Thanks to the advent of video technology, a lot of employers are now choosing to use platforms like Skype to conduct initial job interviews. And it makes sense of course – by choosing to interview candidates over video, employers and recruiters can not only save time and money – but they can also save valuable resources too.
With pre-recorded interviews, the clue really is in the name – candidates are normally given a set of interview questions and asked to record themselves answering these questions.
While it sounds simple enough, pre-recorded interviews can actually be pretty tricky to master, particularly if you’ve only been given a set amount of time to give and upload your answers. In that case, the pressure really is on…
With that in mind; here are my top five tips to help you master a pre-recorded interview:
1. Treat It Like Any Other Job Interview:
OK, so I know it can be difficult to treat a pre-recorded interview like a typical job interview because you’re not going to meet anyone or even leave the house – but you need to try your best to treat it the same. Be sure to do lots of research around the company you’re interviewing for and try and demonstrate this knowledge within your answers.
Also you might feel a bit silly dressing up smartly in your living room – but remember, employers will see you and first impressions count so don’t let yourself down by recording your interview in your favourite hoody or comfy old t-shirt. That said; it is important to try and dress appropriately for the company you’re interviewing for. For example, while a suit and tie might be perfect for a finance job, it’s probably a bit too over the top for a digital job with an agency that’s famous for favouring casual dress.
2. Practice, Practice, Practice:
With a pre-recorded interview, you’ve got the advantage of knowing what questions you’re going to have to answer, and, deadline permitting, you’ve also got the advantage of having time to practice and prepare so make the most of it. Jot down some key points you definitely want to cover in each answer (you can find tips for answering a lot of the common job interview questions in our ‘Interview Advice’ section) and practice answering each question.
You could even try and practice in front of family and friends to get an idea of how you might come across – or you could even record yourself practising to see where you can improve.
3. Remember, You’re Not A Robot:
That might seem like a strange tip so let me explain. When it comes to pre-recorded interviews, it can be really easy to come across as a bit robotic and stiff because you’ve had time to practice your answers and you’re keen to try and ensure you cover everything in your answer – but you really need to try your best to come across as natural.
As I mentioned in the last paragraph, rather than creating proper paragraphs for each answer, jot down key bullet points that you want to answer – and use these as reference when recording your answers.
Similarly, employers want to see that the candidates they’re considering have a bit of a personality – so try and ensure your answers have a bit of a life in them eg. a monotone voice and no movement probably isn’t the way to go. People’s voices naturally go up and down as they talk and a lot of people use their hands a lot when they talk – so think about how you talk normally and try and replicate this in your answer.
4. Don’t Rush It:
As I said at the beginning of the blog, if you’ve got a deadline for your response, it can feel like the pressure’s really on – but you need to be careful not to rush your answers. Employers want to employ people who are confident, have clear communication skills and can keep calm under pressure – so if you’re mumbling, rushing through your answers and getting flustered, you’re probably not going to impress.
Before you record your answers, take a big deep breath and think about what kind of impression you want to make and what you want to portray and try and bear this in mind throughout the course of your interview.
5. Take Advantage Of The Situation:
With a pre-recorded interview you essentially get to have a job interview from the comfort of your own home so you need to take advantage of that. Remember, the employer will only see what you let them see (ie. your background) so it’s a good idea to use the space directly infront of you wisely.
Just like a Skype interview, it’s a good idea to stick post it notes to the outside of your screen or on the wall infront of you which contain your answer bullet points and notes on the company – and then use these as reference throughout your interview. Also, if there’s something you’re trying to avoid (eg. playing with your hair or looking at the floor), stick behaviour pointers on your post-it notes too.
That said; while the employer will be focusing on you, they’re probably going to give your background a quick once over too – so don’t let a controversial poster or picture catch their eye for all the wrong reasons! 😉
So there you go; five top tips to help you tackle a pre-recorded interview. Got some more pre-recorded job interview advice you’d like to share? Leave a comment below..