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Things to Remember for Video Interviews

We are all living through extraordinary times that have brought major changes to our way of life. We are also having to adapt to new ways of working and recruiting. As local authorities we have a duty to ensure that we maintain essential services for the communities we serve. Therefore, we are continuing our recruitment efforts into key areas aided by technology. Our authorities are now carrying out interviews via telephone and video calls.

If you have been selected to attend a video interview, well done! We look forward to seeing you – virtually – soon.

Whether you are an expert at video interviews or have never experienced one before, we want you to feel comfortable on the day and have compiled some top tips to help you prepare and feel confident for your upcoming interview.

Prepare and test your technology

To attend a video interview, you need to use a device that has a camera and microphone as well as an internet connection. Our authorities generally use Skype or Microsoft Teams to conduct video interviews. If you do not already have Microsoft Teams we advise you to download it so that you can get used to its features and practice meetings as needed in advance of the interview.

Please click here to download Microsoft Teams to your device and follow the instructions on your screen to install the application. You will receive a calendar invite by email to confirm the date and time of your interview, this will also contain a Teams meeting link. You need to click on the link in the email to connect to the interviewers at the specified time.

Before your interview, you should test the device and make sure that the camera shows a clear picture and sound quality is good, and that your internet connection is stable.

On the day of the interview ensure your device is charged or plugged in to ensure your battery does not run out. We advise you switch everything on at least half an hour before the interview to give yourself time to sign in and get settled in plenty of time.

Choose a suitable location

You should plan in advance where the interview will take place and, if possible, choose a location that is quiet.

You can choose to show your background during your interview. Alternatively, Microsoft Teams offers the option to blur your background showing only yourself on screen. You can also test this feature beforehand and decide the settings that you are most comfortable with. You can access the feature by clicking on the 3 dots that appear on the horizontal bar in the middle of your screen. If you cannot see the bar, you should hover your mouse slightly over the screen to make it appear.

We would also advise to close any tabs, windows or applications that may play notifications sounds, and put your phone on silent so that you do not get distracted during your interview.

Prepare yourself

You should dress for your video interview as you would for an in-person one. Body language is also important, and you should remember to try and look at the screen or camera when the interviewer is speaking. Digital connections can be delayed so please be mindful that there may be a second or two delay.

When speaking try to keep a steady pace so that the microphone can pick up what you are saying. Should it be needed, MS Teams has a live caption feature that enables subtitles during a call, this can be accessed by clicking on the 3 dots on the call horizontal bar as described above.

You should be prepared to answer questions based on the role profile or job description provided as you would for an in-person interview. You should not use Google or other search engines during your interview to avoid getting distracted and looking unprofessional.

Final review

Alongside the detailed guidance, here is a quick checklist you can review to ensure you are fully prepared for your interview:

  • Have a suitable device connected to the internet
  • Test your technology well in advance
  • Where possible, have the interview in a suitable quiet location
  • Disable any visual or audio distractions
  • Wear appropriate clothing
  • Be mindful of your body language, try to look at the camera and screen and act as you would at an in-person interview
  • Be prepared to answer questions related to the role profile or job description advertised
  • If you encounter issues, try not to worry and arrange alternative way to continue with the interview
  • Smile, relax and give it your best!