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Video Interviewing for Developers during Social Isolation

While we’re all in social isolation, there are companies still hiring - they’ve adapted by replacing in person interviews with video interviews. I gave a talk at SydCSS last week explaining how to prepare.

You can find it in the SydCSS YouTube video SydCSS April - A11Y and Interviews or read the summary of the talk below.

As a developer you are:

  • Detail oriented
  • A problem solver
  • A tester
  • You make back ups
  • You communicate when requirements aren’t clear
  • Concerned with security & privacy
  • Technically proficient
  • You’re a professional

You can demonstrate all these traits through your video interview preparation. Here’s how:

📅 Check the calendar invite - this is where you’re most likely to find the information you need. And make sure you accept the invite so there’s no confusion about your attendance.

🎥 Ask for the details of the video call - if you don’t have enough information, ask for it ahead of time. You’ll need to know which app you’ll be using, how many people will be on the call, if it involves just audio, video and/or screen sharing.

💻 Test the video call app - download the app, test your audio, video, lighting and camera placement so that you can be seen and heard clearly. And don’t forget to upload your profile pic for when you’re video isn’t working.

🌆 Check your video background - Make sure you’re not revealing anything that you wouldn’t normally be happy share in a job interview.

🖥 Tidy up your computer desktop and downloads folder if you are going to be screen sharing. Turn off your desktop notifications. You need to be careful not to reveal personal or company information during your call.

🔥 Have a backup plan - make sure your interviewers have your phone number, download the video call app on your phone and be ready to use your phone’s hotspot if your WIFI isn’t working (and check your phone’s data limit too).

💬 Limit distractions - at home you have more distractions than just your phone. So give the people you share space and wifi with fair warning so they can give you privacy and hold off from video streaming while you’re interviewing. And make sure your pets are occupied too!

⏰ Login 5 mins before - like you would normally, show up a little bit early so you can be ready to start on the dot and have a chance to fix any tech issues beforehand.

🦠 These are a few things I recommend but it’s important to remember the bigger picture here and that this isn’t business as usual. There is a lot happening that is out of our control - hiring might stop at short notice or take longer than planned. Interviewers and interviewees are working from home whether they’re setup well to do it or not.

So there WILL be technical issues, there WILL be unplanned interruptions. So be patient, be flexible, be understanding. Embrace the uncertain - because we’re all human and we’re all trying to get through this the best we know how. 🤷‍♀️