All of us have been doing a lot more communicating on video recently in all parts of our business; including recruiting.
And video job interviews are now here to stay, particularly in the first rounds of the recruitment process.
If you’re applying for a new finance role now or in the near future, you can expect that you will encounter a video interview at some point – being prepared for this kind of interview will be key to securing your new role.
There are positives and negatives of video interviews versus in-person interviews; it’s all about knowing what to prepare for and being comfortable with the process – interview nerves can get the better of the best candidates even through a computer screen!
When preparing yourself for virtual interviews, there’s a skill to it and some techniques and strategies for you to know so that you are fully prepared.
So, here is our guide to video interviews for job-seeking finance candidates.
You’ve applied for a new finance role and been given an interview – great.
Now is the time to do your prep work.
The first thing to consider is the setting for your interview.
Your interview location should be somewhere quiet with plenty of light and a neutral backdrop. Even in the age of Zoom, where it has become the norm to see inside our colleague’s homes, a messy or distracting background can be off-putting for the interviewer.
Natural light is best, but avoid places where the light source will have you in bright direct sunlight, which can make it hard for the interviewer to see you, or somewhere too dark with a window behind you where you will appear as a shadowy figure. Eye contact is essential in video interviews. Hence, you want to make sure the interviewer can see your eyes.
Getting Tech Ready
Your finance recruiter or the H.R. contact will give you the details of when the interview will be held and any information you need such as the Zoom link or passwords and accessibility to the software they will be using.
It might not be possible for you to practise the interview exactly as it will occur, but aim to rehearse at least on a video software of your choosing. Even recording yourself on your computer’s webcam or mobile and watching it back can help you to review your video technique.
It can be tempting to look at yourself on the screen, but you should instead be looking into the webcam, as this is the best way to achieve that all-important eye-contact and connection with the interviewer.
An essential thing to do before the interview is to check your internet connection. If your internet connection in your home or wherever you plan to interview is weak or unstable, you might want to consider using a friend’s house or somewhere where the connection is more reliable.
Use Google’s speed test app by simply Googling ‘internet speed test’ – anything less than 25 Mbps might mean that you experience buffering and pausing in your video, which can disrupt your flow and might even cause the interview to be postponed.
These stages should be completed in the days leading up to your interview – next, let’s look at how to get into the right mindset and the last minute prep you can do to make your finance interview go as smoothly as possible.
Position your chair not too near but not too far away from the screen to ensure you don’t look too large or too small. Make sure there’s some empty space above your head and that your upper body is visible.
Think about what is behind you too; an unmade bed or washing drying doesn’t put across you attention to detail or real enthusiasm for the role.
It can be tempting to dress from the waist-up when conducting a video interview. Still, a great mindset nugget is to dress exactly as you would for an in-person interview, including shoes, as this gets you into the interview mindset.
You don’t want the interviewer to think that you’re reading off a script, but it is fine to make some notes about topics or points that you want to remember to mention, which you can have on the desk in front of you which you can glance at. You might want to jot down the questions you want to ask at the end here so that you don’t forget.
Close the door and let anyone in the house know that you’re on an important meeting to avoid awkward distractions.
Show up a few minutes early and make sure you’re ready and waiting for the interviewer for the allotted time.
Finally, some tips to remember –
- Start with a ‘digital handshake’ in the first moments where you and the interviewer are both on-screen together. In the absence of a real handshake, smile and acknowledge them with a “hello, it’s nice to meet you” to break the ice.
- If at any point you didn’t hear, or can’t see something the interviewer is talking about on-screen, let them know – video interviews sometimes encounter these hiccups, try not to let it throw you off.
- Sit up straight and speak confidently and intently. Wait for the interviewer to finish speaking before you start and take a little pause before you begin to talk to allow for momentary lag.
- Don’t interrupt the interviewer but show that you’re engaged by nodding and smiling when you agree with what they’re saying – look engaged.
So there we have it – if you are currently preparing for your video finance interview, this guide should help.
If you are currently looking for your next finance role in the North West, we can help.
About Rebus Financial Recruitment
Rebus Financial Recruitment provides a specialist and focused recruitment service to its customers, which historically range from a wide variety of organisations including SME’s to large PLCs.
We strive to offer both the client and candidate a seamless recruitment experience. Using our expertise, we get to the heart of employer and employee needs; and, in doing so, we match the two perfectly. To find out more, get in contact with one of our team today, or you can call us on 01282 930930.