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How to prepare for a video interview

Our recruitment process sometimes requires a video interview, especially if you are unable to attend an interview in person. Here’s how you can prepare.

Are you located outside of the Western Cape but keen to work for us? Or maybe there's another reason you can’t attend a physical interview right now? The good news is that’s not a problem! If we’re interested in meeting you, we’ll set up an interview via video calling as part of our recruitment process. The platform we use at Capitec will allow you to access the video call through a link that can be opened in your browser.

Here’s what you can do to get ready for an interview with us (or any other company).

Prepare for your interview

Just like any job interview, preparation is key. The only difference is that there are a few more things to do in advance. You will need to:

  • Find a quiet spot where you’re unlikely to be interrupted. Ask your family or housemates to be considerate and quiet
  • Make sure you have a stable internet connection
  • Test your computer’s audio and webcam to make sure they’re working. You’re welcome to ask the recruiter to do a test call before your interview so you can check that everything is working
  • Make sure your computer is charged or plugged in, and that you’ve signed in to the video calling platform
  • Put your phone on silent, or preferably in another room, so you’re not distracted by messages

Do this well in advance and be ready at least 10 minutes before the interview will start so that you aren’t feeling too panicky.  

Dress for an interview

Just because you’re sitting at your kitchen table or in your bedroom, doesn’t mean you don’t have to dress appropriately. It’s as important to dress professionally from top to bottom. While it’s unlikely the interviewer will see your pants or skirt, it’s better to be safe than sorry in case you do need to stand up.

Steer clear of bright colours or vibrant patterns and dress in softer, more muted colours instead. If you wear glasses, try to adjust the lighting to reduce glare from the lenses. You can do this beforehand by using your computer’s webcam.

Not sure what to wear? Ask about the company dress code ahead of your interview. At Capitec, workwear is smart casual, so you won’t be expected to dress in a suit and tie. If you’re still unsure, ask the person who set up the interview.

Frame your shot

Where you sit is important. Don’t sit too close to the screen and leave about 10 to 20% of empty space between your head and the top of the screen. If you sit up straight, you won’t accidentally cut off the top of your head.

Pay attention to the lighting. Natural light is always better as fluorescent lights can be unflattering. Don’t sit with your back to a light source, such as a window, as your face will be in the shadow, and your interviewer would want to see it. Also sit in front of a neutral background and tidy up your workspace and surroundings so that there is no clutter to distract your interviewer – and reflect badly on you.

Headphones might make you feel weird but they can prevent the interviewer from hearing an echo or distorted sound. Use something discreet, though, and not your large gaming cans.

Mind your body language

Eye contact is important even when you’re on video, but don’t look directly into your interviewer’s eyes. Remember that they will see what your webcam sees and if you look at their eyes on screen, you might be showing them the top of your head. Rather look at the webcam when answering a question.

Posture counts, too. Sit up straight with both feet on the floor and your arms on your desk or lap. Make sure you nod and smile while listening. Avoid looking away from your computer. Keep hand movements close to your body and try not to fidget!

What to do if something goes wrong…

Let’s face it, technology can fail, your child might wander into the room or your neighbour could start mowing the lawn. But don’t panic.

Technical difficulties

You might have checked and rechecked that your video and audio is working before the interview but if your internet connection drops or something goes wrong, don’t worry. Before the interview starts, ask the interviewer for a phone number on which you can reach them should you run into technical difficulties. Call immediately and ask if you can continue the interview by phone or reschedule.

Unexpected loud noises

Chances are your interviewer is facing similar challenges on their end. If a loud noise interrupts your interview, apologise and ask to wait a few minutes until the noise has subsided. If this is not an option, you might have to find a quieter spot. If you do have to move, turn off the camera and audio as you don’t want them to see what the rest of your (untidy) home looks like. Muting your microphone when you’re not speaking also helps reduce feedback noise, especially if there are several people in the interview.

Interruptions

If someone walks into the room while you’re interviewing, that’s ok! Simply smile and apologise. Ask for a few minutes so you can remove the distraction or move to another spot. Again, remember to mute your microphone and switch the camera off before you step away.

Keep calm, be yourself

At Capitec we enjoy conversational interviews, so grab a cup of tea or coffee and settle in. Try to remain calm and just be yourself. An interview, after all, is how we get to know you better.

References:
https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/interviewing/video-interview-guide

https://www.themuse.com/advice/how-to-prepare-for-video-interview

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