Video Interview Tips: 6 Ways To Prepare

Video interviews are increasingly becoming the norm in recruitment, especially in the current climate. Your preparation and execution for an interview in a virtual space is just as important – if not even more so – than for an in-person interview, and it’s essential to stand out in the current candidate-heavy market.

Preparing for a virtual recruitment experience can be more difficult than preparing for a face to face interview, and body language, technology and internet lags remain common obstacles to overcome. Here are our top video interview tips:

  1. Check the interview format

There are two styles of video interviewing and they are very different experiences. If you are not sure what video interview format you will be taking part in, be sure to ask the recruiter.

  • Live – Live video interviews allow employers to recreate the traditional, in-person interview format. You will speak to the interviewer (or panel of interviewers) in real-time over video conference software such as Skype, Microsoft Teams or Zoom. This means you need to treat the conversation as you would in person, making it an opportunity to build rapport with the interviewer and show off your great personality.
  • Pre-recorded – Pre-recorded video interviews are a somewhat less personal You will be presented with pre-recorded (or even written) questions from the recruiter and be asked to record your answers on video, often with a set time limit – which makes practice even more important. However, the pre-recorded interview format means you’ll be able to do the interview at a time of your choosing (up to a set deadline) which can relieve nerves and ensure you can pick a quiet time to sit the interview.
  1. Choose & check your tech

In the same way that you would work out the best route to an interview, make sure that you choose the right tech to support your video interview.

Ahead of your video interview, run through our ‘check your tech’ checklist:

  • Choose the device you feel most comfortable using: computer, tablet or phone.
  • Make sure your device is fully charged or plugged in while you conduct your interview to avoid any awkward power outages or shut downs.
  • Test your internal microphone by recording a voice memo.
  • Check that your internet connection is good. Slow connectivity can cause delays, which can impact the flow of a live interview.
  • If you’re interviewing on a computer, it’s natural to look at the window displaying your video feed and not your web camera, but this can be distracting for the interviewer. We recommend positioning that video feed window near the top centre of your screen, so it always looks like you’re looking at the camera.
  • If there are any technical problems, such as if you can’t hear the interviewer, don’t struggle through! If it’s a live video interview, mention the problem and suggest re-joining or taking a moment to try and fix it. If it’s a pre-recorded interview, let your recruiter know.
  1. Select your space carefully

Take the time to plan where you’re going to do the interview. To set yourself up for success, choose somewhere quiet where you won’t be disturbed. Remember the background will be visible on your camera so make sure the area behind you is tidy and uncluttered, allowing the interviewer to focus on you.

  1. Choose the right interview outfit

In today’s working world, everybody’s idea of ‘dress to impress’ is different – and doesn’t necessarily conform to traditional office wear standards. Before deciding what to wear for our video interview, be sure to check the company’s dress code – and dress appropriately.

  1. Think about your body language

Working on your ability to look at the camera whilst being interviewed via video is a skill. To help you do this, keep your camera at eye level. At a minimum, it’s best to try to relax and smile. Avoid slouching, touching your face or moving too much – fidgeting can make you come across as nervous and it will distract the interviewer from what you’re saying.

  1. Take your time

 If you’re nervous, it is very natural to rush what you’re saying. This can cause problems with both types of video interviewing. Try to speak clearly and more slowly than usual. Remember that the interviewer wants to hear your answers. Try to be careful not to interrupt what the interviewer is saying as this is very easily done with the slight delay over the internet. For pre-recorded interviews, the best advice is to try to imagine you’re speaking to a real person!

Video interviews are and will continue to be the norm for the selection of talent in organisations. Following these video interview tips will help you breeze through your interview, whatever the format, giving you the best shot at landing your dream job.

Watch our expert guides to preparing for virtual and competency based interviews. For tips on questions to ask in your interview, watch our Interview Preparation guide here. Or, to prepare your mind through meditation, listen to Morning Cup of Zen.