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Direct to video: ‘the new normal’ for job interviews

Direct to video: ‘the new normal’ for job interviews


The novelty of the job interview via video doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be any less scrupulous in your preparation. Here’s how to get it right – and get the job.

Despite the economic slowdown driven by the COVID-19 crisis, hiring is still taking place, although social distancing rules and remote working requirements mean that job interviews are increasingly being done through computer screens rather than face-to-face.

“The technology for virtual interviews has been around for some time but prior to the COVID-19 crisis it was not used often, maybe 5 per cent of the time,” says Matthew Gribble CPA, regional managing director of recruiting firm Michael Page ANZ.

“That has changed radically. They are now the new normal and happen in 99 per cent of cases. And we expect that even after the crisis has passed many organisations will embrace the efficiency gains from using them, especially in the early stages of the assessment process.

“So, knowing how to handle a virtual interview is a skill that anyone looking to move up or move on will need.”

In many ways a virtual interview should be treated like a face-to-face interview: taken seriously, with research and preparation.

There are numerous platforms used for virtual interviews, and Gribble nominates Skype, Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Google Hangouts as the most popular. They are fairly easy to install and use but checking software compatibility and internet speed with the interviewer are important steps. There are useful tutorials on YouTube and most of the platforms provide guidance.

For first-timers a rehearsal with a friend in a remote location makes sense. This not only helps to identify any technical issues but can go a long way to ameliorate nervousness.

The overall goal is to be relaxed enough about the technology so you can focus on the substance of the interview itself.

Setting up the home environment for video interviews

If the interview is conducted from home, the interviewee should ensure that there is a quiet, controlled, indoor space, preferably backed by a blank wall.

Pay attention to lighting. Aim to have natural light behind your computer, or bounce lamp light off a nearby wall so your facial expressions can be clearly seen, as they would in a face-to-face conversation. Avoid having your back to a light or bright window.

There should be no interruptions from other adults, children, pets or neighbours. When speaking, look at the webcam on the computer and not the images of the interviewers. It is better to use a computer than a mobile phone but if a phone is the only option then it should be in a fixed position. A hand-held selfie-style image does not say competence and professionalism.

Attire should be the same as you would wear to a face-to-face interview, although it should be noted that stripes, bright colours and complex patterns do not work well on a screen.

Most platforms have an option that allows the interviewee to see themselves as they appear to the interviewers, and this should be checked before the interview.

Any supporting documents should be provided to the interviewers prior to the interview. Having a hard copy on hand can be useful. You do not want to have to exit the video platform to check documents that you have only in digital form.

A virtual interview provides fewer visual clues than a face-to-face interview so an interviewee should demonstrate their engagement with some extra nods and signs of agreement. A common problem with video platforms is that there is often a lag of a few seconds, and the interviewee should time their responses accordingly. The degree of lag can be established with a rehearsal and is not difficult to address once you are aware of it.

Paper for taking notes and a glass of water should also be on hand. Don’t forget to ensure that the connection is terminated before you relax at the end of the interview.

Interviewer obligations for video interviews

For interviewers, preparation is also essential to get the best out of the process. Most platforms allow for several interviewers to be involved on a split-screen basis. Familiarity with the technology is as important for interviewers as it is for interviewees.

Interviewers should realise that virtual interviews, like face-to-face interviews, are a two-way street, and that they and their company are being assessed as well as the interviewee.

“The chief issues typically come with coordinating the questions,” Gribble notes.

“A good briefing is important so that all interviewers are clear on the background of the candidate and their progress through the process so far, as well as the run of play and the questions to be asked.”

Prior to the interview, the interviewee should be informed about the length of the interview, the participants, and the general subjects for discussion. It might be also necessary to check any differences in time zones.

For both sides, virtual interviews are not difficult, but the special characteristics should be understood. Interviewees should realise that just because they are in their home environment does not mean they can be overly casual. Likewise, interviewers should acknowledge that they have obligations to ensure that the process is organised appropriately.

5 tips for virtual interviews

  1. Ensure software compatibility and internet speed
  2. A rehearsal allows for problems to be identified and addressed
  3. Find a controlled space free of distractions
  4. Use a fixed camera and not “selfie-style”
  5. In panel-style interviews, interviewers should ensure their co-ordination

4 aspects which you can expect from an accounting internship

As a student, it is important for you to make a strong impact during the period of internship because some core and prestigious accounting organizations discover their future employees in the internship programs. Internship programs will ease your future possibilities and help you to attain your professional aims. And yes, it is always better for someone to gain some experience and expertise of a particular field before starting the real work.

Training programmes like these, prepare the students for the upcoming situations and provides the mental strength to handle the opposite circumstances. One of the core benefits is creating the blueprint on their mind, it means what to expect from your profession.

This short work experience of accounting internship will you the confidence and understanding of work culture and it also pushes you one step ahead from the competition of getting hired. So, now the question is what you can expect from an accounting training and what you need to do as an intern. So let’s check out some essential aspects of the internship period.

1) Be prepared for long hours

The working hours and the level of work totally depends on a firm. The firm will guide you to acclimate yourself in the work culture, so it’s better to prepare yourself for long hours of stay in the office. In internship programs, you will get some basic assignments to do, to generate the quality of deadline work.

2) Financial expectation

It totally depends on the work organizations to pay their interns or not. But usually, accounting training will provide you the monthly stipend to fulfill your financial expectations. And this kind of internships provides the path towards your real job.

3) Meeting with clients

This part of work totally depends on your performance, but in some cases, you might be asked to travel and meet the clients as per the requirement.

Generally, you will be treated as a fresher and you will not be asked to do heavy assignments or important client interactions, but you need to prepare yourself for any sudden situation.

4) Friendly communication and work culture

This aspect is very essential for a new intern because it will provide you the ease to work in friendly work atmosphere and with better communication level. It will allow you to learn more aspects of working culture. As a fresher, sometimes you have to deal with heavy terms and technical jargons and this is truly an arduous work for the intern to deal with it.


As a student, if you want to start an internship from prestigious firm then you can expect these things. A good organization will not only improve your strengths but also clarifies the path of your future.

Checklist to follow before applying for an Accountancy Job

Accountancy, this word itself is very vast. There are so many people who are not even aware of the skills needed for making a successful career in this field? By name, it might not seem to you like the most glamorous career option, but if you take a closer look at it, you would find yourself sitting at the heart of the business and taking key decisions. It does not matter how big a company gets, but the requirement for an accounts department would always persist. Perhaps the main focus is on auditing, you might be doing management or tax and finance associated work. Major chances are, you would start your career in one of two paths – either technical or commercial.

For those people who feel numerically literate for doing an accountancy job, here are the few tips you need to initiate off for your career journey in accounts-

1) Analyse what kind of firm you wish to work for-

As you are too new for this industry, you would have to be flexible when choosing an organisation. While studying about the firm, you should always check about their corporate culture and think if you would be able to adjust to it. Well, whenever you would go for an interview they usually ask a question that is, why you want to work for them, so it would be great that you study well about that organisation, their history, it’s clients and what do they deal in.

It would be beneficial for you to check about them online, in magazines or it would be fantastic if you meet a current or former employee so that they

could tell you about the better insights and it’s culture.

2) Select your accounting specialism-

As accounting is very vast, its careers can be divided into two main areas- which are management and financial accounting. In these divisions, there are more specialist fields like budget and financial analysis, also working as a controller.

The difference between the two is that management accounting gives information to people inside the company, on the other hand, financial accounting offers information outside of it, like shareholders.

Most graduates enter accounting with financial accountancy, as it provides a number of career prospects like:

* audit

* corporate finance

* business recovery and insolvency

* forensic accounting

* tax

But choose the work which you think would be most enjoyable.

3) See the checklist carefully-

Once you have analysed on what firm and in what field you want to work, next step is to target the potential work profile for yourself. Initially, you would see many options and get attracted to them, but you need to make sure that you read the checklist diligently. As they might have a requirement of different degree which you do not have, so there would be no point in wasting time on it. They would not consider you, no matter how efficient you are.

4) Be sure that you are applying for the apt job-

This is a big decision so should make sure that when you apply for any job, it is the one that suits you and you desire for it. You should always be confident even when applying for a big firm, as if it suits you then you should always apply for it and try to crack the interview.

5) Review the deadline-

It would be great on your part to read the application form thoroughly before filling it. You should take ample of time to fill in the form as it is very vital, in fact, you can take a print out of the form and first fill that and then you can fill the one in actual form. You should always ask for at least one week’s time before submitting the application. Always check about the deadline before applying as there are many organisations who look for immediate joining as well. So be sure before applying for the same. So, these were few tips you should follow when applying for an accountancy job. These would benefit you and make you prepared for a better interview and career.

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