Being interviewed via video is a reality for registrars. They can be challenging, so here are some tips for using video to your advantage.
Familiarise yourself with the technology
When you get a request for video interview, find out what software will be used. Most videoconferencing software is fabulously user friendly, but you will feel better if you’re not using it for the first time during the interview. Choose in advance which hardware you will use; phone, tablet, laptop, desktop, will all work, but you have to feel comfortable.
Do a dummy run
Set yourself up and practise. Do you need a stand for your tablet? Or perhaps you need to clean the camera lens? Be mindful of where the eye of the camera is pointing so when you’re looking at the screen and talking to people, it appears you’re looking at them and not down. Test the microphone and decide if it’s best to use headphones so you can be sure you’ve heard every word. Once you’re tech happy, do a dummy run and set up a video call using the nominated software. Take all the guess work out of it so your mind is crystal clear on the day.
Pick the spot
This is perhaps one of the hardest parts of getting the video interview right. Think about the space. Check the light; too much light will wash you out and too little light will make you look sinister. Does your space have anything in the background that you wouldn’t want your future employer to see? Have you made sure no one is going to disturb you during the interview – kids and dogs are notorious!
As you would in an in-person interview, wear clothes that would impress a future employer. You could try the newsreader stunt where you dress in your PJs from the waist down, but make sure the part that is going to be seen in the interview looks impressive. (Although you probably will feel more professional if you’re not wearing trackies, even if they’re unseen.)
Maintain eye contact
Remember to look at the camera, it is really tempting to look away from the screen but as you would in a face to face interview, keep your face directed to the screen and focussed on the camera eye.
On the day of the interview, set yourself up 15 minutes before the interview and feel comfortable in the space. Ask yourself common interview questions and practise the answers while looking into the screen. You could record yourself and play it back to understand what you look and sound like.