Preparing for a video interview – top tips

Do you need hints and tips to help you to prepare for an online video interview? If the answer is yes then look no further! Whether it’s Zoom, FaceTime, Skype, Teams or any other platform, this guidance will help you to present yourself well and make a great first impression.

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

Watch! Our latest video offering online interview advice

If you are more of a video content consumer, then you may prefer to watch our latest YouTube offering on how to prepare for a video interview. The link is below. If you’d rather read the guidance then keep on scrolling…

1 – Background

When setting up for a video interview, think carefully about your background – you want to make sure that your setting looks professional, so be careful not to set up your camera with things like dirty washing up or laundry in the background. Do not set up in front of a television (especially if it is on!) and be careful of locations with windows in the background – the extra light will make your face look dark plus you may invite distractions from passers by. Instead, choose a background like a picture (not a mirror!), a plain wall, a bookshelf or some other neutral setting. Sitting outside can be a good option because natural light always looks good, but check the weather forecast because you do not want to end up with a broken phone or laptop if it rains!

2 – Camera angle and framing

When you are setting up your phone or laptop in preparation for a video interview, you should also think about the camera angle. If you find yourself looking down at the camera, it probably won’t be the most flattering angle and if your phone/laptop is too high, it isn’t likely to look terribly professional. Instead, aim to have the camera on your device at about your eye level. One of the easiest ways to achieve this is to sit at a table on a chair. Then use books, kids building blocks – whatever you have – to create a stand for your device until the camera sits at about the same height as your eyes. This will create the illusion of sitting across a table from your interviewer and will be the most professional looking setup. You should aim to have your head and shoulders in shot – think news broadcaster and you should get your framing about right.

3 – Internet connection and battery backup

An intermittent internet connection is the nemesis of a video call! It is very frustrating for both sides if the call keeps dropping out/going blank/jumping around or losing audio. It is therefore of great importance to make sure that you either sit near your router or have a good 4G signal to ensure that your video interview proceeds uninterrupted. It’s also worth making sure that you are near a power point as video calls really eat up battery power – make sure you’re plugged in!

4 – Appearance

If you are not going to be able to demonstrate your classroom skills as part of an initial interview, then how you look and what you say becomes even more crucial. So take the time to smarten yourself up. Wear something neutral – try to avoid spots, stripes and bright colours – keep the focus on you and what you are saying rather than on your jazzy attire! At least from the waist up… if your legs are not in shot then your interviewer(s) will never know if you have your leggings and crocs on under the table!

5 – Practice makes perfect and eye contact counts!

Eye contact on a video call isn’t the same as it is in person. If you look at the face of the person on the screen, it will not give the impression of eye contact to them. Instead, make sure you periodically look directly into the camera of your device. This will really help to create a connection with your interviewer. It is also a good idea to practice talking to the camera, recording it and playing it back before your actual interview. How does you look? Do you need to smile more, talk more slowly? A quick practice or two will really help you to identify and improve on these things.

6 – Use interview advice and be yourself!

Once you are set up for a video interview, all the standard advice applies. If you find it hard to relax and get in the “zone” for an interview or just need a reminder of what you need to consider to perform well, then this blog might help. If you have never worked in special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) settings before, then this advice may also be useful. Lastly, be yourself! It’s the only person you can be so try to relax, be honest and clear with your responses and if the job is right for you then the rest will work itself out.


Are you seeking SEND work or staff?

If you’re looking for a SEND teaching or support job in England or Wales, why not register with Axcis, the SEND recruitment specialists? Or perhaps you need to recruit staff for your school or provision? If so, why not take a look at the Axcis Website, or get in touch today to find out how we can help?

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