Video interviews are here to stay. Convenient, easily accessible, and cost-effective, a video interview can be an ideal alternative to a face-to-face conversation. Currently, around 84% of recruiters say they’ve begun including virtual hiring tools like video interviews in their processes.
The question for accountants is, how do you make sure you’re making the right impression when you can’t rely on face-to-face chemistry?
Learning how to pivot your interview tactics so you’re ready to wow a hiring manager just as easily over webcam as you would in person is crucial for today’s landscape. Here’s your guide to making the most of your accountancy video interviews.
Step 1: Prepare Properly
Preparation is key whether you’re meeting your interviewer in person or not.
In a similar way to a face-to-face interview, you should start by learning as much as you can about the company in question. You’re still expected to demonstrate a knowledge of the company and the position you’re applying for, so don’t skimp on research because the conversation is happening over video.
Once you’ve collected as much information as possible about your would-be employer, the next step is preparing your tech. Find out what kind of video conferencing technology your hiring manager will be using and test out the functionality in advance; your recruitment consultant will have the details related to this.
Check your webcam, microphone and headphones work perfectly before the interview and make sure the location you’re using for your desk has a strong internet connection. This will help to reduce the risk of lag in your call. Other points to consider as you prepare include:
- Learn how to use important features on video conferencing, like mute or virtual background.
- Find out whether you need to have documents ready for a presentation during the meeting.
- Ask whether you’ll need to use additional tools during the interview, like screen sharing.
Step 2: Set up Your Shot
One of the best things about accountancy video interviews is they allow you to interact with a hiring manager from the comfort of your own home. This can be helpful if you’re nervous about an interview. However, it also means you will be in complete control of your interview environment and what the interviewer sees from your camera.
Start by choosing the right environment; a space out of the way of family, pets, and other distractions is usually a good idea. Choose somewhere well-lit but avoid sitting with a light source directly behind you, as this can cause a shadow.
Set up your webcam so the other person can see your upper body and face, rather than just one portion of your head. It’s also worth thinking about your background. A neutral space, like a blank wall or a room without a lot of background clutter or decoration, is usually a good bet.
If you’re worried about not finding the perfect space, you can consider experimenting with a virtual background or background blurring before the interview.
Step 3: Know How to Present Yourself
Video interviews still require appropriate business dress. Your hiring manager will expect to see evidence of your professionalism in the way you present yourself.
Always choose professional attire, just like you would for a formal in-person interview, and think about how certain clothing and accessories will show up on camera. Distracting patterns can be headache-inducing on camera, while pale colours can make you look drained.
Make sure you’re fully dressed (from head to toe) and think about the little details you can implement to boost your confidence. However, try to avoid any large pieces of jewellery or accessories, as these can capture light from the computer screen and cause glare.
Step 4: Practice Body Language
Body language is crucial in any accountant interview. Everything from whether you’re sitting up straight or slumping in your seat to how much eye contact you’re making will be under assessment. Practice interviewing with friends and family members over video to get feedback on whether you’re looking away from the screen too often or forgetting to smile.
Try to avoid constantly watching yourself on screen, rather than paying attention to the person you’re speaking to, as this can make you seem distracted. It’s also important to shut down any other distractions which might draw your attention, like email notifications or separate tabs.
Centring your camera and looking directly into it will help you create the illusion of eye contact. Remember to:
- Smile regularly to create a friendly atmosphere
- Keep your arms and legs uncrossed to avoid looking unwelcoming
- Avoid looking down at your lap or your notes too frequently.
Step 5: Master the Little Details
Small things can make a big difference in an accountant interview.
When you’re interviewing over video, making sure everything looks and sounds perfect is the best way to make a lasting, professional impression. Getting to the interview a few minutes early so you can set up your camera and audio and check everything is working is often a good idea.
Take steps to minimise the risk of any interruptions by locking the office door or letting your family know you can’t be disturbed. If you are disturbed, remember to preserve your professional appearance by apologising and responding calmly, this will make you look more adaptable.
While mastering video interviews can seem a little challenging at first, you will soon master the art of video interviews if you follow our straightforward process.
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