28 Jan 15 Video Interview Tips to Impress an International Employer
So you’ve smashed the application and been invited for a video interview with an international employer. The age-old interview musts still apply but there are a few extra tips and tricks you NEED to know to crush your remote interview and land your dream international job.
Interview Tips that Still Apply
- Research the company – This shows you’re genuinely interested in the position and are a proactive, cognisant individual who would be a perfect fit for the company. Expect to be asked to give your opinion on what made the company stand out to you and how your values align with theirs.
2. Keep up with current affairs – Similarly, someone who has no awareness of the latest trends and debates in the relevant industry gives an impression that their heart is not in the role. Remember, you may need to work a little harder to research industry news in the country you wish to work in if that country is not your current place of residence.
3. Prepare answers to anticipated questions – No matter the job, no matter the industry, no matter the country, the same old favourites are rolled out in every interview. Make sure you have an answer prepared! Questions could include:
- Why do you want to work for this company?
- What interests you about the role?
- What can you bring to the role?
- How would you describe yourself in 5 words?
- Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
4. Prepare questions to ask your interviewer – Not only is this another way to express your unrivalled interest in the position, but questions are also one essential way for you to assess whether this job is the best fit for you. You are not the only one being interviewed here; it’s important to confirm that accepting to work in this company and role indefinitely is the right decision for you. Great questions include:
- What do you most enjoy about working at the company?
- How would you describe your organisation’s culture?
- Can you tell me more about the team I would be working with?
- What impresses you about your most successful employee?
- Are there any professional development opportunities you can offer me?
5. Speak to your recruiter – Find out why previous applicants have failed at the interview stage so you know what not to do and you can highlight what you can offer that other candidates couldn’t.
6. Dress to impress – Confirm the dress code for the interview with your recruiter and dress slightly more formally. You might be in the comfort of your own home but joggers are a big no. No arguments.
7. Arrive early – There may be no commute time with a video interview but the normal rules still apply. It’s polite; it allows you to overcome any unexpected obstacles; it keeps you calm knowing you’ve got everything in hand; and it shows off your natural organisation skills that make you perfect for this job! We’d recommend setting up the link 15 minutes before the interview start time and jumping on the call 5 minutes early.
8. Make a great first impression – Yes your interviewer is not there in person so practicing your handshake is no longer necessary. Make sure you greet them politely though and impress them with your friendly, enthusiastic nature from the start of the call.
9. Use the STAR method – Anyone can say they have [insert required skills listed in the job specification]. Use the STAR method to PROVE you have these skills and that you are a reflective professional who continues to improve.
Situation – Describe the problem or challenges you faced in your experience
Task – Explain the task/goal you set yourself to overcome this problem or challenge
Action – Describe your actions to achieve your task/goal
Result – Analyse the results of your action – did you meet the task/goal? What went well to improve the situation? What action could you take next time to improve even more?
Video Interviews – What’s New?
10. Set up your environment – In a traditional interview, this would have been done for you. In a video interview, this is your responsibility. Make sure there is a clear background behind you with nothing on your bookshelf distracting from your eloquent answers. Equally, make sure that your choice of location will be quiet for the scheduled event and that you can ensure there will be no untimely interruptions. Any vlogger knows that lighting is essential – see to it that the room is well lit and check for glare. Don’t sit too close to the screen and don’t sit too far away. Prepare a pen and paper and some water nearby since it certainly doesn’t look good to get up halfway through the interview looking for these things.
11. Test the tech – Technology has a reputation for failing when you need it most. Get ahead of the game and probe any issues before they can get the better of you. Check the link to the video meeting and that your device supports the program used whether it be Zoom, Skype, Facetime, Google Meets or Microsoft Teams. Practice using the format if you are unfamiliar with it – can you share your screen like a pro if a presentation is part of the interview? Make sure your webcam works and your WIFI will be up and running smoothly without housemates or family members competing for broadband width.
12. Mitigate awkwardness – Ever wondered why TV news interviews include lots of pauses? They’re not scrimping on the WIFI and navigating a delayed connection but avoiding awkwardly talking over each other since body language is that much more difficult to read over video. Follow their lead and pause slightly before answering questions in your video interview. If you pause for another reason, for example, to take notes, don’t forget to signpost this to your interviewer with a “that’s interesting, let me just write that down.”
13. Body language – Since body language is a little harder to read over a video call, it’s infinitely more important to use it to your advantage in a video interview. Smile, sit up straight and keep gesturing to a minimum. Don’t cross your arms as it gives the subconscious impression that you are closed off when you are trying to show that you are open and engaged. Respond to your interviewer to show that you’re actively listening by nodding, leaning in and keeping eye contact with the camera. To stop your eyes from being drawn to your own image, follow this link to hide your self-view tile.
Interviewing for an international organisation
14. Practice your answers in the language the interview will be conducted in – It’s likely the language spoken in the interview will be required in the role you are interviewing for. This is the perfect time to brush up on your language skills to prove you can manage the position on a day to day basis. Whether your language level is conversational, professional or fluent, it’s a good idea to practice your answers to anticipated questions so you can decide on phrasing in advance.
15. Prepare for questions specifically about working for an international company – Being an international company is a big part of an organisation’s identity. Prepare for questions like:
- Why do you want to work for an international organisation / abroad?
- What international experience do you have? (think about any language qualifications, professional or personal experience abroad or international colleagues you may have worked with in the past)
- How will you adapt your working style to respond to the cultural differences within the organisation?