Video interviews are becoming increasingly common, with employers trying to find newer, quicker and simpler ways of assessing candidates.
As specialists in supporting overseas trained teachers relocate to England to teach, schools wanting to interview teachers via video is more popular than ever.
We’ve put together a quick guide of simple tips to make sure you get the best chance to make a great impression with your prospective employer here in the UK whilst in the comfort of your own home!
Get your tech ready: Skype, WhatsApp, FaceTime are the standard platforms that video interviews can take place on. Make sure you make your relocation consultant aware of what you have available and download apps if you need to. All are free, but FaceTime is only available on IPhone.
Show them you’re professional from the start: Your profile photo, name, and status will be the first things the interview team sees prior to speaking with you. Make sure that these are professional and up to date.
Make sure everything works: Prior to your interview, double check that everything is working (camera and sound), especially if you are using a webcam and microphone on a laptop rather than your phone.
Check your times: It is unlikely that your potential employer will be in the same time zone - your interview may be scheduled at a time early in the morning, or late in the evening. We’ll do our best to schedule an interview time that works best for both sides, but keep in mind that flexibility is an asset when teaching, starting from the very first interview!
Choose the right space: It may be at home, but getting the atmosphere right can make a good impression on your potential employers. Find a quiet room and make sure it’s tidy. If you have a plain background, that would be perfect. Keep windows shut, and any other potential distractions out of the way.
Treat it like any other interview: Just as any other interview, you should dress professionally head to toe (don’t wear your PJ bottoms just in case you need to get up for some reason!)
Think about your body language: We often behave differently when the record button is pressed, but your aim should be to behave as naturally as you would in an in-person interview.
- Position your video/laptop/phone so that your head is positioned in the middle of the screen. Being too far above or below the lens can look strange
- Don’t fidget or shuffle in your chair
- Occasionally avert your gaze – staring incessantly can become intense
- Look at the centre of the lens, not around it
- Have a practice run to pick up on anything you do physically that you might not have realised
Don’t script every word: The best tip of all for video interviewing is simply to think of it as a normal, face-to-face interview. If you’re at home, it can be tempting to plan all of your responses in detail, perhaps even with notes out of view of the lens. But you must avoid this. The interviewer wants to see your personality, how you think and how you react to challenges. They already know your experience from your CV. Over-scripted answers are difficult to camouflage, and can prevent you from showing off your charm and charisma. You can make mistakes, but give yourself the chance to be spontaneous.
Be patient: As great as technology can be, sometime it won’t work perfectly! It may cut out, or it can be difficult to see or hear the person on the other side. Depending on how experienced the interviewer is, they might be a little nervous about administering video interviews, or their technology might be outdated and a little slow. Try to be patient, and remember if it really doesn’t work, you can always undertake the interview over the phone.
We have a lot of experience in preparing candidates so get in touch if you’d like to learn more.