Video interviews are being used more and more by employers in the initial stages of the selection process to get to know their candidates prior to meeting face-to-face.
Video interviews may be used alongside or instead of a telephone call, and in some cases where there are high volumes of applicants or you’re applying for a role far away from where you live, a video call may even be used instead of an in-person interview.
But despite video interviews becoming increasingly popular among employers, many candidates still find them uncomfortable. So to help you out, here are our top tips for preparing for your next video interview:
What to expect: live video or pre-recorded
There are two types of video interview that you may be required to take part in: live calls and recorded videos.
Live video calls are just how they sound: you’ll use software such as Skype, or a platform designed specifically for interviews (which may allow the interviewer to make notes on your answers and save the video call to re-watch later) to speak directly to the interviewer in real time. Live video interviews are a popular choice, especially for the later stages of the selection process, as they are the most similar to a face-to-face meeting.
The second type of video interview you may be asked to join is pre-recorded. For these, you will often be sent a link to a website where you are presented with a question on screen, and you will record your answers one at a time. In this type of interview, you won’t be speaking to a person, instead you will submit your video answers to be reviewed later. These are often timed, and you may be given more than one opportunity to record your answers (although try to make them perfect the first time just in case!).
A few days ahead of your interview, be sure to take some practice runs - both of your question answers, and of using your equipment. Record yourself speaking to check that everything (your webcam, microphone etc.) works properly and that the video and sound quality is okay when played back.
This will also give you the opportunity to test your lighting and background. You want to make sure that you’re well lit so the interviewer can see you, and that you are sat in a professional, and quiet, location where there won’t be anything to distract you or the interviewer.
For advice on preparing your interview question answers, you can read our previous guides here.
When it comes to the day of the interview, be sure to dress just as you would if you were going to a face-to-face meeting - the interviewer will be able to see you, after all. Try to resist the urge to wear comfortable trousers or pyjamas on the bottom. Dressing professionally will help you feel ready for the interview, and it’ll help you avoid any uncomfortable moments if you do need to stand up for any reason. You might also want to consider avoiding busy patterns that might not look right, or could be distracting on camera.
Body language and eye contact
Throughout the video interview, be conscious of your body language. Be sure to maintain the same confident and professional body language that you would in person. Avoid sitting back or slouching, and move your browser/video chat window to the top of your screen closer to where the webcam is to avoid appearing like you’re looking down when the interviewer is speaking. And although it may feel unnatural at first, try to look straight into the webcam when you speak instead of at the screen to create the impression of making ‘eye contact’ with the interviewer.
Video interviews can be tricky to get used to, especially if you don’t have a lot of experience with them. But by following these tips and practicing as much as you can, you’ll start to feel more comfortable and confident in your ability.
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