5 tips for a successful video interview

In an era of technological advancement, recruiters are now using new and varied methods that diversify the simple job interview. As well as the usual face-to-face interview, a hiring manager may use newer methods like a phone or a video interview. 

Not only does this allow the interviewer to screen more candidates, it also saves both time and money. The recruiter also has the advantage of being able to re-watch the interview if need be.

A video interview may be similar to a traditional interview, in that it takes place between a candidate and a recruiter(s), where the latter is asked questions. Or it may be a pre-recorded interview, whereby a candidate is given a set of questions which he/she should respond to in front of a camera, in an allotted time. 

Although it may seem straightforward, a video interview requires just as much preparation as a traditional one, here are some tips that will help you ace that interview and move onto the next stage of the process.  

1. Technically, be prepared

To ensure they are no distractions make sure you test all the technological equipment you will need the day before. 

This includes testing your internet connection, webcam, audio and display. Have everything plugged in and fully charged. Not only will this allow you to avoid glitches and time delays, it also ensures the interviewer can hear and see you clearly. And vice versa!

If the interview runs smoothly, it allows you to focus more clearly on your own responses and less on worrying about if you heard the question right. 

Make sure you can connect to the interview platform and login, in advance. As with a regular interview, being on time is important, so like you would arrive early to the reception, be ready and logged in early here too.

This way, if you are having problems accessing the correct platform, you can call beforehand and have it fixed. It also means that once the interviewer logs in, you are all prepped and ready to go.

Should any technical problems occur, as they sometimes inevitably do. Do not be afraid to speak up and let the recruiter know, as it may affect your interview. 

2. Find the right location

 Let everyone in the house know that you are being interviewed. This reduces the background noise and stops people flitting in and out of the screen, the interviewer can then focus all their attention on you and what you are saying. 

Try and use a bright, natural light near a window, if this is not possible use a lamp to ensure you can be seen clearly.

Choose a clean, professional space, like a blank wall or a desk as your background. The less clutter around you, the more the interviewer can focus on you!

3. The dress code

Although you may be in your bedroom, once the interview starts you are in a professional environment and so you should act the part. Dress professionally, the way in which you would normally dress in the work place. (At least from the waist up!). 

Avoid too many bold prints and colours that may distract from what you are saying.

4. Practise makes perfect

If video interviews are new to you, you may be unsure of how to act in front of the camera. Take a look at your body language in a mirror, take heed of how you are sitting, do you seem closed off? Nervous? Uncomfortable?

Practise makes perfect, so take the time to practise using positive body language and speaking clearly. Sit with your hands relaxed, try not to fiddle with any notes, make friendly eye contact and don’t forget to smile.  

Take the time to record yourself before the interview. Take a look at everything, from the way you sound and appear on camera, to the lighting and background. Make adjustments as needed.

5. Research

As with any interview make sure to thoroughly research the job and company, as ultimately this is the most important part of the interview. Remind yourself of your key skills and experiences, and think of positive examples where you have utilized these.

Know your value, talk about what you can bring to the role and the company and how you will achieve this.

Take a look at some of our other articles for more information on interview techniques, questions and answers.

If you proceed to the next stage, a video/phone interview is usually followed by a one-to-one interview. Therefore, after the interview don’t forget to follow up and make notes on people’s names and what was said. For a more thorough explanation, click here to see what you can do after an interview to improve your chances of getting the job. 

Don’t forget: One of the advantages of a video interview is that you can use notes out-of-shot of the camera. To avoid fiddling with bits of papers, write key words on post-it notes in large, clear writing. You can then use these to jog your memory or remind yourself of important key points. Such as: SMILE! Volunteering in hospital, managed IT project etc. 

Post by Maryam Tashfeen.

Maryam Tashfeen was raised in North East England and is a fourth year medical student at Medical University Pleven, as well as a former student at the University of Bradford. She has previously held work-experience roles in a number of different countries, including England, Bulgaria and Jordan. Currently, alongside her studies she works within the retail sector and volunteers for a number of great charities. Through a combination of her personal journey as a student and her experience in the working world, she can provide you with great insight into all things relating to student life, jobs and careers.