How to succeed at video interviews by Vantage Point

Vantage Point are a consultative business with a specific focus on Capital Markets. In this guest post they’ve told us what they’re looking for in a video interview from an employer’s perspective. 

An interview is not just about the interviewer getting to know you, but also about you getting to know the company and if it’s the right fit.

They’re also hosting two presentations with the University of Exeter on Thursday 25 June. Video Interview Skills Session from 2:00pm – 3:00pm, and a session on Vantage Point and the opportunities they have from 3:30pm – 4:15pm.

A digitally evolving world has led to traditional processes trying to keep up. More and more companies are incorporating video interviews as part of their recruitment process, and with the recent COVID-19 pandemic, video interviews are now becoming even more common place. This post will give you some useful information and tips on how to prepare for a successful video interview. First, let’s explore the two main types of video interviews employers use.

One-Way Video Interview

A one-way video interview requires a candidate to record and submit their answers to questions without an interviewer being present. Each one-way interview is different, and the employer will have the ability to edit the preferences of the interview, such as the ‘think time’, ‘record time’ and how many takes you can record before your answer is submitted. These interviews are usually a first stage in an employer’s interview process. Usually, you will be given around two minutes to read the question and think of your answer, and two to three minutes to record and submit your response. Some video interviews may also give you the option to re-record your answer. Make sure to read the instructions carefully as this will vary for each company.

Live Video Interview

A live video interview requires both the interviewer and interviewee to be present and are usually ran as a replacement to an in-person interview. In the current climate, live video interviews are a common second stage interview and are usually run through an online platform such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams.

It is important to treat both one-way and live video interviews the same as you would a face to face interview by dressing appropriately and professionally. Avoid having posters or photos up in the background, a plain wall is usually best to maintain a professional image. To avoid any unwanted interruptions, make sure to tell members of your household not to disturb you and close windows to reduce noise from outside. It may seem obvious, but these issues can have an impact on the success of your interview.

Preparation

Research and preparation are key to ensuring a successful interview. Make sure to research the company you are interviewing for as much as possible by following the below steps;

  1. Read the company’s website in order to get a feel for the company culture and values
  2. Check if there is anything about the company in the news that could be relevant to the role you are applying for as well any industry trends (what are their competitors doing?)
  3. Research if there are any new innovations or technologies that the company is leading on that you find interesting and could mention or discuss in your interview
  4. Check out their LinkedIn and other social media pages further updates on the company

Doing in-depth research into a company will show your company that you are interested and enthusiastic about the role.

Strengths vs Competency Based Interview Questions

 There are two main types of interview questions that are currently used in graduate recruitment, competency based and strengths based. Competency based interview questions require a candidate to give specific examples of when they have demonstrated a specific competency, whereas strengths based interview questions assess how well you are likely to do a job.

Strengths based interview questions are used in order for employers to recruit graduates who they feel will enjoy and feel energised by the work they are doing, as well as to assess how you naturally respond to situations. These types of interview questions are designed for you to give a natural and authentic response. In order to prepare, think about what your natural strengths are and what you enjoy doing. As strengths based questions are designed to deliver more of a ‘quick fire’ interview, make sure to listen carefully, and don’t be afraid to ask the interview to repeat the question if needed. Here are some examples of strength based interview questions.

  1. What motivates you?
  2. What does a successful day look like to you?
  3. How do you ensure you are always learning?

Competency based interview questions are typically easier to prepare for. They require you to think of a specific example in which you have demonstrated a competency that the interviewer is looking for. Have a look on the job description to see what skills are required for the role, as the questions will usually correlate with these behaviours. Use the STAR technique (situation, task, action, result) in order to answer these questions and give context to your examples. It is really important to explain what you did and what the result was. Here are some examples of competency-based interview questions.

  1. Can you tell me about a time you encountered a problem when working in a team, and how you went about solving this?
  2. Can you tell me about a time when you had to make a difficult decision?
  3. Can you tell me about a time where you showed leadership?

Remember, an interview is not just about the interviewer getting to know you, but also about you getting to know the company and if it is the right fit. Make sure to ask meaningful questions to find out as much as you can about the company.

Find more information about interviews https://mycareerzone.exeter.ac.uk/students/infoPages/detail/1/help-with-interviews and do your own practice video interviews https://mycareerzone.exeter.ac.uk/students/infoPages/detail/31/shortlist-me