Written by Natasha Booluck, Associate Director at Christy Media Solutions

There has been a big rise in the use of video interviews in the broadcast and media sector over recent weeks. In response to the need for social distancing, new hiring methods have been forced to the fore, but in our opinion this could also have long term positive impacts for both employers and candidates in the future.

The benefits of virtual recruitment models have been known for a long time. Remote interviews are easier and faster to set up, attend and staff. There is no additional cost or time spent physically getting to them, or requirement for meeting rooms to host them in. Videos can also be easily recorded and shared with other people. Video interviews are a relatively new concept for most of us and they require a slightly different form of preparation if they are to be successful.

Research the company

Whilst there are clear differences, you should treat a video interview in the same way you would treat a normal face to face interview. This means doing your preparation and remembering that this opportunity could lead to a brand new job. Take some time to research the company beforehand and ensure you fully understand what they do as a business, the key products and services they offer and who their main customers and competitors are in the market.

Refresh your technology knowledge

Be sure to refresh your knowledge of any key technologies or skills mentioned in both the job description and your CV.

Prepare Q&As

Interviews often include opportunities for you to ask questions about the job and company, so take some time to think through what you want to know. It’s a win-win, as it will give you the information you need and also show the hiring manager that you are genuinely interested in the job.

Prepare your device

Decide if you are going to use your phone or computer for the call. There are pros and cons for each; the camera may be better on your phone, but using a laptop can make for easier hands-free discussion. Whichever you choose, make sure your device battery is fully charged, and if you live with anyone else, ask them to stay offline during your video interview, so you have maximum bandwidth to minimise any connectivity issues.

Familiarise yourself with the technology ahead of time

There are a huge number of platforms that offer video conferencing and they all have slightly different settings. Make sure you are familiar with the technology before the call; some will require you to download a new app or software. It’s best to do this well ahead of time, rather than having a last minute rush or even being late to the interview.

Choose your ‘office’

Your backdrop is important. Find somewhere you can sit where you have good internet signal and lighting. Choose a spot where you won’t be disturbed, where there won’t be too much noise from people you share a home with, and where you can easily position your laptop or phone. Think about what is visible behind you and what it says to your interviewer. You don’t need to rearrange your whole house, but do think about where you will be and what else will be in shot.

Dress for the job you want

Avoid the temptation to dress down because you are ‘only’ video chatting. It’s really important to give a good first impression and dress appropriately for video interviews. Yes, that means wearing proper trousers even though you’ll only show your top half! It can be a good idea to wear solid colours too, as very busy clothes can be distracting on video.

Be yourself

Don’t let the fact it’s an interview stop you from being yourself. Organisations, especially in our sector, want to see your personality and getting this across in a video chat can be different to real life. First impressions count, so make sure you are positive and up beat and don’t let the screen stop you from showcasing who you really are.

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