How to succeed at video interviews
Last Updated on 15th July 2020 by Chris Woodward
Last week we addressed telephone interviews, this week we’re looking at how to impress during a video interview.
To start, it’s worth noting that there are two common types of video interview:
- A face-to-face video interview via Skype or a similar platform
- A web platform that has pre-recorded questions for you to answer
Generally, you should treat these two types of video interview in the same way and the advice below will help for both.
For pre-recorded video interviews, remember to keep a close eye on the timer for each question (if there is one). You don’t want to run out of time and miss important information.
So, how can you set yourself up for success in a video interview?
Test yourself (and your equipment)
Practising a video interview can seem strange, but it’s important to know how you come across on screen. You need to be speaking at the right volume and ensure your body language and posture come across well.
Just as importantly, a practice run allows you test your equipment. You don’t want to get to the interview and then face technical issues with your camera, microphone or internet connection.
Make sure you also do a last minute check – is your laptop fully charged? Are there red lights on your internet hub? Don’t waste all your good preparation at the last minute.
Set the scene
So, you have practised a few times and your setup works correctly. All that will be no good if you do the interview with an unprofessional backdrop or with lots of mess and personal effects lying around the table. Keep it clean and keep your hobbies, posters and personal items out of view.
The atmosphere is also important so make sure that anyone you live with knows that what you are doing and that any pets are kept in separate rooms.
The only bigger distraction than a pet could be your mobile phone and we suggest that you leave that in another room as well.
Dress the part
Unlike a phone interview, you definitely need to dress smartly for a video interview. Think about what you would wear to the face-to-face interview and then do that.
Engage with the camera, not the screen
We don’t often suggest that you avoid eye contact, but you should spend most of the interview looking at the camera. This can be a tricky one because the natural reaction is to speak to the person on screen, but on video that actually comes across as less personal.
We suggest that you try and look at the camera when you are speaking and then occasionally glance down to check the interviewers reactions and body language. This is not easy, but if you address the camera, the interviewer will feel like you are more engaged.
Video links can often suffer with small time delays between the visuals and the sound. Our advice here is to be absolutely certain that the interviewer has finished their question or sentence before you start your response. Interrupting an interviewer is never advisable but on video it can be an easy mistake to make.
We hope you have found this useful and remember that the preparation for a video interview is probably the most important. The correct set up will make you look professional, organised and tech-savvy all of which are great traits.
Don’t forget to check out our telephone interview advice and also our main site for the latest jobs.