Reflecting on the third anniversary of the first lockdown, it is mind-blowing to think how the world including recruitment adapted, changed and overcame its challenges. Some of these changes have remained in place, with many companies still using virtual working and interviews as the norm. Firms covering corporate governance and in-house legal also had to adapt their hiring processes to fit with this and move to phone or skype/ zoom interviews.

Three years on these tips for video interviews are just as important as ever:

  • Clothes and background: we’ve seen hundreds of joke videos and memes, but your clothes and background are still really important and help give that first impression. Try and find the quietest part of your home to carry out the interview and make sure there are going to be no interruptions during that time. Dress as you normally would for a first interview (don’t wear your pyjamas!)
  • Take time to set up: technology can be your worst enemy for a virtual interview, so make sure you’ve given yourself plenty of time ahead of your call to set up and get ready. If the connection drops and you can’t get back online, follow up straight away with a polite phone call or email to rearrange.
  • Make eye contact: one of the biggest comments we get from clients is around eye contact on video calls. It doesn’t seem natural to talk to a camera but interviewers can find it awkward if you spend the whole conversation looking at another corner of the screen, or worse at your desk.
  • Prepare: do a practice call with a friend or family member and ask them to run through some sample questions with you. This will get you used to the virtual process and enable them to give you some feedback on how you come across.
  • Have some notes to hand: an interview can be a nerve-wracking process even if you’re not physically in the room. The great thing about phone calls and VCs is that you can have some brief prompts to help you should you lose track. Make sure to not use them as a script and keep them out of sight if you’re on a video call.
  • Speak clearly and take your time: make allowances for any delays over video and don’t rush your answers, it’s much harder to communicate over conferencing so be sure not to cut your interviewer off mid sentence. If you’re lucky enough to have a virtual panel interview, make sure to address people individually when answering their questions.

If you’d like any further advice on virtual interviews or want to discuss a potential career in risk then please do get in touch. In the meantime, best of luck and stay safe.

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