5 video job interview mistakes to avoid at all costs

Video Job Interviews MistakesWhen hiring remotely, video interviews are an important technique for employers and recruiters. They allow them to cast their net wider and employer a much more diverse group of professionals.

And as part of working remotely, professionals have had to adapt to these virtual recruitment strategies, most importantly by perfecting their video interview techniques.

So if you’re currently on the job search and you’re worried about taking part in a video interview, we’re here to help.

Below, we’ve pulled together five common mistakes you need to avoid at all costs if you hope to land the role. These include:

1. Silly usernames

Whether you’re using Skype, Zoom or any other video conferencing platform, it’s likely you’ll have had to set up an account with a username.

While the username SamLovesWine123 might be great for your virtual pub quizzes, it’s not going to look good during an interview.

So you need to make sure that you either change your name or set up an entirely new account for professional calls such as interviews. It’s usually best to just use your regular name to avoid any confusion.

2. Bad body language

If you’re new to video interviews or any type of video call, for that matter, it can be understandably nerve-wracking and even a little confusing. But it’s important that you’re aware of your body language and what it says about you at all times.

Some of the bad body language you need to avoid whilst on camera includes:

  • Fidgeting
  • Slouching
  • Tapping
  • Fiddling with jewellery or items on the desk
  • Avoiding eye contact

Instead, make sure you sit up straight, engage with the interviewers on camera and make eye contact throughout.

3. Too many distractions

If you’re conducting a video interview from home or another remote location, you might find that there are a lot more potential distractions.

Firstly, you need to make sure there is nothing that is going to distract you during the interview, so choose a quiet place, shut the door if possible and make sure you won’t be interrupted by family members or pets coming in.

Secondly, you need to make sure the interviewer doesn’t become distracted by what’s on your screen, so you need to choose a fairly neutral environment.

For example, not one with vibrant wallpaper, TVs in the background or anything else potentially distracting.

4. A technology failure

Whether your microphone isn’t working, your camera’s fuzzy or your internet won’t connect, technology doesn’t always do what we want it to.

But employers expect you to be prepared and a technological failure can look unprofessional and can be extremely inconvenient.

Because of this, you need to make sure you test all your equipment well in advance of the interview to ensure everything is working as it should be. It’s best to give yourself a day or two so you can fix any issues.

5. Being too casual

From the way you dress to the way you answer questions, you need to make sure you’re not acting too casual. After all, this is still a formal and professional interview and should be treated as such.

So you need to avoid casual slouchy clothing, even if you don’t think the interviewer can see much of you on their screen.

You should also avoid bold, distracting patterns or noisy accessories.

Be sure to sit up straight, answer all questions to the best of your abilities and remember the usual formalities such as introducing yourself effectively and thanking the interviewer for their time at the end.

And with more and more recruiters turning to social media to screen candidates during the age of remote work, don’t forget to adjust your privacy settings and be mindful of the type of content you post on professional platforms like LinkedIn.

Avoid these mistakes at all costs

We understand that whether it’s your first or your fifteenth video interview, it can still feel a little strange.

So be sure to practice your techniques, present yourself carefully on screen and avoid these five common mistakes if you hope to boost your chances of landing the job.


Author: Andrew Fennell is the founder and director of Job Description Library and StandOut CV, two leading UK careers advice websites. He is a former recruitment consultant and contributes careers advice to publications like Business Insider, The Guardian, and The Independent.


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