It’s pretty much a given that Virtual Recruitment is here to stay. So how can you be sure that you’re being your virtual best in the Firefighter Recruitment Process?
There are pretty much two camps when it comes to virtual interviews and assessments – those who feel comfortable and those who don’t!
Younger demographics are often more comfortable on a video call having grown up using Skype, FaceTime and YouTube, but others might not be so happy either with being on camera or using the technology itself!
Different Types of Video Interview
Even though video interviews are generally the same, there are some differences – and it’s important you’re aware of these when you’re preparing to be your virtual best!
Typically, video interviews will either be live with a recruiter or consist of a set of pre-recorded questions to answer.
Live video interviews are done between you and a recruiter in real-time, just like a normal interview.
You’re probably aware of some of the video conferencing software used here – Skype, Google Meet, Zoom, Whereby, or MS Teams, to name just a few!
In most cases, the recruitment team will send you a link to join via email. This should also specify the software being used.
Once you have that information, visit the official website for the software and follow any installation instructions to ensure you have everything ready.
With Pre-recorded Interviews you’ll be answering set questions on a software app (again through a special link you’ll get from the recruitment team).
You’ll be able to see the questions you have to answer upon following the link, and will have a specified time to complete your answer – essentially recording yourself doing this. Some apps have a practice feature, and others will let you have more than one try at the answer before submitting it.
Again, it’s a good idea to check out the software in good time before attempting the interview!
Thinking about Visuals
Something that candidates often overlook is whet’s in the frame with them in their interview. A simple or neutral background is your best bet, and avoid anything that could distract your interviewer (or give them any reason to think negatively of you).
Also think about your look during your video interview. Whatever you would wear to a regular interview is a good choice for a video interview too!
Although it might be tempting to keep your pyjama bottoms on and only dress smartly from the waist up it’s best to avoid this if possible – if something unexpected occurs and you have to stand up this could be a slightly embarrassing situation!
It’s so important to make good eye contact during a job interview. This is much more difficult to do over video. Your eyes naturally want to focus on the face of the person on screen, but this might not tally with the location of your webcam and the position of their face on the screen – making you appear on-screen to be looking down or away from them.
Try resizing and moving the window with the person’s video image, keeping it as close to your webcam as possible. Do a test call with a friend to find out the best positioning – this is a good idea in any case as if you’re not already confident with video software it will give you a chance to practice.
Virtual Interview Checklist
It’s a good idea to get prepared a good half hour or hour before your interview. Here’s a checklist to give you ideas on how to prepare:
- Clear the space where you’re doing your interview and only have the essentials in front of you.
- Check your lighting to avoid any glare.
- Check your webcam placement and microphone.
- Close down any other windows or programs you don’t need.
- Check your internet connection and ensure it’s strong.
- Make sure you have a glass of water to hand!
- Place a short video test-call to someone (if possible).
- Have your CV (or a copy of your application), the job description, and any notes printed out and handy.
Finally, just like in any interview situation remember that the interview panel will understand if you’re a little nervous. Smile, speak slowly and clearly and if you make a mistake then pause, take a breath, and begin again!