Top recruiter Bobby Rathod gives his pearls of wisdom this week on how to master Video Interviews:
Video Interviews via ZOOM/MS Teams/Skype are an increasingly common method of interview. Although they are more convenient to arrange, additional preparation should be done to improve your chances of success. I’ve compiled a list of 10 key tips from feedback of over 250 video interviews conducted over 10 years within the Engineering market:
First and Foremost. Ensure ALL your tech is working prior to the interview. Preferably check this the day before ensuring you have ample time to find suitable fixes for any issues. This includes the Platform (ZOOM, Teams etc), mic, speakers and camera!
Minimize potential tech disruptions. Make sure you’ve powered all the devices you need an you have a charging cable to hand. If you have bandwidth heavy programs or appliances, make sure they’re shut down.
Set up your space. Ensure you have somewhere private to talk, if there is a chance of background noise you could opt for headphones rather than a mic.
Set up your camera so you’re not too close, too far, too low or too high. Ensure your video is eye level. Your image should be displayed as below.
Background. Ensure your background is tidy and organised. If you’re doing the call from a bedroom, clear any none business-related decorations off the walls.
Lighting. Ensure your lighting is good and your face is well lit. Natural lighting is best. Backlighting can cause you to look like a silhouette. Again, it’s best to check this prior to the interview so you can amend things appropriately.
Appearance. This is a common issue area as video calls made from home can be disarming. Dress as you would to an interview. Ironed shirt and business casual. It’s tempting to wear joggers on your bottom half – but from our experience, full business wear (including shoes) will get you in the right frame of mind.
Signal when you want to talk. During in-person meetings, you can pick up on visual cues to help find the right time to speak. It’s a lot easier to accidentally interrupt on a video call. Wait for a few moments of silence before speaking up in case there’s a sound delay.
Stay focused. Mute any notifications prior to the call. Be attentive and engaged during the call. As tempting as it is, try not to do any other work or read articles or send emails. If there’s a pause in the conversation because, for instance, you need to pull up an email or reference a document, make sure to communicate that.
If you do need to share your screen during a video call, take a few seconds to prepare before you hit that share button. Clear your desktop of any extra tabs or programs you may have open and make sure any private or sensitive information is hidden.
Despite the uncertainties from the continuing global pandemic; there are a lot of companies recruiting throughout the whole of the UK. That’s a fact. After the worst 12-15 months since the Second World War we are seeing strong demand from the majority of the markets that we service. So do you accept the first job offered?
Over the last few years, employers have held the power and have tended to be very selective in their hires; and insistent on interviewing multiple candidates for a particular role. Decision-making has typically been quite long and arduous – as hiring managers see a wide selection of candidates as a good reason to “take their time” and make decisions slowly.
Fast-forward to 2021 and we are seeing what we call “candidate short” markets in the majority of our sectors. This means that in many instances there are more jobs than candidates, and this causes employers to have a different approach.
One of our top clients came into the office this week to talk about a major project we are undertaking to set up a new business unit for their organisation. Chatting away, he told us the story of his best friend who insists on doing all of his recruitment himself to save money.
He talked about how proud his friend is of placing job adverts in lots of different media, then taking all of the CV’s from “applicants” that he receives, all the phone-calls he gets from interested people who just “want to have a chat” about the job, etc. He then spends the next few evenings & weekends going through the CV’s, calling up the 15 or so interesting candidates and chatting to them about their background, experience, etc.
I was sat in a coffee shop over the weekend and overheard two friends talking about cars.
One was exalting the virtues of his lovely German saloon, with leather interior, cruise control, faultless driving experience,etc. His friend was also exalting how cheap his car cost to buy and run, the low “upfront cost”, low cost for spare parts, servicing, etc.
Although the conversation was about cars – the two friends were coming from opposite ends of the scale in terms of car needs and wants. Kind of similar to comparing apples & pears.
This set me thinking about clients “buying” recruitment services and their wants & needs; be it “Transactional” or “Value-add”.
We are all in control of how we spend our time. After all, it’s our life and we are the ones making decisions on how we spend each and every minute of each day.
But in reality, most of us fritter away our time on many different things that truly add no real benefit to our lives.
We live in an unprecedented age of information technology. The internet and “social media” now means we could all spend 24/7 working through the mountain of information that invades our lives from every conceivable angle. If you don’t believe this – just take a look around you on the train, in the coffee shop. How many people are using the “window to the world” that is the smartphone?
With all these new distractions adding to the “old fashioned” attention grabbers of incoming phone-calls, e-mails and colleagues asking for your time – it’s no wonder anyone can actually get any meaningful work completed. So – let’s look at some easy to use ideas to double your daily productivity:
Practical Time Management ideas:
The No1 advice is to be in control of your working day. You make the decisions on how to spend your time, don’t let events overly influence you. So – don’t take that phone call, don’t look at that e-mail, don’t deal with that colleague until it’s the right time for you. It’s not 100% possible to do this, but if you work at improving your control over your time the results will be remarkable. Continue reading Timestealers – overcome your time management demons and double your productivity.
Interviews aren’t a scary experience if you focus on some simple preparation. At Wynne Consulting we have many years’ experience of helping high quality people to be successful at interview, so here are a few easy tips to help you succeed:
The single biggest reason clients use Wynne Consulting is our ability to find people that aren’t on the “Open Job Market”. That means we find the top talent that aren’t applying for Job Advertisements, talking to Recruitment Agencies or using CV Websites.
Growth in permanent staff salaries are also growing at their highest rate since before the COVID pandemic started in 2020.
There are numerous times in life when ‘more’ is better; More space, bigger car, more money. So doesn’t it make sense to use multiple agencies to fill your roles? Surely more agencies would equal more candidates; and subsequently a better spread of talent to fill your role. The multi agency approach makes some sense from a client perspective, but it’s one of the biggest mistakes in recruitment strategy that we see clients make.
Let me explain…
During a multi agency search, consultants recognise that after considerable work, there’s a strong chance the selected candidate for the position could come from another agency or job advert on Indeed. As a result, this forces recruiters to invest less work into this type of search. Experienced consultants will skim for candidates who are on the market, send a shortlist and move on to retained and exclusive work; And trust me, this is the smart thing to do, having another candidate get the position after 10 hours of search work is dismal!
But why is this an issue for you? You’ve placed the role with a multi agency search; and besides, aren’t all recruiters fishing from the same candidate pool? Surely more ‘fishermen’ equals more fish!? But in reality, this is not how recruitment works…
In reality the candidate pool should be seen as more of an iceberg, with 80% of candidates lying ‘under the surface’; these candidates are not actively on the market, won’t reply to your job adverts and won’t have their CV on popular job hunting websites. They require labour intensive methods to properly source, from traditional headhunting to referrals. Most consultants won’t commit time to this form of search when competing against several agencies. So the chances are, if you’re using a multi agency approach, all agencies you’re currently using are only accessing the same 20% of visible candidates.
But let’s play devil’s advocate and say you happen to find the perfect fit. Who cares about the candidates you missed?
But think about it. You’re recruiting from a limited pool of active candidates, while your competitors are accessing the full breadth of talent available. Over a 5 to 10 year period, who is likely to have the stronger team?
My successful clients know that you can’t build an exceptional team with a limited view of available talent, especially in a niche market . They always opt for an exclusive or retained project with a specialist agency who understands their industry.
Most of the high achievers in any walk of life tend to have a long-term career plan as to where they want to get to. If this is career focused, then it will likely be a staged process with certain “milestones” achieved, perhaps by a certain age. One common target we hear is “I want to be a Director by the time i’m 40.”
Irrelevant of what industry or profession you work in, to optimize your career and maximize yourself you need to plan your career. This doesn’t have to be detailed; it can simply be an overall target which is then broken down into key stages or “milestones”. For example – if you aspire to get to Managing Director level by a certain age; it’s unrealistic that this is going to happen if you have no man management experience 5 years before your target – so make sure you get to manage people in good time to gain the requisite experience.
Deciding on a career change can be a daunting task. Whether it’s for progression, relocation or a complete career change, navigating a job search can be frustrating and full of potholes.
Making sure you have the skills for your target job is the first step, but the secret to securing an interview is ensuring that your target employer gets a comprehensive overview of your relevant skills..
This is where your CV comes in..
My usual go-to action when a professional approaches me with a CV is to overview the profile through the eyes of the average client I deal with. It’s been found that most recruiters and clients will overview a potential CV for an average of 30 seconds; in that duration, you’re challenged with grabbing their attention and forcing them to delve deeper!
From overviewing thousands of CV’s over the last 7 years and speaking to hundreds of clients, both SME and corporate, there are some common mistakes professionals make when putting their profile together that could affect your chances of securing an interview.
Length – Keep your CV short and sweet. Ideally 2-3 pages. Use bullet points to keep information concise. Avoid large blocks of text.
Spelling, Grammar and Font Size Consistency. Attention to detail is something clients value, failing to check your CV will give them the wrong message.
Missing contact details? CVs get passed around internally. Make sure you can be contacted, no matter what.
Unprofessional email? firstname.lastname@example.org. May have been a great idea at the time, but always use something professional on your CV.
Failure to include quantified information. You need more than lists of recent responsibilities. Quantify your sales achievements. Detail the projects you delivered on. This can make a profile stand out.
Do you use a generic CV for every application? Why not tailor your skills to match the job description. Offer solutions to their skills gap.
Many of the major clients we work with use some form of ATS system (applicant tracking system). These systems screen candidates and rank them in order of suitability to a given role. Do you have the right skills for a role? If your CV is not optimised, you could be overlooked. I’ve included some tips below –
Make sure you have an ATS friendly file type – Stick to Word Docs, PDFs or Text Files or similar. Avoid image files, or fancy formatting.
Remove all images from the CV.
Keywords that are higher in the CV carry more weight. Ensure all the markets, products and skills are included in the summary.
Maximise the number of relevant keywords across the document – these contribute to job suitability score during recruitment searches.
Maximise the number of sought after keywords are included.
Of course, the easiest way to optimise your chances of getting a position is to reach out to a specialist recruitment firm. As a mechanical engineering recruitment specialist, Wynne Consulting has over 15 years experience placing professionals. We can offer the best advice and support for your job hunt. Feel free to contact me with a CV for more information email@example.com