However as with any interview, practice is the key to success. Now that the vacation scheme deadline has passed, we share some of our key tips to help you succeed at the video interview process.
The application form process is the first hurdle you have to overcome, and you have succeeded. You should gain some confidence from knowing that you've received an invite, which means that the firm likes what they see from your initial profile. Now all you need to do is make a good impression over the video interview, and you're one step closer to the assessment centre.
One way to build your confidence is to practice prior to the interview. The more you get used to recording yourself and examples to practice questions, the more your confidence will grow over time. You will start to notice which lighting works well, or how best to give eye contact. You'll also be able to spot any nervous fidgets that you might have and think of ways to eradicate these (my nervous fidget is to bite my lip, which I only noticed after watching myself back). While recording the video interview in real time you won't be able to re-record an answer once it's complete, so it's worth taking the extra time to practice before you start your real application.
Key preparation for success
During a video interview, the last thing that you want to be thinking about is that embarrassing Take That poster that you might have up in the background. You should make sure that your environment is clean, bright and clear of anything which may distract the assessor during the interview.
Make sure that you make anybody in your household aware that you are completing an interview. Even if you have let everybody know, go the extra mile to stop any unwanted interruptions, such as putting a sign on the door as a reminder. The biggest distraction during an interview is having someone walk in unannounced, and it completely takes you out of your stride.
Set your camera up to eye level, so that you can maintain good eye contact. You can also figure out where you may get the best lighting too, so that the assessor can see you clearly throughout. You should be dressed as you would for an interview, in formal business wear. The assessor will be looking at how you are presented, so make sure that you make a good first impression!
Finally, make sure that your mobile phone is either out of sight or on 'do not disturb'. Again, it will be a constant distraction if you can hear the phone buzzing from your group chats on WhatsApp in the background!
Once you get started…
During the interview, the last concern you should have is technical issues. At the start of the interview you will have a number of tests to see how suitable your device is to take the interview. This should cover issues such as microphone, sound and picture. You can review these and make sure that you're happy before you begin.
At DWF we use a platform called Sonru, who also have an excellent 24/7 support team for any issues you may have. You can pop up to a member of the team on an instant messaging tool, who are on hand to assist if anything does go wrong. Therefore if you do have any problems, rather than crying your way through the next 5 questions, simply resolve this with the Sonru support team.
Ensure that you project positive body language throughout the interview. Sit up straight, look engaged and smile! It's important for the assessor to see that you are calm and collected under pressure.
If you make a slight mistake, don't let it ruin the rest of your question. You're only human and we want to see your personality come through; we want to see how you recover from these mistakes rather than letting it knock your confidence. I'll let you in to a secret – we recorded around 20 takes of our welcome video for the video interviews due to mistakes! We understand that you don't have the luxury of re-recording, so just carry on as normal and don't let it put you off.
During your interview the question will appear on the screen and you will have a time limit to read and prepare your answer. It may be worth having a notepad at the side of you, so you can jot down some key words for what you'd like to talk about. As you only have a short amount of time, make sure that your answers are detailed and concise, and you link the point to relevant experience as much as possible.
If you have researched the firm prior to the interview and linked transferable skills and experience together, you should be able to confidently answer the questions that appear on the day. Don't leave your preparation to the last minute; instead make sure that you start your research early, doing bitesize chunks each day so you can fully digest the information and perform well under pressure.
The best message that we can give is preparation is key. The more practice and preparation you have for a video interview, the best chance you have at success. The firm wants to see your personality, so make sure that you are relaxed and be yourself.
Finally, best of luck from the Emerging Talent team and we hope to meet you at assessment centre stage!