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Four tips for your next video interview

Read our top tips on how to prepare for a video job interview.

April 7, 2020

A man sits at his laptop and prepares for a video interview

Video interviewing is a pivotal tool for recruitment agencies and employers to connect with and assess talent. If you have limited experience with video chat or being in front of a camera, the idea of a video interview can be daunting. So, we have curated some tips on how to prepare for a video interview with a potential employer.

Check the technology

Make sure you're familiar with the video conference application you'll be using for the interview. Don't leave it to chance, take the opportunity to get comfortable with the application well in advance – not the moment you're supposed to log on. This will help you feel comfortable when it's time for the interview.

Delays due to technical difficulties or poor internet connection are just as bad as being late for an in-person interview. To mitigate this as best as possible, make sure you have done the following:

  • Secured a stable internet connection
  • Tested your camera and audio
  • Installed any applications or plugins needed before your interview

Sometimes technology fails. If you experience issues with your audio or camera ensure that you have the contact details of the interviewer, so you can call them and determine how to proceed.

Camera, Lights, Action!

Representing yourself well on video is pivotal. Approach your video interview like a director, ensuring the camera is about eye level and that you are positioned comfortably within the shot. A medium shot (waist shot) is perfect, as the interviewer will also be able to see your body language and any hand gestures you make.

Don't forget lighting and your background. Try to find a quiet well-lit space, without shadows or a distracting background – a blank wall is best. If you can't find a space with good lighting, a lamp either side of your laptop – should work. If the light is too harsh soften it with a shade. Once you have selected your interview space be sure to remove any clutter in the background that may be visible to the interviewer.

You have put a lot of effort into ensuring that you're set up for your video interview, so how do you know if it is all going to work? Film a test video in advance to verify everything looks exactly how you want it to look on the day.

Preparation is key

Video interviews can be intimidating, but a little practice and preparation can ease that anxiety. Start your interview preparation as you normally would. Research the company, have questions prepared and be able to articulate your experience in a clear and concise manner, while covering all relevant details.

While you prepare, consider doing this where you have chosen to do the video interview. Instead of practicing how you will answer questions with people, practice on camera instead. This can help you become more comfortable and make it less awkward when the real interview time arrives.

Be your own actor/actress

Now that you're familiar with the technology, have set up your interview space, shot and done your interview preparation, it's time for the interview. Dress professionally, from head to toe. The interviewer may not be able to see that you're wearing sweatpants, but you'll know. Dressing how you usually would for a face-to-face interview will help put you in the right mindset.

Make sure your posture is upright, and engage with the interviewer through body language, e.g., nodding your head and make regular eye contact. How do you make eye contact via computer? Look directly at the camera, don't get distracted by your computer background or your surroundings. If it helps, stick a post-it note with 'look here' written on it next to your camera.

Finally, speak clearly so the microphone picks up everything you say. Make sure you send a follow up email to the interviewer reiterating your interest in the role and thanking them for their time.