How to Prepare for a Successful Video Interview

How to Prepare for a Successful Video Interview

Businesses across the world have been forced to change their recruitment strategies in the wake of the pandemic. While some have recently started to conduct face-to-face interviews again, most are unlikely to do so until social distancing restrictions are further relaxed. Consequently, video interviews have become an increasingly important part of today’s recruiting process.

In this article, we tell you how to ace a video interview by preparing your environment and using technology to showcase your best self. Here’s what we’ll cover:

  1. Types of video interviews
  2. Advanced planning
  3. Technology best practices
  4. Selecting a location/background
  5. How to dress for success
  6. The importance of positive body language
  7. How to conclude a video interview


Types of Video Interviews?

In general, there are two types of video interviews: live or two-way interviews, and pre-recorded or one-way interviews.

Live or Two-Way Interviews

This format is comparable to a traditional face-to-face interview. You’ll communicate live with the hiring manager or recruiter over web conferencing software. Employers may duplicate the classic style of an interview using live videos without forcing candidates to visit their office, allowing them to hire from anywhere in the world. To connect with the interviewer, treat the conversation as an interview at the employer’s headquarters.

Pre-Recorded or One-Way Interviews

A pre-recorded or one-way interview replaces the initial phone screen because you won’t be conversing with a person face-to-face. With this format, you record yourself answering a host of pre-selected questions from your potential employer. Typically, you’ll need to answer these questions within a specific timeframe. Employers with many potential candidates benefit from this because they can watch your responses at their convenience. For candidates, however, it can be a relatively uncomfortable process – especially if you’re not used to filming yourself. Therefore, it’s extremely important to practice beforehand. Fortunately, most pre-recorded interview sessions will allow you to schedule the interview for any day or time up until the submission deadline.

Advanced Planning

Preparing in advance for a video interview is crucial to your overall success. To start, you’ll want to download any apps or plugins you’ll need to conduct the interview. Then, you should check your computer’s internet connection and perform a technology test run to ensure your equipment is working correctly. You’ll also want to check that your sound equipment is working properly, adjust your camera so it’s at eye level, and be sure your background is clean and professional.

Whether you’re using Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or another video platform, it’s also important to check that your username, email address and social media handles are appropriate and easy to understand. Additionally, be sure to send any necessary materials, such as your resume, portfolio, or pre-interview assignments, to your recruiter before the interview begins.

Technology Best Practices

Before the interview begins, ensure all your devices are plugged in or charged – you don’t want to run out of power or be setting up equipment when the interview starts. We recommend switching all your devices on and logging into any software you will need at least half an hour in advance of the interview’s start time.

Next, make sure the volume is set to your optimum level and speak audibly so the interviewer can hear you. Remember that digital connections sometimes get delayed, so don’t speak over the interviewer if you can avoid it. Instead, let the interviewer finish asking the question and pause before answering.

In case of technical difficulties, such as trouble hearing the questions clearly or a poor internet connection, don’t pretend it’s not happening, as you won’t give your best performance. Instead, let them know you’re having difficulties, as they’re likely to be patient and willing to work through them with you. For pre-recorded video interviews, you should check to see whether you’re allowed to stop and continue or re-record your answers as necessary.

Selecting a Location and Background

An important part of the preparation process is deciding where to conduct the video interview. If possible, choose a quiet area that’s free from noise and distractions. When setting up your camera, be sure that your background is clean, basic and professional, so the recruiter can concentrate on you, instead of what’s behind you.
You’ll also want to pay attention to your lighting – avoid sitting in shadows and do your best to maximize natural light if possible. Otherwise, try placing a table lamp in front of the camera and adjust the distance to achieve the best effect.

When it’s time for the interview to begin, silence your notifications and close any program on your computer that may cause a distraction. It’s also important to tell the people you’re with that the interview is about to begin so they don’t interrupt you.

Dress for Success

While video interviews eliminate the need to worry about getting lost or being delayed by transit, you’ll still need to consider what to wear and how to physically present yourself on the day.
When deciding what to wear, we recommend dressing the same as you would for an in-person interview. Be sure your outfit is clean, professional, and well-pressed. You may even want to put your outfit on during your trial run to see how it looks on camera. Be sure your hair is combed and that your face is visible, and not cast by shadows.

The Importance of Positive Body Language

When conducting a video interview, you’ll want to be as confident and eloquent as you would be in person. Avoid slouching, moving too much, and touching your face. Remember, employers are looking for eye contact, a smile, willingness to listen, and an interest in what they say. To best accomplish this, be sure your camera is at eye level and look directly into it instead of at the screen.

It’s important to do the same for pre-recorded interviews. However, it could be more difficult to maintain positive body language and enthusiasm when recording by yourself. Instead, pretend that you’re speaking to someone in person during the recording. Do your best not to fidget, look directly into the camera, speak clearly and confidently – just as you would if there were a person on the other end.

How to Conclude a Video Interview

Once you’ve successfully completed the video interview, whether it was pre-recorded or live, it’s important to thank the interviewer for the opportunity, and follow up with a post-interview thank-you note. In the follow-up note, mention why you’re interested in the job and why you would be a perfect fit for the company and the role. To make the message more personal, try mentioning something you and the employer discussed while getting to know each other, which will help establish a rapport with the hiring manager.

You may also want to ask a few questions, like what are the next steps, or whether they would like any follow-up information from you that might support their decision-making. Asking these questions can help alleviate post-interview anxieties and provide important insights on what the candidate can expect next.

About Gava Talent Solutions

Gava Talent Solutions, a Safeguard Global Company, provides temporary and full-time staffing, executive search, and recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) services to both candidates and businesses in 170+ countries. With our team of experienced recruiters and our extensive global networks, we place the most experienced candidates with top businesses in a fraction of the time.

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