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Simon Adams is the regional director for Teach In, specialists in matching school staffing needs with the best available teachers and teaching assistants. Here, Simon shares his advice on successfully passing video interviews.
Online video interviews, via systems such as Skype and FaceTime, are becoming increasingly popular with schools, and are no longer used exclusively for international recruitment. The benefit of easing the scheduling burden, at no cost to either party, makes video interviews an ideal choice.
Online interviews can leave you feeling more nervous than usual, as you are often somewhat distracted through the process. You can make them work to your advantage using these five tips:
1. Maintain good eye contact, posture and body language
This has to be the most important tip to follow to ensure you engage effectively and appropriately with your interviewing panel as the main reason interviewers use Skype to interview is so they can see how you engage and communicate. It can be tempting to watch the video of yourself in the box at the bottom of the screen, but that will mean you never make eye contact with the person interviewing you. Maintain good posture throughout the interview and ensure your body language is open, inviting and engaging. Use non-verbal clues, such as expressive hand gestures, and make sure you smile!
2. Update your username
You may have downloaded Skype many years ago to chat with your friends and are still holding on to a username that is far from professional. Before adding the school contact, check your username and email address is one that you feel comfortable with them seeing.
3. Dress appropriately for the position
This one may seem obvious, but it is really important to dress as if you were attending a face-to-face interview. It will put you in an interview mind set and it shows the interviewer that you are professional.
4. Find the right location
Find a location with no distractions, good lighting and minimal sound interference. Set yourself up at a desk or table with a blank background and be sure to check that there is nothing you wouldn’t want to be seen by an interviewer.
5. Test your equipment
Ensure you do a test run prior to the interview to make sure you aren’t experiencing any internet connectivity issues, that your Skype account is up and running, and that your camera and sound are working properly. A technology failure can look disorganised and schools simply don’t want staff who aren’t prepared.
Just remember it is a chance for you to meet your potential future employer to show them your personality and explain why you want to work at their school.
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