Top Tips for Video Interviews: 5 Minutes with Mark Stangroom

With the current economic climate, unemployment rates are at an all time high and standing out from the crowd is more important now than ever before. Recruitment can be a lengthy and testing process, and without the correct skillset, many may miss out on the opportunity. To combat this, we are thrilled to introduce our first talent series – How to Get Hired – in which we’ll be shining a spotlight on the recruitment process. 

Mark Stangroom

Offering up tips and tricks that will help you stand out in any interview process, and shine amidst your competitors. To kick start the series we caught up with our Talent Acquisition Director, Mark Stangroom to hear his top tips for the ‘new-norm’ that is video interviews. Covering everything from Wi-Fi to Eye Contact, here is his advice.

It’s safe to say the Incubeta team has had a fair bit of experience with video interviews over the last few months, as they’ve undoubtedly become another steadfast aspect of the ‘new normal’ that we’re living in. With the job market becoming increasingly more challenging for applicants, and video-interviewing now being an accepted part of everyday life, here are my top tips for navigating this new format to help you land your next role in digital marketing. Aside from one’s suitability to the role, success in video interviews can be achieved through; tried & tested tech, familiarity with the interview platform, professional surroundings, effective communication and appropriate attire. 

Tried & Tested Tech

Home Wi-Fi networks have never had this much exercise, so the most crucial thing to check is that your internet can support the call. Run a video test before your appointment to check your signal strength and adjust if needs be. We’ve found that if your connection is struggling, you can switch your video definition from high definition to standard definition so you can stay clear on the screen. Also, triple check your camera and microphone are working properly to avoid any last-minute hiccups. In digital marketing, it is quite common to be asked to prepare and deliver a presentation during the later stages of the interview process. Be familiar with the different ways of sharing your screen, and do a few practise runs with friends or family to get used to it. 

Familiarity with the Interview Platform

Be confident that you know how the platform you’re interviewing on works. Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts etc all fundamentally do the same thing, but each has its own idiosyncrasies. If it’s a platform you’re not familiar with, have a practice run beforehand – this is especially important if you are going to be presenting in your interview, which is something we often ask applicants to do at our 2nd round interview stage. At Incubeta we use Google Video Meets for all our face to face interviews, as you don’t need a Google account to be able to access one of these calls. But be prepared that other companies may use different platforms, such as one that requires you to set up an account prior to the interview – always double check beforehand. 

Professional Surroundings

Naturally, you’ll want a clean, quiet, well-lit space for your interviews; hopefully without anything too distracting in the background. Try to keep interruptions to a minimum, whilst your interviewer will be understanding, it’s best to avoid numerous disruptions. Life does however have a habit of getting in the way sometimes, so don’t be disheartened if your youngest child comes into the room unannounced, or your cat walks in front of the screen. Wherever you can though, try and keep your surroundings bright, simple and distraction-free. Wallpapering your living room with pie charts and spreadsheets is probably a step too far in trying to show your interviewer how much you love data – even if they’re from a data-driven brand like Incubeta!

Effective Communication

We all know how crucial eye contact is during interviews, but over a video call it’s going to feel a little unnatural. Whilst you’ll want to be looking straight at the screen – that’s where your interviewer is – you actually need to be looking at your camera. Try practicing beforehand to get familiar with the location of your camera. 

Audio delays are a fairly common issue with video interviews, so don’t suffer in silence. If you miss the first half of a question, just ask for it to be repeated. There’s no point answering the question you think they asked because of technical difficulties. Do what you can to speak clearly, and nod or smile to show you’re paying attention. 

Appropriate Attire

Video interviews are just as important as face-to-face interviews, so make sure you’re remembering the basics. Dress appropriately, we know how tempting it might be to wear a shirt and keep your pyjama bottoms on underneath, but you should approach your dress code as if you were visiting in person. Prepare your notes and make sure the ringer on your phone is silent. 

The end goal of a video interview is the same as a face-to-face interview – to demonstrate that you’re the right person for the job. Don’t focus so much on the video aspect, concentrate on impressing the interviewer, showcasing your capabilities and demonstrating your suitability for the role. Removing technical glitches, distracting backgrounds and avoidable interruptions will streamline the interview process, and get you one step closer to landing the job. 

We’re always looking for new people who can make a difference to our business and our clients, have a look at our current vacancies and apply today!


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