With law firms constantly seeking more efficient and cost-effective ways to recruit trainees and vacation schemers, video interviews are becoming an increasingly common method of assessment. After you have sent in an application form, the firm will send you a link to a video interview, giving you a time period in which to complete it. You’ll then be expected to use the webcam on your computer to film the interview, answering questions which will be revealed as the interview progresses. You’ll normally have a short amount of time to prepare an answer (30-90 seconds) before being given a couple of minutes to answer. You can expect to receive about five questions. If this all sounds scary, don’t worry – here are some tips to help you ace that video interview.
Practice makes perfect
Before starting an interview, take the time to familiarise yourself with the process. Make sure that your webcam is working properly and that the sound levels are correct. Set your webcam to record and practice answering questions. Then watch yourself back and see what you think you can be improved. If possible, ask a friend to set you questions so you can practice thinking on the spot.
Create a professional environment
You might have to record the interview in the squalor of your university halls, but do your best to create the cleanest environment possible. Be mindful of what is behind you, and if possible use a white wall as the background. It’s also important to make sure you can be clearly seen, so check that the lighting is effective and doesn’t create shadows. Lighting from behind the camera, pointing toward you, is most effective.
Although you might be wearing slippers and your favourite PJs when you get the link, make the same effort you would for a face-to-face interview. Put on some snappy business attire and make sure your hair looks good. Dressing professionally will also help get you into the correct frame of mind for the interview itself.
Slumping in your chair is going to look even worse on camera, so make sure you sit up straight. When answering questions, make sure that you look directly at the webcam, so that you maintain eye contact with the recruiter watching the interview back. Give yourself enough space to make hand gestures as these are an important part of communication.
Have paper & pens available
In the 30 un-filmed seconds you have to prepare a question, it can be useful to jot down a couple of bullet points. For example, if you are asked to name your three best attributes, this will prevent any awkward silence when you forget what your second point was.
Treat the interview as you would any other, and make the most of the opportunity. Act naturally and answer the questions with as much enthusiasm as you would face-to-face. Then you’ll ace the interview and land that vacation scheme or training contract.