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Careers expert Liz Sebag-Montefiore on how to prepare for a video interview, particularly if you haven’t done an interview for a while.
It can be exciting yet daunting when you get your first interview, and possibly harder for some when it’s a video interview if you’ve never interviewed virtually before or if you haven’t interviewed in a while.
What are the benefits of interview preparation?
Whilst there is a lot of preparation to be done, there are also many resources easily available to assist.
A good time of day to be interviewed – often mid-morning is the ideal time if you are able to influence the start time. It gives time to do last-minute prep, but not too much that you sit around waiting and being nervous.
It’s important to consider how to avoid talking over the interviewer. In virtual interviews it’s difficult to know when the interviewer has stop talking, so it’s important to be aware of any time lags and try to anticipate them. If you do speak over the interviewer, apologise and wait to continue. Try to embrace the silence – don’t worry about filling gaps sometimes. It’s also important to prepare for virtual interviews with different time zones, trying to make a mutually convenient time for both parties whilst being aware of time lags during the session.
Also, you might want to buy desktop whiteboard to place notes/prep next to the screen if there’s a lot to remember.
Most interviews have challenging questions; if you struggle to answer them, I suggest you buy yourself a bit of time by saying “that’s a great question” or “Can you repeat the question please?” or even ‘that’s not something I’ve thought about but….’ and then try to come up with something. As part of your prep, think about all the awful questions you might get and try to be prepared for those. Read the job spec in detail so you know it inside out and hopefully you will be able to come up with something. However, if you really can’t answer the question, be honest. Say that, and maybe go back after the interview with an answer once you’ve thought about it some more. It will show real interest in the job and bravery!
*Liz Sebag-Montefiore is a career coach and Director of 10Eighty, a strengths-based HR consultancy. For more information, please visit www.10Eighty.co.uk.