Video interviews are slowly becoming a normal part of the job application process.
As companies embrace remote work and global connectivity, mastering the art of the video interview is not just an advantage, but a necessity.
Especially if you’re applying for a job in a different location as there’s a high possibility that you will be asked to participate in a video interview. This means understanding how to represent yourself in the best light, regardless of a computer screen being in the way, is crucial to you landing the job.
This blog post delves into some valuable video interview tips that are designed to not only help you navigate this process with confidence but also ensure that you leave a lasting and impressive mark on potential employers.
From choosing the right location to perfecting your communication skills, we’re helping you navigate your next career move through the screen!
Let’s start by looking at how you can prepare for a video interview.
How to Prepare for a Video Interview
By following the steps below, you can go into your video interview feeling confident as you’ve put the effort in first.
Taking some time to prepare goes a long way in terms of showing the employer that you’re committed and invested in the role. Plus it’ll also help you feel more relaxed and confident instead of rushing around 5 minutes before it starts.
1. Look at practice interview questions related to your role
Look online and find some practice interview questions related to the job you’re applying for. Whilst there’s no guarantee that you will be asked all of these questions, it gives you a good idea of the sort of topics they’ll be covering.
For example as a Development Manager, you might be asked to give an example of a project that didn’t meet the deadline/ budget, and how you handled the situation. Having some prior knowledge of this and an understanding of different types of questions will help you prepare your responses.
There’s nothing worse than being sat in an interview completely stumped!
2. Research the company and who works there
You don’t want to start the interview with absolutely no knowledge of who they are and what they do. This suggests that you don’t really care about the role as you haven’t done any research beforehand.
It could also make the employer think that you’ve been applying for lots of different jobs without putting much thought into it. A scattergun approach when it comes to applying for jobs is not the best way to go about it, as employers want to feel as though you’re genuinely invested in the role.
As a minimum, you should:
- Check out the company’s website
- Go to the ‘about us’ or ‘team’ page to find out who works there
- Have a look on their blog (if they have one) to see what they write/ talk about
- Have a scroll through their social media channels
- Look into their clients
If you know who the hiring manager is, make sure you spend some time finding out about them. Have a look on their LinkedIn and familiarise yourself with the type of content they share and how long they’ve worked at the company. This will help you build up rapport in the interview and shows that you’ve done some background work.
3. Look at their website and social media to get a feel for they company values and mission
This carries on from the point above, but looking at a company’s website and social media is crucial as this helps you build up a picture of what they’re all about. It also gives you things to talk about in the interview, when certain topics/ questions arise.
For example, you might be asked ‘what attracted you to the role?’. The aim of this question is to assess your level of interest and motivation – and to make sure you’ve done your research! You don’t need to know the ins and outs, but you should know their products/ services, key members of staff, and who they work with.
4. Go back through your CV and have examples of your skills / experience to present to them
When did you last go through your CV?
Whilst listing all of your skills and experience is key, you need to be able to give solid examples of how you have applied these skills in a real scenario. For example, if you’re claiming to be good at people management, how have you demonstrated this in the past?
Have you successfully led a team to project completion?
Or have you resolved conflicts between team members?
Whatever the case, make sure you have examples at hand in case the employer/ recruiter digs a little deeper.
5. Have some questions to ask them
It’s a good idea to have some questions prepared to ask the employer/ recruiter once the interview is coming to a close.
Again, this shows that you’re genuinely interested in the role as you’re eager to find out more.
Good questions to ask at this point are:
- What are the company’s plans for the next year?
- What growth/ development opportunities are available in this role?
- What is the onboarding process like for new hires?
- Can you describe the typical career path for someone in this role?
- What do you enjoy most about working for this company?
What to Wear for Video Interview
Knowing what to wear for a video interview is important even though the interviewer can only see the top half of you.
Regardless, it’s still best to dress professionally as this helps put you into the right mindset.
How you dress will differ from one company to the next depending on what they expect; some employers have a relaxed dress code whereas others want their staff to dress smart.
This is something you will learn more about throughout the interview process, but for your first video interview, it’s best to dress professionally to give the right impression.
The most important thing to remember when it comes to knowing what to wear for a video interview, is to match professionalism with being comfortable. If a blazer and suit isn’t your thing, wear a smart shirt instead. You need to be at ease on the video interview as this impacts your performance, so make sure you feel relaxed.
Top Tips for a Video Interview
We’re delving into the top strategies and tips to ensure you’re fully equipped to present your best self on screen.
From choosing the right location, to mastering your body language, we’ve got it covered.
Choose a good location
Find somewhere quiet and comfortable. Try to limit background noise as much as possible as this can interfere with the quality of your sound.
The best option is to use a room in your house, preferably your office, as this will have your desk and computer already set up. However, depending on your living situation, you might choose to go to a coffee shop instead. Be mindful though; you can’t control external factors here so if it suddenly gets noisy, this could impact the quality of your interview.
Being prepared for your interview slot is the best option as this means you can set up your location at home to make sure you have peace and quiet. Whilst having a clear, fuss-free background is preferable, you can also blur/ change your background which gives you more control over the way your location looks on video.
Be clear when you speak
Above all, make sure your mic is switched on! This might sound stupid but it’s such an easy mistake and can throw you off when the interviewer has to flag it.
Also speak clearly, as even with the best mic in the world, there can be interference when you’re dialling in remotely. This includes any background noise that you can’t control or distortions that might affect the clarity of your voice.
Also, depending on your internet connection, there might be a delay with audio so speaking clearly and making sure you’re pronouncing your words correctly is very helpful. This also helps avoid any miscommunication or misinterpretation enabling an efficient interview dialogue.
Test your tech
Don’t just assume that your tech is going to work. From your microphone, to your headset, to your WiFi signal dropping, you want to be confident that nothing is going to let you down!
There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to present yourself in the best way possible, only to experience a technical glitch. Another way to combat any issues with your tech is to try the platform out first so that you know how different things work.
This should only take ten minutes or so but will help put your mind at rest. You could try it with a friend beforehand to make sure your audio and camera are both crystal clear.
You may want to have a glass of water on hand during the interview as this can help you feel more calm, stay hydrated, and gives you a moment to pause to collect your thoughts/ response.
Practice non-verbal communication
It’s not just about what you say, but how you say it, that can leave a lasting impression on your potential employers.
Just like in a face-to-face interview, mastering non-verbal cues can significantly enhance your presentation and affects how employers interact with you.
For instance, try not to sit with your arms tightly crossed as this can act as a barrier and make your body language more tense. Take a deep breath before your video interview and try to relax as much as possible.
Also maintaining good eye contact is important as this shows your attentiveness and engagement in the interview. Similarly, using hand gestures can help you articulate your thoughts and clarify your responses.
‘Show up’ 10 minutes early
You wouldn’t turn up to an in-person interview just before it starts, so you shouldn’t turn up to a video interview just before it starts either.
To help you feel more comfortable consider arriving at your video interview a bit earlier, as this gives you enough time to settle in and ensure everything is in order.
For instance, if your desk is right beside the window and the sun is putting a glare on the screen, you now have time to move it or to close the blinds. This is only a small thing but it can go a long way in making you feel more relaxed instead of trying to sort everything in the last few minutes.
It also demonstrates punctuality (a desirable trait in any employee) as no employer appreciates you turning up late!
Video Interview FAQs
How to introduce yourself in a video interview?
The best way to start a video interview is by simply saying hello and smiling at the interviewer. You should then mention your name and the company you work for, before giving a brief overview of your skills and interests, as well as why you’re applying for the role.
What is a one way video interview?
A one-way video interview involves creating a short video recording that you submit to potential employers as part of their screening process. In this video, you usually respond to specific interview questions or follow provided prompts.
Can you look at notes during a video interview?
Using your notes during a video interview is perfectly fine. If done discreetly, there’s no issue with having helpful reminders to help keep you on track. These notes can also help you answer difficult questions or recall particular details about the position or company. However, it’s important not to rely on them as a script as you will sound unnatural.
What is an on-demand video interview?
On-demand interviews are interviews that don’t happen at the same time for everyone. Instead, recruiters use an online platform to make the questions, and candidates answer them whenever they can. Candidates use their phones, computers, or tablets to record their answers, and it usually takes less than 30 minutes. Once candidates finish, recruiters can immediately review the interviews.
Top Tips for a Video Interview That Secures You the Job
Being successful in a video interview requires a combination of adaptability, preparation, and genuine engagement to help remove the barrier that a computer screen can cause.
However, a successful video interview is not just about the answers you provide, but about the overall impression you leave. When you step into the virtual interview room, you need to be comfortable and confident so that employers can get to know the person behind the CV.
Whilst this can be challenging remotely, by following these steps you can present yourself as the perfect fit for the role regardless of your location.
At Macdonald & Company we partner with employers and employees around the world, meaning we have an extensive network of global connections. This allows us to make the right fit every time, enabling you to find your dream role. Navigating the process of a video interview is just one part of the process, but we can guide you through your whole career journey. Get in touch to find out more about our services.