How to Impress a Prospective Employer During a Video Interview

The impact of Covid-19 on the recruitment process has resulted in more and more video interviews, with often only a face-to-face interview taking place in the final stages.

When meeting in person, it’s very easy for the interviewer to see how you portray yourself through your body language, facial expressions and even how interested you look! Interviewing over Teams, Zoom or any other video platform however, does make it harder for the Interviewer to see this, especially if there is lots of background noise, or even distractions on your end! (I.e. Don’t leave the TV on and glance across because something interesting has popped up on the screen!)

With the percentage of Employers opting to conduct initially interviews drastically increasing recently, we have put together a few tips for you in order to help you excel during your next video interview!

Managing your Environment

As mentioned above, managing your environment is a key element to you succeeding with a video interview. Aside from managing easily avoidable distractions such as televisions, radios etc. You should also think about the lighting and the setting that you are in. For example, you should try to avoid, where possible interviewing in your bedroom. Preferably, you should aim to interview in your living area or kitchen… or study if you have one! Make sure that the room is bright enough for the interviewer to see you, but not so bright, that the sun is shining on the camera and you cannot be seen!

If you have young Children, that are at home when you’re interviewing, it’s always best if you can get someone you know well to keep an eye on them whilst you’re interviewing. In the event that this isn’t possible, and you need to be interviewee and parent, try to keep them occupied with their favourite television programme or film, and move into another room leaving the door open. Naturally, this is not the ideal situation, but it would be advantageous for you to inform the interviewer of your situation before the interview!

Your Appearance

It sounds pretty self-explanatory doesn’t it, you wouldn’t turn up to an interview in your pyjamas, so don’t do it for a video interview!

You’ll often hear of how people wear a shirt on their top half, but joggers on their lower half when on Teams calls, however, this really is not advisable. By dressing as you would for an onsite interview, you will automatically be in the right frame of mind for interviewing, helping you to come across well to the interviewer.

Another thing to mention, is that if you’re using a video platform that you use personally too, make sure that your display name is something professional and simple, I.e. your name.

Body Language and Facial Expressions

Just like a face-to-face interview, you should be mindful of your body language and facial expressions, just because you’re interviewing in the comfort of your own home, doesn’t mean you should be sitting with your feet up!

In addition to maintaining a good posture, smiling, you should aim to keep eye contact with the interviewer. This can take a little practice, so you may wish to do a few dummy runs with a family member or friend, but spend the majority of your time looking into the camera and not in the persons eyes on the screen! Due to the way in which we communicate, your eyes will naturally be drawn to the eyes of the interviewer, but by looking into the camera it will make you look even more engaged in the conversation.

As with all interviews, ensuring that you prepared rather than referring to notes throughout will allow you to deliver coherent responses to the questions you’re being asked.

If you have any questions about an up and coming interview, and would like some guidance on how to come across well, give us a call on 01245 362 500 to have a chat with one of our experienced Recruitment Consultants!


Creating your Cover Letter – Pursuit’s Top Tips

As part of our commitment to our candidates, we like to provide useful career advice and top tips to aid their search for a new job.

This week we are focusing on the importance of Cover Letters and how to write one.  You may not know this, but if written well, a cover letter can make or break an interview decision. Think of it as your ‘First Impression’.

Whilst your CV highlights all your experience (work and education), your cover letter highlights your suitability for a SPECIFIC role. And this is key. Therefore, your cover letter should be tailored to each individual application you make. Whether you are applying for a role directly – or through an agency, it can highlight your key skills for a particular role and why you are suitable for the position.

We have highlighted our Top Tips for creating a successful cover letter below to help you get the most out of applying for your next role.

Format – Keep it professional

Unless you are applying for a creative position, keep the format of your cover letter professional. Be mindful of consistency and ensure that you write clearly and concisely.

Also, we would recommend writing your cover letter in Word using an appropriate font such as Arial or Calibri – size 11. Use paragraphs and punctuation, as well as ensuring you have spelt everything correctly and used the right Grammar. After all, remember your covering letter is your chance to create a strong first impression.

Whilst some may be drawn to using fancy or coloured paper, it can be seen as being unprofessional. Because of this, we would recommend using a crisp white paper of good quality and ensure that if you are printing it your ink is not running low.

Sign off the letter with Yours Sincerely or Kind Regards.

If you are sending it via email, we would recommend sending it as a PDF to ensure that the formatting will stay as you intend it to be – no matter how it is opened.

Who to address it to…

On most job adverts, you will have the contact details for the hiring manager. If you are unsure as to who this is, we would recommend addressing it “For the attention of the hiring manager”.

If you are applying for a role advertised via a recruitment agency, if you are unsure who the consultant for the role is, we would recommend addressing it “for the attention of the consultant recruiting for the position XXXXX (ref:   ).

Content – Keep it relevant and to the point

A cover letter gives you the opportunity to highlight your key skills for the role and why you would be suitable for the position. Whilst you need to cover the important requirements, we would advise to include no more than 3-5 key skills. Keeping the cover letter consise will ensure you get your experience across effeciently.

When you introduce yourself, keep this brief. After all they will have your CV for a full insite into who you are and what experience you have.

If you have a job specification, we advise that you match your skills with the requirements for the role. If you have specialised skills the organisation is looking for now is the time to shout about them!

We would recommend that your cover letter should be no more than 1 side of A4.

Demonstrate your Interest in a position

This is where your research comes into play! You can tailor your cover letter to show the organisation you are recruiting for that you are interested in not just working for anyone – but working for them!

For example, if you are applying for a role at Pursuit, you might write something like; “After researching Pursuit in more detail, I am really keen to work for an established recruitment agency where I can develop my experience and learn from experts – for example Lorraine’s 30+ years within the industry.”

If you would like some advise on how to research a company, please take a look at our recent blog here.

Applying to a Recruitment Agency without a Specific role in mind

As a recruitment agency we welcome candidates to register with us even when we may not have a suitable live role for them at this point in time.

We proactively seek out roles for our candidates who have strong skillsets that our clients and local employers are looking for. By providing a cover letter when applying to an agency you are able to highlight these skills and show your commitment to finding a new role because you have covered all basis.

When writing a cover letter to an agency it is important to not only highlight your key skills but the type of employment you are looking for (temporary or permanent / full time of part-time). We would also recommend highlighting your preferred position and or industry. Ensure you include details such as your availability to interview as well as details of your notice period. Further more, including your desired salary can also help us identify suitable positions for you.

We would advise to keep it very concise and would recommend using bullet points to highlight all the key areas you wish to highlight to recruitment consultants and resourcers.

Always ensure your contact details are clearly displayed and correct! Including your LinkedIn details can also be advantageous. If you would like to find Pursuit on LinkedIn please click here.

Ask someone to Proof Read it!

If possible, we would always recommend a second pair of eyes to read through both your cover letter and your CV. Check for grammar and spelling errors and ensure that you use the correct punctuation.

That concludes our advice and tips on creating a cover letter that will get you noticed. As an agency we are very open to offering help and advice to our candidates. If you would like us to review and offer advise on your cover letter or CV please do not hesitate to get in touch. Alternatively, read our blog on Top Tips for writing your CV here.

Have you seen our latest vacancies? Apply online and view all our roles today!


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