The pre-recorded video interview could become much more widely used in Firefighter recruitment (and in recruitment in general) following the COVID-19 outbreak and social distancing measures.
Video Interviews often specialised software (similar to the type used by some industries to scan CVs in the early application stages) to assess your responses.
The process can seem overwhelming, especially if you’re new to it. Don’t worry – we’ll break it down and go through things step by step!
How the Video Interviews work
You’ll receive a link from the recruitment team to the website of the company they use to provide the interview software.
You can do the interview on a computer, or on your smartphone or tablet if you prefer – as long as you have a face-to-face camera.
You may have to download a plugin for your computer, or an app on a smart device.
You’ll be able to try some practice questions to get used to how the system works, and can do this as many times as you need to until you feel comfortable.
Make sure you take advantage of the practice area as once the real thing starts you won’t be able to stop, pause or change your answer! It can feel a little strange taking part in this kind of interview if you haven’t done it before.
The actual interview will consist of ‘preloaded’ questions from the FRS you’re applying to. You can expect to be asked questions relating to your employment history, your experiences in teamwork and/or working with the public, and your knowledge of what is required in a Firefighter role.
There may also be questions concerning general safety and security awareness or a few questions about you as an individual.
After the interview has been complete the company will send your video to the airline’s recruitment team for scanning and consideration.
How should I prepare?
The best thing to do is to treat the video interview as you would a face-to-face interview!
You should know your employment history inside out so that you can refer to it, and it would be helpful to have relevant examples in mind from times when you’ve worked well as part of a team or overcame difficulties or challenges.
It would also be good preparation to know some basic information about the Fire Service in general and the FRS that you are applying to work with, so that you can impress them with your enthusiasm!
Try recording yourself answering a couple of these common questions to give you a feel for how you will appear to the recruiters on camera, and where you can make improvements if you need to.
Our Top Tips for the Video Interview
- Make sure you complete the interview in a quiet place away from noise and distractions.
- If you’re using headphones and a microphone make sure everything is working correctly, and that you can hear well.
- Make sure the camera is correctly positioned, in good lighting, with your head and shoulders in the shot at all times.
- If you’re using a tablet or smartphone make sure it is securely propped up to avoid camera shake, or even worse, it falling over mid-interview! It might be a good idea to invest in a stand or holder.
- Make sure your appearance is up to scratch – this is the first chance the airline’s recruiters will get to see you and first impressions matter! Dress smartly, make sure your hair is neat and tidy, and have no jewellery, piercings or tattoos visible.
- Think about what the recruiters will see in their screen – try to be against a neutral or conservative background if possible.
- Remember to make good eye contact with the screen, smile and be polite. Think about how you’re sitting, and how you will appear on the screen.
If you make a mistake don’t panic. Just take a deep breath, keep calm and carry on!