screen. Keep the camera close to your eye level to avoid any awkward angles. We’d also recommend using headphones, as their audio quality is often better than standard inbuilt laptop speakers.  If you have to use your phone, make sure it is secure and on a steady surface.

Have the right get-up: in this regard, you should treat virtual interviews no differently from physical ones. Dress sharply and look professional just like you would in real life. Avoid wearing jazzy outfits with complex patterns too as they can be highly distracting when viewed on-screen.  

Do a test run: this is probably the most important piece of advice in this list. Test your headphones, audio, video and internet connection before your interview to ensure you get off to a smooth start.   

Maintain eye contact and open body language: our eyes are naturally drawn to the moving images on the screen, but make sure you prioritize the camera as much as possible, so you appear to be looking directly at the interviewer. Smile and nod just as you would in real life to show that you’re engaged.  We recommend using the “hide self-view” setting – so that you can focus on the interviewer, not yourself.

Talk slower and pause more: digital connections are frequently delayed, and it’s crucial to make sure you account for this to avoid awkwardness and maintain a clear dialog. Project your voice clearly and speak slightly slower than usual. Pause for a couple of seconds before answering questions and try to adopt a turn-taking conversational style.  

Have your CV close to hand: the good thing about video interviews is it’s always okay to have additional materials close by to help prompt your responses. Have a print off of your CV to hand to ensure you remember all of your relevant experience, and if you feel it will help, keep a cheat sheet close by with the key achievements you’d like to highlight.

If you’d like to discuss current recruitment trends in more detail or would like some impartial expert recruitment advice, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.  

Andrea Ogden - Director of Accounting and Finance Recruitment

Andrea Ogden, Recruitment Director, Accountancy Options

Andrea started out as an Accountant but is now a career recruiter with over 25 years recruitment experience. She has been instrumental in the start-up of two successful recruitment agencies, including ours. Andrea’s genuine personality and human-focused approach are what sets her apart in her field, and her exceptional work sets the standard for our service. Andrea specialises in recruiting senior and executive level roles across accounting, finance and financial services.

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