The pre-interview interview you might not be prepared for

By Viv Mah on 31-10-2017
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Technology. It’s what gives us the ability to communicate with people on the other side of the world and to check when the next Kanye West concert tickets are out. It’s also the key thing we use to search for new jobs or opportunities we’re interested in.

It’s also changing the way we apply and interview for jobs. Case in point: the rise in popularity of video interviews among a number of companies. Their reasons for requesting a video interview can vary, although it’s worth noting the opportunities that go hand-in-hand with their rationale, such as whether the company is based in a different location or has a significant number of expected applicants (and the related importance of putting in a good show then). 

 


How do video interview work?: In order to screen applicants and therefore make efficient use of a hiring manager or a recruiter’s time, applicants are asked to film themselves while submitting their CV.

These videos may cover a range of topics, although usually they’ll be focused on the applicant’s work history, interest in the role, capabilities in said role and similar. The questions will be pre-set by the company or recruiter, so that there’s a standard measure across all videos they received.

 

Read the small print

How exactly has your video interview been set up? Will it be recorded through the company’s systems or through your own webcam?

If so, keep in mind the technical aspects of the company’s software — for example, whether you’re only allowed a certain number of recordings.

 

Take stock of your surroundings

What’s the background of your current recording situation? Is it distracting and heavily patterned or messy? Does it reflect the image you want to present of yourself?

Are there any elements around that could derail your recording, like noisy children or loud pets? Take into consideration things like your stove, plumbing and technology as well. The main focus of your recording should be on you, not on anything else.

 

Dress to impress

How do you look? You may be at home, but that doesn't mean you can have any old thing on below your work top. Treat your video interview as you would any other potential employer interaction: you’re here to impress.

Besides, chances are you’ll move or stretch or — god forbid — even get up at some point of the interview, and you don’t want to flash them with your heart-patterned, yogurt-encrusted PJ bottoms, do you?

 

What are the advantages?

The good news is, this pre-interview interview is a valuable opportunity for you to sell yourself. Think of it as a warm-up to the in-person interview itself, albeit one you’ll still have to perform your utmost best in.

Moreover, in most cases, you’ll be able to complete your interview within the safety and security of your own house with whatever technology or set up you prefer. That means you’ll have the opportunity to redo your answers as many times as you like, or rehearse them as much as you need.

How often can you say that?

 

Viv Mah writes for Inspiring Interns, which helps companies find the perfect intern and career starters the perfect job, in everything from tech jobs to marketing internships.

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