The last few weeks have been the oddest most of us will ever experience. Everything has changed.

For many that’s meant learning to work from home, and companies have had a huge task getting that happening.

But many have lost their jobs; and many were already on the hunt; and for those people one key skill has suddenly emerged: video interviewing.

Because interviewing by video just isn’t the same as interviewing face to face. You lose the ability to engage and use your body language and rapport to build relationships. You lose the walk from reception to the meeting to do a bit of small talk. It’s not worse it’s just – different.

So how can you learn?

I’ve spent this week thinking about just that – I’ve spoken to any number of candidates, briefing them and prepping them for interviews and just talking through the challenges.

And I’ve spent the week putting a series of videos on LinkedIn talking about some of the challenges. I’ve kept them light – goodness knows there’s enough dark at the moment – but the subject is serious. You can watch the first video above.


Firstly you need to do the basics right. Know how to work the technology. Get the lighting right. Have a background that doesn’t make it look like you live at the tip. Be audible. Get the camera at eye level or slightly above. Give yourself a chance.

Secondly, plan ahead. You should do this for a face to face interview anyway, but it’s much more important on video. Know what you’re trying to get across and think through how you’re going to communicate that. Compensate for the lack of body language – you can’t read theirs any more than they can read yours so communicate verbally instead. Ask them if you’ve given enough detail. Don’t go silent. Check that they have what they need. And help them: tell them what you’re thinking, be explicit about anything you want them to know. It sounds obvious but they will not get anything from you that. you haven’t said out loud. So if you want them to hear it, say it.

Thirdly, structure your answers.┬áSTAR – situation, task, action, result, is your friend here. It’s an old tool but an incredibly effective one for telling stories concisely and effectively. And the best of it is that the result allows you to show who you are rather than what you’ve done. Talk about how you learned from mistakes and unexpected results. Tell them how you adapted next time round. Highlight how getting something done gave you a sense of satisfaction. People hire people so you need to establish a connection. This is your chance.

Obviously I could write a book on this (someone probably has) but these are some tips to get you started. Watch the videos – give me a call if you’d like to talk about your interview – and good luck!

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