‘Failing to prepare is preparing to fail’ Video Interview tips

Week 5 already finished, this whole year is flying by. It’s my birthday next week so I am looking forward to celebrating being 20. I feel so old, but before the celebrating begins, I have a test and yes you guessed it…. it’s on the morning of my birthday so I have to put all the celebrations on hold till the exam is over. It is a multiple choice question paper for my module MSCI224 Techniques for Management Decision Making. I’m really enjoying this module. The first few lectures were all about project planning and deciphering the minimum duration of the project and the best ways in which to reduce it using the lowest cost. This is called Network analysis. As I didn’t do Management Science 103 in first year, I am required to do this module so not all Accounting and Finance students partake in it. It was compulsory for me as I did mathematics as a minor last year. There is so much support with this module during tutorials and there is a drop in session every week. This support is what’s great about Lancaster, they want to ensure that you fully understand the topic in order to excel. They provide a perfect environment to learn and develop whilst supporting you if required along the way.
I have actually applied to Grant Thornton for an internship in audit this week too. I really enjoyed my ACF 211 module Accounting Information Systems and Auditing last term; this made me change my mind from going into tax to trying out audit so I applied for an audit intern role. I had to fill in an application and was then invited to partake in a video interview. It was unusual doing a video interview as I have never done one before. I had to look into the camera to simulate eye contact and avoid looking at myself on the screen (which is harder than it sounds, I wouldn’t describe myself as vain, you just want to check that you look alright). A video was played in which an employee of Grant Thornton asked a question. I was then given a minute to prepare and then recorded my answer. I wasn’t talking to someone ‘face to face’ or in this case ‘screen to screen’ just recording myself for them to review later.
I felt more of a personal aspect with Grant Thornton when going through their application process. It is still early days in my application but I already get a sense of their values and it makes me really want to work for them. I was a bit worried that I wouldn’t get anywhere with them as I didn’t get the PwC internship. But don’t let setbacks knock you down, keep trying! I am so glad that I have applied for Grant Thornton though as I didn’t know that much about them but they are so friendly through their emails and their values show how much they care about their staff. It is a great attitude for a firm to have, I guess that’s what makes them unique. Even if I don’t get through the intern stage, I’m going to try and apply for a graduate role with them as I have fallen in love with their firm.

I passed the video interview stage and now have a telephone interview. In a previous blog, I gave hints and tips about how to do well in a phone interview as I have already done a few before. I would greet the interviewer stating my name ‘Good evening, Jade Street speaking’. This gives more of a professional aspect and just sounds smoother than hello. If you feel you are struggling to come up with an answer for a question maybe say ‘that’s quite a difficult question, please give me a moment to reflect on that’, this is a good filler and hopefully, give you enough time to construct an answer. I will give some more hints and tips next week when I have completed the Grant Thornton phone interview.
With a video interview, make sure you dress as you would for a face to face interview. DRESS SMART. It will make you look more professional and show that you are a serious candidate for the job. Before the interview make sure you are relaxed and your background is tidy. I did it in my room and made sure that the background was tidy; if you have a messy room they may not take you seriously and it reflects badly on you. Try to ensure there isn’t a mass amount of light behind you otherwise you will become a shadow and it makes it hard to see your face. This isn’t good in an interview as they will want to see your facial expressions and just put a face to a voice. This makes it more personal. Remember to tell your housemates/ flatmates that you are doing an interview so they don’t disturb you. My housemate last year did a video interview and we didn’t realise and she said we were noisy and the interviewer wasn’t impressed with this. Also, tell your family or boyfriend or anyone who may call you, my family tried face timing me in the middle of my interview luckily it wasn’t at a crucial point, I wasn’t being recorded.

Top tip: Dress smartly and let people know you are doing an interview

The most important thing for an interview is preparation! Make sure you do loads! There is no such thing as too much preparation and it just shows how good a candidate you are. There is a famous quote ‘failing to prepare, is preparing to fail’. Don’t let this be you. Preparation gives you a great shot at your dream role, don’t lose it due to laziness. Make sure you know the company inside and out. The company will love it.

Top tip: Prepare; do your research.

Take deep breaths before your video interview, maybe practice using your video camera on your phone to help stop habits such as looking at yourself and ensuring you look directly into the camera. Have a glass of water next to you if you feel you may need it and make sure you’re comfortable as you don’t want to fidget about when it’s recording.

Good luck in your video interviews!!
Thanks for reading.