Career Advice

6 tips to master the job video interviews

Web-based job video interviews are on the rise, making it more important than ever for candidates to interview comfortably over the web. 

Hiring managers from the world's leading businesses continue to stress how important it is for candidates to perform well during a video interview, and share the same key tips to getting it right.

As companies are increasingly evolving to global operations, talent sourcing continues to transcend the national boundaries. Social media and technologies offer a clear benefit to both recruiters and clients when interviewing internationally mobile candidates.

Six top tips for successful job video interviews:

1. Dress for success - Dressing in the same way as you would a face-to-face interview will put you in the right frame of mind for your interview, plus it will negate any embarrassment if you need to move mid-interview. Dark colours are typically best, and avoid stark white as well as overly busy patterns. High gloss lips and glittery jewellery can also be distracting.

2. Act as if you engaged with your interviewer - Looking into the camera, rather than your image on the screen will help you look as engaged as possible, giving the impression that you are looking into the interviewer’s eyes. While you’ll want to keep your posture straight, leaning forward toward the camera slightly can increase eye contact and allow the interviewer better read your facial expressions.

3. Consider the setting for your interview - Make sure your interview space is distraction free and mirrors a business setting, keeping to a blank or neutral background. Before you start, test the angle of your lighting to avoid being shrouded in shadow and to make sure it’s flattering on your skin tone.

4. Be careful reading from notes - Notes can be particularly handy in a video interview, but if you use them, you’ll need to make sure your reference to them is extremely subtle. Reading notes or sounding too rehearsed will disrupt the natural flow of conversation, making you look under-prepared.

5. Anticipate technical issues - Remember to test your equipment well in advance, follow very carefully the instructions given for setting up your webcam and microphone and use any practice interview area over and over to make sure your equipments are operating well.

6. Finish on the right tune – In video interview, once you finish your answer for a question,     you’ll need to say “Thank You” as this is very important sign to make the interviewer understand that your answer is completed.

Other things to consider;

  • Body language – centring yourself a medium distance away from the camera, keeping the upper halves of your arms showing as well as allowing for some free space above your head will allow the interviewer to best read your body language.

  • Interruptions – inform those around you of the interview so you are not disturbed.

Microphone – Make sure it is set on a full caption level. To find the setting click Star > Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > change system sound > Recording > Microphone > Properties > Level then make sure the level of microphone is 100 and microphone boost is 0.00 .

Interview tips

Preparation is the first essential step towards conducting a successful interview. The better prepared you are, the more confident you'll be.

Ensure that you know the following things

  • The exact time and location of the interview, route, parking etc and how long it will take to get there.

  • The interviewer's correct title and pronunciation of his or her full name.

  • Specific facts about the company - its history, financial position, competitors, products and services. Research the company's website in full.

  • Facts and figures about your present or former employer. Refresh your memory on this as you will be expected to know a lot about a company for which you have previously worked.

  • Prepare some questions to ask the interviewer. Remember that an interview is a two way street. The interviewer will try to determine through questioning whether you are the right person for a specific job. Likewise, you must determine through questioning whether this potential employer will provide the opportunity for career development that you seek.

Interview techniques

During the interview, you will be assessed for your strengths and weaknesses/areas for development. In addition to this, specific personal characteristics will be examined, such as attitude, aptitude, stability, motivation and maturity.

Some interview dos and don'ts follow:

  • DO arrive on time or a few minutes early. Late arrival for a job interview is never excusable.

  • DO greet the interviewer by his or her title and surname. If you are not sure of the name pronunciation, ask the interviewer to repeat it.

  • DO shake hands firmly.

  • DO wait until you are offered a chair before sitting. Sit upright in your chair and look alert and interested at all times.

  • DO be as charismatic as possible; it is very important that you demonstrate your interpersonal skills during the interview.

  • DO be a good listener as well as a good talker.

  • DO smile.

  • DO look the interviewer in the eye.

  • DO follow the interviewer's leads. Try, however, to obtain a full description of the position and duties it incorporates at an early stage so that you can relay your appropriate background and skills accordingly.

  • DO make sure that your good points get across to the interviewer in a concise, factual and sincere manner. Waffle will get you nowhere. Bear in mind that only you can sell yourself and make the interviewer aware of the benefits that you can offer to the organisation.

  • DO always conduct yourself as if you are determined to get the job you are discussing. Never close the door on opportunity. It is better to be in a position where you can choose from a number of offers - rather than only one.

  • DON'T answer questions with a simple 'yes' or 'no'. Explain yourself whenever possible. Describe those things about yourself that relate to the position on offer.

  • DON'T lie. Answer questions truthfully, frankly and as close to the point as possible.

  • DON'T make derogatory remarks about your present or former employers.

  • DON'T enquire about salary, holidays, bonuses etc. at the initial interview unless you are positive that the interviewer wants to hire you. You should however, know your market value and be prepared to specify your required salary or range.

Be prepared to answer questions such as:

  • Why did you choose a career in accountancy/IT/tax/banking?

  • What kind of job are you seeking?

  • What is your technical experience?

  • Why would you like to work for our company?

  • What do you want to be doing in your career five years from now?

  • When was your last salary review?

  • What style of management gets the best from you?

  • What interests you about our product/service?

  • What have you learned from some of the jobs you have held?

  • Which job did you enjoy the most and why?

  • What have you done that shows initiative in your career?

  • What are your major weaknesses and what are your strengths?

  • What do you think determines a person's progress in a good company?

  • Are you willing to relocate?

  • What are your hobbies?

  • What does 'teamwork' mean to you?

Closing the interview

If you are interested in the position enquire about the next interview stage. If the interview offers the position to you and you want it, accept on the spot. If you wish for some time to think it over, be courteous and tactful in asking for that time. Set a definite date on which you can provide an answer.

Don't be too discouraged if no definite offer is made nor a specific salary discussed. The interviewer will probably want to consult colleagues or interview other candidates (or both) before making a decision.

If you get the impression that the interview is not going very well and you have already been rejected, don't let your discouragement show. Once in a while an interviewer who is genuinely interested in your possibilities may intend to discourage you in order to test your reaction.

Thank the interviewer for the time spent with you.

After the interview

Lastly, and most importantly, call your consultant immediately after the interview to explain what happened. The consultant will want to speak with you before the interviewer calls.

Answering interview questions

JobzTalent provides a unique opportunity for job seekers, who may be inexperienced at answering interview questions technique. It is free and it cost you nothing, even it does not ask you to register or sign in to use this facility. It is only for those seriously looking for work.

 The video interview practice questions are aimed at developing interview success skills. These skills are essential for success in today’s work environment. Armed with a newly updated resume and better interviewing skills, job seekers who use this feature and who practice answering questions, have the opportunity to receive a better recognized from employer and increase his/her chance to get hired.

Just select any vacancy in the search jobs and follow the steps until you see the Practice button, then simply click and use the following answering interview questions.

 

Although there is no set format that every job interview will follow, there are some questions that you can almost guarantee will be asked. Here's a list of the most common questions and a guide on how to structure your answers.

Tell me about yourself?

This is usually the opening question and first impressions are key. Begin your answer with an overview of your highest qualification then run through the jobs you've held so far in your career. You can follow the same structure of your CV, giving examples of achievements and the skills you've picked up along the way. Don't go into too much detail, your interviewer will ask for you to expand on any areas where they'd like more information.

What are your strengths?

Read the job description again, and pick the three biggest attributes that you think will get you the job and give examples of how you have used these strengths in a work situation. They could be tangible skills, such as proficiency in a particular computer language, or intangible skills such as good people management.

What are your weaknesses?

This question is best handled by picking something that you have made positive steps to redress. For example, if your IT ability is not at the level it could be, state it as a weakness but tell the interviewer about training courses or time spent outside work hours you have used to improve your skills.

Why should we hire you? What can you do for us that other candidates can't?

What makes you special and where do your major strengths lie? You should be able to find out what they are looking for from the job description. "I have a unique combination of strong technical skills and the ability to build long-term customer relationships" is a good opening sentence, which can then lead onto a more specific example of something you have done so far in your career.

What are your goals? Where do you see yourself in five years time?

It's best to talk about both short-term and long-term goals. Talk about the kind of job you'd eventually like to do and the various steps you will need to get there, relating this in some way back to the position you're interviewing for. Show the employer you have ambition, and that you have the determination to make the most of every job you have to get where you want to be.

Why do you want to work here?

The interviewer is listening for an answer that indicates you've given this some thought. If you've prepared for the interview properly, you should have a good inside knowledge of the company's values, mission statement, development plans and products. Use this information to describe how your goals and ambition matches their company ethos and how you would relish the opportunity to work for them. 

What salary are you seeking?

You can prepare for this by knowing the value of someone with your skills. Try not to give any specific numbers in the heat of the moment - it could put you in a poor position when negotiating later on. Your interviewer will understand if you don't want to discuss this until you are offered the job. If they have provided a guideline salary with the job description, you could mention this and say it's around the same area you're looking for.

5 common interview mistakes

Being called for an interview after you’ve applied for a job means you’re one step closer to your next career move. But you’re not quite there yet. How you perform in the interview is likely to mean the difference between getting the job and not being successful. Make sure you avoid the five mistakes job seekers commonly make. 

1.  Not doing enough research

Researching a company you’re applying to will take time, but you must be prepared to invest the time needed if you want to perform well in the interview.  In our experience, some job seekers don’t do this thoroughly enough. 

It’s really important that you can talk confidently and intelligently about what your potential employer does. You should know specific facts about the organisation, including:

•    Their history, financial position, mission and products/services
•    The market in which they operate
•    Their main competitors

2.  Not being specific in your answers

You’re almost certainly going to be asked why you want the role or why you want to work for the particular company or organisation. When you’re asked this, you should give a specific reply and not talk in vague terms about why you’d like any job in this sector or industry. If you can’t explain clearly why you’d like this job, you will put off employers. 
Instead, you should be enthusiastic and talk specifically about the aspects of the organisation that appeal to you, such as its products or reputation, or the key responsibilities of the role.

3.  Not knowing your CV in detail

You don’t have to know every word of your CV off by heart, but you do have to be comfortable talking about what you’ve done, what you achieved and why you moved on. 

Don’t assume that just because the information is in your CV, interviewers won’t ask questions about your background, including your responsibilities in previous roles and educational results. 

So make sure you review your CV before your interview and practice how you will respond to any potential questions about the details you’ve provided. Most importantly, make sure that you can articulate how your accomplishments to date relate to the role you are applying for.

4.  Criticising previous employers or role

No matter how tempting it is, it’s not a good idea to make derogatory remarks about your current boss, previous boss, current employer or companies you’ve worked for in the past.  It’s fine to talk about that with your friends but not when you’re trying to persuade an employer to hire you. 

They won’t know the background to why you and your current or past employers don’t see eye to eye and you could also open yourself up to an uncomfortable line of questioning. 

Try to find the positive aspects of your employment history and focus on these instead.

5.  Being too relaxed in the interview

Don’t fall into the trap of being too familiar with your interviewer/s, no matter how relaxed you may feel.  An interview is one of the more formal work situations you’re likely to encounter and being familiar and joking around are unlikely to help you get the job. 

It’s important for you to be friendly and engaging and to demonstrate your interpersonal skills, but you must be professional at all times, even if you feel you have a good rapport with the interviewer.

7 steps to making the right career move

So you’ve decided you want to take a new direction in your career, but before making any drastic, rushed decisions there are a few pointers you should consider.

Below are some of our top tips to get you started on making the big move.

1. Make sure you’re really ready – emotionally and practically

Before you decide to seek a new career move, ask yourself, are you are looking for the right reasons, and not just because you’re having a bad day? You need to ensure that you are committed to the job search process, willing and able to conduct research, take phone calls and attend job interviews.

2. Consider what you really want from your next role

Self-evaluation is critical but often overlooked by many professionals when they start thinking about finding a new job. Take some time to assess:

  • What do you need and want from work?

  • What skills and experience do you have to offer?

  • What type of role interests you? 

  • What type of organisation will be actively looking for your skill set?

    This will help you clearly articulate to recruitment consultancies and employers what you want to achieve from your next move.

3. Do your research

Once you are clear on the sort of role and employer you are looking for, research the organisations and available jobs that meet your criteria and assess if they will add value to your resume, career or skill set.

It’s also essential to seek if the opportunities exist in the current job market. For advice on this, an option is to talk to recruitment consultancies about the current market, which organisations are hiring and how long the recruitment process is currently taking. Ask for any market update and salary information and sign up for job alerts that match your chosen job criteria.

4. Get networking

By being well-networked, you’ll not only be able to tap into the 'hidden' job market; you’ll also be giving yourself a real advantage over other candidates. Your network should include anyone who can assist you with a job search or career move — from past and present co-workers and bosses to colleagues from business associations and friends. Attend industry events or special networking sessions and use tools like LinkedIn to expand your professional social circle.

5. Keep learning

“The more that you read, the more things you’ll know. The more that you learn the more places you’ll go.” -  Dr.Seuss

There's always something more to learn, or something that you can strive to do better than your competitors. Identify these areas, incorporate continuous learning as an integral part of your job, and evaluate your skills periodically, keep your skill-set current and updated. Do regular researches, read voraciously, ask probing questions, jot down every idea that comes your way, benchmark the successful people whom you admire and find a mentor.

6. Spend adequate time on your application

While this may seem like common sense, many professionals can stumble at this hurdle. Your application should be achievement-driven and sell to a potential employer the benefits of hiring you as an employee. It should always be tailored to the selection criteria and explain why you are the right person for the role. Think of your CV as a sales document – it needs to sell you and where you can add value, and convince potential employers that it will be worth their time to interview you.

7. Consider interim management

“A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.” - Albert Einstein

If you’re unsure exactly what your next career move should be, interim management could be an option for you. It gives you the opportunity to test your capabilities in new environments, helping you to make the next all-important career decision. Interim management assignments can also offer you greater flexibility, work/life balance and the opportunity to increase hourly earnings. Plus, the variety that comes with working in interim management increases your skills base, industry knowledge, experience and exposure to dynamic environments.

Finding the right job

If you've decided it's time to move on, consider what you really want from your next role.

Find here some tips we outline to make your next career move.

1. Self-evaluation

Self-evaluation is critical but often overlooked when you start thinking about finding a job. Think about the type of role that interests you and what type of organisation will be actively looking for your skill set. Take some time to assess what you've learnt in your last job, your strengths and weaknesses and what areas you need to develop. This will help you clearly articulate to recruitment consultancies and employers what you want to achieve from your next move.

Reflecting on your skill set will also help you market yourself and it's of utmost importance that you differentiate how your skills and achievements make you different from someone else with the same academic qualifications.

fellow job seekers.

2. Research

It is very important that you do a proper research before looking for your next role. Talk to recruitment consultancies about the current market, which sectors are recruiting and how long the recruitment process is currently taking. Ask for any market update and salary information and sign up for job alerts that match your chosen role criteria

3. Choosing a consultancy to register with

Look for an established, specialist consultancy that has a good reputation in the marketplace. Although it is often worthwhile registering with more than one agency it is important not to register with more than two to three agencies to prevent your CV from being sent to the same organisation. Ask the consultancy about the benefits of registering exclusively with them - good consultancies will actively market your CV to their best clients and will also target organisations on your behalf.

Another factor to consider is whether the consultants are working on a commission basis - they may not always be objective when assisting with your job search. You should also choose a consultancy that gives every consultant in your specialism access to your CV, if not, you will only find out about the handful of roles that your consultant is dealing with.

4. Networking

Networking and networking. You are not only enabling yourself to tap into the 'hidden' job market, but giving yourself a real advantage over other candidates. Your network should include anyone who can assist you with a job search or career move. It can include past and present co-workers, bosses, colleagues from business associations and friends. Use tools like LinkedIn to expand your network.

5. Search job boards

Research which online job boards cater specifically for the industry you are looking to work in. Once you have identified which job boards are appropriate use the search engines to locate roles that match your discipline, job type, salary and location. You could also create a user accounts to upload your CV (for companies to find) but this can be a risky strategy as you have no idea whose desk your CV may land on.

6. Read the trade press for your sector

Whatever sector you work in, it's critical to understand the issues affecting your profession or industry sector and in-depth insight will put you ahead of your fellow job seekers. You can also gain key information on who is moving roles to help you target your job search.

How to make your resume stand out

The best resumes are professional and classic, but never boring or long-winded. And it goes without saying that a resume must be flawless. One single typo or formatting mistake could create a chasm of doubt in a hiring manager’s mind as to a candidate’s level of attention to detail (and, frankly, professionalism).

Beyond triple-checking your resume (and having several other people proof it for you), there are a few things that can break a resume out of the pack.

1. Make it interesting

Yes, you want it to sound professional, but that doesn’t mean using the same old dry phrasing from the template you found online. A clean graphic layout and compelling wording goes a long way in grabbing the attention of a hiring manager whose eyes are starting to cross from all the resumes he’s seen.

2. Use real business cases, not corporate jargon

Name names, describe projects, highlight the impact your role had in each case.

3. Always speak in terms of your contributions and achievements

Don’t just lay out basic job descriptions. Your resume should read like a list of your accomplishments, not like your day planner.

4. Numbers always speak louder than words

Was a project a success? Exactly how successful was it? Use growth rates, revenue increases, and numbers that illustrate the actual impact your work had on the business’s bottom and top lines. Don’t be afraid to list stats that illustrate your successes. 

5. Cover all your bases

But, keep it concise. If you have 15 years of experience under your belt, your knowledge may be vast. But, keep your resume short and sweet, highlighting only your most recent and relevant experience.

6. Demonstrate consistency and growth

How often have you changed jobs? What has your job progression been like? Have you stayed stagnant at a certain level, or have you steadily climbed the ranks? These are the sort of things a hiring manager assesses at first glance. A good resume shows a perfect balance between progression and stability.

7. And yes, a paper resume is still important

Often, hiring managers will visit your LinkedIn profile to skim your experience and presentation, but then count on a paper resume to provide a perfectly curated summary of your career.

A great resume is only a foot in the door, of course. Interviewing skills and actual talent are paramount to landing the job of your dreams. But without the initial resume to prove that you are serious, qualified and professional, you won’t get very far.

Getting the most out of your recruitment consultancy

Recruitment consultancies have access to the best jobs in the market with the biggest companies. Developing a close relationship with your recruitment consultant can be the difference between landing your dream role and not even being aware that it exists. But how do you get what you want from the relationship?

Go to the initial meeting prepared – treat it as an interview

Most recruitment consultancies will want to meet you in person before formally putting your CV forward to a hiring manager. The initial meeting will generally involve a discussion about your reasons for wanting a new job, the type of role(s) you are interested in, profile and examples of companies you would like to work for and a discussion around the positions the consultant feels might be appropriate for you. It is very worthwhile scanning the recruiter’s website before the meeting to ascertain which jobs you may be interested in. 

It is important during this initial meeting to come across as professional and employable. To make sure you are fully prepared access Robert Walters interview guide. Bear in mind that a consultant’s reputation with their client (the recruiting company) is at stake when they put a candidate forward for a job, so he or she will want to make sure that you will perform well when you meet the recruiting client in person.

Be clear about what job you want

Job seekers who approach recruitment consultancies are obviously looking for a career change. But for many, this is all they are sure about. While it’s good to be open to new opportunities, it’s best to do some research and have a good think about the type of job you want next. This will stop recruitment consultants suggesting roles that are of no real interest to you and will also help you to develop a closer working relationship with your consultant. Recruitment consultants want to help you but they will need your help and direction to get you what you want.

Keep in touch with your recruiter

Recruitment consultants meet a lot of talented professionals each week so it’s important you keep in touch with a regular phone call or email. They also often host networking evenings for candidates – if you’re invited to one of these types of events, try your best to attend as it not only keeps you at the front of your consultant’s mind, but it also allows you to find out about the latest market trends and any jobs that are available. 

Constantly visit the consultancy’s website to find out about new opportunities and get in touch with your consultant to check if you have a good profile for the job you are interested in. Give leads to the consultant; if you know about any open opportunity, from a company’s website or from your own networking, let your consultant know as he or she can facilitate your access to this opportunity.

Take advantage of a recruiters knowledge

Make sure you tap into your recruitment consultant’s knowledge as much as you can. They are industry specialists and work closely with employers, so will be able to tell you about the latest jobs available and the types of skills employers are looking for at any given time. When you get an interview, ask specific questions about the interviewer and the company as your recruitment consultant will know him/her/it and will therefore be able to give you some pointers about what to expect. Although this knowledge will by no means secure you a job, it will help you to prepare for the interview to ensure you play to your strengths.

This is also the moment for you to understand the context of the opportunity: if it’s a new vacancy within the company or a replacement, how long it’s been open for, how long the recruitment process will last, how many candidates are being evaluated for this role etc.

Ask your recruitment consultancy for feedback

Asking for your recruitment consultant’s feedback can help you to improve how you present yourself in the future. Recruiters review and assess CVs on a daily basis and know what employers look for, so if you take their suggestions into account you can make your résumé as strong as possible. If you are interviewed, your recruitment consultant will talk with the interviewer after it has taken place. Most will call you to discuss the interview further, so make the most of this conversation by asking questions to ensure you get valuable feedback about your performance. If you do not use a recruitment consultant, you would not have access to this knowledge so you should take advantage of it.

Take on board your consultant’s feedback, not only about the processes you are applying for, but about your attitude during interviews such as your motivation, energy, speech etc.

Give referrals in advance

When you have an opportunity to meet a recruitment consultant, be pro active and offer him or her contacts or names of people who can refer you. Whether it’s a colleague, a boss or an employee, this will show initiative, confidence and credibility.

Adjusting to a new boss or job

One of the most exciting challenges in a finance professional’s career is starting a new job but this can also be a very stressful and demanding time.

The first few weeks of a new job are always difficult, even seasoned professionals say that starting a new job is a tough task.

Finance professionals must realise that the job will never be exactly as they expected although if you anticipate the challenges ahead, your transition into the new organisation can be much smoother. A new finance job means new relationships, new ways of doing things and new expectations.

Not only has your work place changed but so has your boss. Most finance professionals will face this challenge at some stage in their careers; this can be a career enhancer or a career killer. Some will talk of the situation as being the hardest part about starting a new job, and some will feel it to be the easiest.

In order to ensure that your new finance role starts well, it is important that you let go of your old boss. You may have worked fantastically together and loved the way he/she worked, but your new boss has new priorities, a new focus and almost certainly new ways of doing things. For example find out how he or she wants their business analysis to look like or how they work together with different departments. Find out how they report to the senior management and how their presentations look.

It is important to figure out your boss’s communication style, find out how they like to work and how they like things done. For example, does the new boss like one-on-one meetings or team meetings, are they interested in details or do they prefer an overview. Finding out these things early on will help you settle into your new role quicker. Be proactive and initiate a meeting with your new boss to discuss how they like to work and adapt. This will help you get an understanding of what is expected of you and help set clear expectations.

Working under a new boss can be challenging, however it is an experience that should be embraced. Learn everything you can from the experience, try and empathise with the boss’ situation, this will make the transition easier for both of you. Ultimately it is just as important for you to manage your new boss, as it is for them to manage you.