The discussion around the use of video interviewing is not new; in fact, we have clients who have been requesting this from candidates for a number of years. However, with the recent pandemic and the subsequent boom of video calling platforms such as Zoom or Teams, the use of video interviews is becoming more popular. We know this sends some candidates into a panicked frenzy – not everyone is comfortable appearing on camera!
Wilsonhalligan are here to help and have put together some top tips to help crew prepare and shine in video interviews.
Dress to impress – Make sure that you dress in the same way that you would have dressed for a face-to-face interview. A first impression here is just as important as it would be if you were meeting in person, but it’s also proven to get you in the right mental state to perform at your best. For most video interviews only your head and shoulders will be on show, but don’t get caught out wearing those pyjama bottoms - wear suitable clothing from head to toe!
Think about your environment – Make sure that the surrounding area – the room that you are in – is tidy and kept free from any unnecessary props or distractions. We would suggest finding a nice blank wall or bookcase to position yourself in front of, whether at home or on board. Similarly, avoid cafes or public spaces – find yourself a quiet spot where you can focus and give the interviewer your full attention.
“I can hear you; can you hear me?” – We have all had video calls which have started this way! Try to avoid it by testing your equipment beforehand. Give yourself plenty of time, check your audio settings and test your mic or headset. Why not ask a fellow crew member to do a trial call with you – technical issues may of course still occur but give yourself the best chance to succeed by being prepared. The same goes for internet connection – if you are at sea with a poor connection, suggest rescheduling so that you aren’t dropping out or having to restart the call every two minutes.
Smile for the camera – It’s never as easy knowing where to look when on video rather than face to face but keep your eyes on the screen and try to maintain eye contact. Try not to become distracted and look to the side when you are thinking, or the interviewer is talking. Stay engaged in order to build rapport.
Relax and make sure you are comfortable – Preparation is again the key – give yourself as much time as possible beforehand to set up a comfortable video station and have a glass of water to hand. Try to find out before the interview exactly who will be joining for the call. If a video interview request has taken you by surprise (for example if it had not been specified beforehand), you can decline and ask to rearrange. You need to be in the position where you can offer the best possible version of yourself – if you feel unable to do this, be polite and request another interview date.
Finally, ask your recruiter for help – this is what we are here for. See if you can request a practice video interview, ask if they have any insider knowledge as to what the client may be looking for. Don’t be afraid to ask for help – if you develop a good relationship with your recruiter, they should be able to offer you so much more than just a CV sending service.
So, don’t be scared by your next video interview – use these tips to help you secure your next position and see it as an opportunity to present your best self.
Be confident, well prepared and feel free to get in touch if you would like to arrange a practice video interview: firstname.lastname@example.org, use the subject ‘video interview’.