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How To Prepare for a Video Interview

30 August 2018
Besma Whayeb
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Do you have a video interview coming up? With video interviews becoming more and more popular (over 60% of organisations say they use video in their talent acquisition process), it’s important to know how to best present yourself on camera, and in front of your next potential employer.

Tips for a Successful Video Interview

The final stages of your job search can be equally rewarding and nerve-wracking. They liked your application, but will they like you? And scarier still, will they like how you come across on camera?

1. Test the set up

One thing that is guaranteed to ruin a video interview is technical difficulties. To ensure this doesn’t happen on the day, take the time to prepare in advance and test your set up.

Start by setting up your camera and microphone (these days, those built-in to your laptop or computer should be fine) and record yourself.

Were you loud enough? How was the picture quality? A quick review of your video should tell you how to tweak your equipment to get the best out of it.

Better yet, try video chatting with a friend using the same set up. If you find your connection quality is poor, try disconnecting any other devices or applications using the Internet.

2. Set the stage

Another important thing to check when reviewing your practice video is the room around you. Simple fixes can improve your interview greatly:

  • Declutter any surfaces in the background – you don’t want to look messy
  • Face towards direct lighting or sunlight – it will improve the overall picture quality
  • Use a blank wall as a background if possible, to keep the focus on you

Pro tip: if you find you sound echoey, try hiding some soft furnishings in the room that will soak up the sound better. Cushions, curtains, whatever you have handy!

3. Dress the part

A video interview should not be seen as anything less formal than a face-to-face one. This means you need to dress as smartly as you would if you were meeting your interviewers in person.

If you’re unsure of dress code, we recommend dressing more formally (shirt and trousers or skirt), as it’s better to be over-dressed than under-dressed.

And while it may be tempting to wear pyjama bottoms under your desk, there’s always the possibility you will have to get up during your interview. Dress properly, from head to toe!

4. Talk to camera

While eye contact is important in face-to-face interviews, this doesn’t hold true for video interviews.

When talking to your interviewers, try looking into the camera rather than at yourself (or at them) on the screen. It will give the impression you’re focusing on them, rather than looking down or away.

This may feel strange at first, but psychologically you look confident by giving them good eye contact, even if it’s through a screen!

5. Keep your application handy

While a lot of your interview will be answering questions on the spot, there will be some you can easily prepare for.

Keep your application, C.V., and any other materials you’ve shared with the interviewers close by. Some people prefer to have these printed and in-front of them, while others keep them on-screen next to the video chat window.

This will make it a lot easier for you to reference your application, and back-up your answers without shuffling through papers or clicking away from the video interview.

6. Practice really does make perfect

The key to a successful video job interview is to practice. No-one feels 100% comfortable in front of a camera (unless of course you’re an actor or model), but you can improve your confidence by getting comfortable with practice.

7. During the interview

At this point, you can relax a little. You’ve prepared, you’ve practiced, and it’s now your time to shine.

A few things will hold true of any interview – turn your phone off, make sure you’ll be undisturbed, and don’t faff with papers, pens, etc.

During the interview, it’s more important to answer the questions calmly and display the knowledge you’ve referenced in your application. It’s worth remembering that they took you to interview because they liked your application.

You’ve already pleased them once, so you can certainly do it again! Good luck!