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7 Video Interview Tips… From the Interviewers

Book open Reading time: 3 mins

With video interviews on the rise, also known as video assessments, it’s highly likely that at some point in your career you’ll need to complete one. This will either leave you feeling anxious, or relieved that you won’t need to leave the comfort of your home… or a bit of both.

We’ve been using video interviews for some of our customer-facing and graduate roles as a way to connect with our candidates for over a year now. We know that if you haven’t done one before it can feel a bit daunting. But fear not. Our video assessors have come together to provide some top tips to help you prepare – and hopefully ace – your video interview.

1. Prep your surroundings

When it comes to where you’ll be doing your interview, try to find a quiet spot that’s tidy and presentable. Check what’s visible in the background and consider whether it’s appropriate for a professional video interview, and somewhere you can concentrate.

2. Prevent potential distractions

Remember the video that went viral where the kids walk in on their dad’s televised interview? That’s exactly what you DON’T want to have happen in your interview.

Awkward interruptions can really throw you off, so pop your phone on silent, let your friends know you’re busy and ask the people you live with not to disturb you for a while. And if you have pets, it’s best to keep them in another room while you do the interview. Don’t get us wrong - we love animals. But we’re interviewing you, not your pug, and it can be a little bit distracting when it’s barking in the background.

3. Dress to impress

One of the best things about a video interview is that you can do it from the comfort of your own home. But while it might be tempting to stay in your pyjamas, you’ll be in a better state of mind if you treat it like a face-to-face interview and put on something you’d wear in person.

Even though you’ll only be visible from the waist up – if we can see your legs, you’re way too far away from the camera – it’s a good idea to wear something smart on the bottom too. What if you have to get up to adjust the lighting? Or your camera drops down? Some things are better left to the imagination – and how you choose to cover your legs is one of them.

4. Check your tech

Whether you choose to do the video interview on your phone, laptop or desktop, you should do a test run in the lead up to the interview. Familiarise yourself with your webcam and microphone, and check the strength of your internet connection too – we like human faces, not blurry, pixelated ones.

5. Practice makes perfect

When it comes to a job interview, there’s no such thing as being over prepared. In the lead up to your video interview, try practicing with a friend or family member, so you can get comfortable both with your interview skills and the weirdness of interviewing on camera. Better yet, record yourself – that way you’ll be able to see first hand how you’re coming across.

When you come to completing one of our video interviews, you’ll have the chance to complete a practice question. And while it might be tempting to skip over it and jump straight into the real thing, it’s definitely worth taking the time to complete it. Not only will you get a feel for what you can expect throughout the rest of the interview, it’s also an opportunity to check if you’re loud enough, clear enough and discover the best angle for your camera.

6. Make notes – but don’t forget to look at the camera

Good news: it’s absolutely fine to refer to your notes in the interview. But if you really want to impress us, look at the camera and only refer to your notes when you need to. If you read them word for word like a script, you can come across like a robot, so memorise what you can and jot down anything you need to jog your memory.

7. Body language

Even though you’re not physically sat in front of the interviewer, you still need to be mindful of your body language. That means no slouching, fidgeting and waving your hands around. Make sure you’re sat up straight, maintaining eye contact and looking attentive.

And most importantly of all – don’t forget to smile! Smiling demonstrates confidence, openness, warmth and energy, which gives us the impression that you’re up to the task at hand.