Improve your video interview techniques

Ashby Jenkins

Interviews are awkward at the best of times, the nerves, meeting strangers and remembering your figures, add into that wifi drop-outs and accidentally speaking over each other and you have a tricky situation on your hands.

With video interviews becoming the norm I wanted to share some tips on how to get the best out of your video interview. We specifically recruit for fundraising roles within the charity sector but all of the below tips are transferable into other roles within charities or completely different sectors.

  1. Trial run the technology – sounds obvious, but how many of us just wait until the last minute to log on. Every platform has different steps and whether it’s via video or in-person showing up late for an interview reflects badly
  2. Take time to build rapport – when you aren’t in front of someone it’s easy to just move through the interview questions and finish. However, you need to find time to build rapport with the panel (after all, these could be the people you are spending 40 hours a week with). At the end of the interview ask the panel what they love about their current organisation to transition into a more natural conversation, ask how everyone is adapting to home working and are there any tips, ideas or techniques they’ve picked up to keep themselves sane.
  3. Keep your answers focused – it’s easier to drift off in a video interview so make sure you are structuring your answers. STAR is always a preferred format – (Situation) set the scene, (Task) describe the purpose, (Action) describe what you did and end with the (Result). For the result part – make sure you quantify this, in £££’s where possible.
  4. Have your notes around – this is one of the benefits of video interviews, you can have all of your notes with figures and strongest examples to refer to. Take advantage of this so that you can give the best answers.
  5. Be prepared to and start getting used to adapting your speech – As we’ve all found in the last week video meetings are notorious for accidentally speaking over each other, followed by a round of apologies (on top of each other) and then silence. Start actively allowing for a pause after the other person has finished speaking (just to make sure) and then start your answer.
  6. Dress formally – it’s still an interview so make sure you wear something that looks professional (at least on the part of you the panel can see).
  7. Body language – remember to look at your camera (to replicate eye contact) rather than spending all the time looking at the screen. Also, when you are listening to the other party make sure you nod and smile so they know you are engaged.

These tips should help you nail your next interview but if you have any additional tips you’d like to share please do get in touch.

Throughout this period, we, at Ashby Jenkins Recruitment are trying to support the sector with a series of blogs aiming to help people adapt to their new working environment. If there are any topics you’d like us to cover please let me know and we’ll put something together in collaboration with our charity clients.