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9 ways to perfect your video interview

May 10, 2022

9 ways to perfect your video interview
9 ways to perfect your video interview

The interview experience has evolved in today’s connected world.

Video interviews are not only likely; they are now the norm, with many people undertaking flexible work arrangements and working from home.

For some, it’s no big deal, no different than preparing for the traditional, face-to-face interview. But for others, the thought of staring into a camera to talk to a stranger can be daunting.

9 tips for a great video interview:

1. Limit background distractions. Ensure that you’re in a quiet room. Switch off your phone and minimize all other distractions. Consider what will look nice on video, but not distract. Make sure your background is neutral and tidy, and avoid using background effects. When possible, make sure that family, housemates and pets don’t interrupt your interview. However, recruiters know that you’re human and life happens; unexpected interruptions shouldn’t impact the outcome of your interview.

2. Check your lighting. Make sure you are in a well-lit room. Natural light is best for recorded interviews. Make sure your face will be visible, without any shadows or glare. This may mean repositioning your desk for the process or moving into a different workspace for the interview.

3. Dress for success. Dress as you would for an in-person interview. Just because you are behind a screen doesn’t give you a free pass to wear your comfy clothes. Make a good first impression.

4. Make eye contact. You may be tempted to look directly into the screen, but look at the camera instead. Set a good camera angle—at eye level, not above or below you. It’s like looking the person in the eye. Engage your viewer with confident posture, and be sure to project your voice.

5. Test your equipment. Make sure your laptop is fully charged, and test the microphone, camera and internet connection prior to the interview. If you’re recording your responses, make sure you know when to click stop so that you’re not fumbling at the end. If a computer is not available and you need to use your phone or tablet, make sure it’s resting against something or propped (rather than holding it in your hand) so it remains stable. And make sure you turn off your notifications!

6. Stay focused. Close all other programs on your computer and/or turn off notifications on your phone or tablet to avoid any disruptions or distractions during the interview.

7. Show them who you are. Relax, be enthusiastic and project positive body language. Smile and show your personality. Make sure the camera captures you from your shoulders up, and use your hands to express yourself. Keep the viewer engaged, as you would in a face-to-face conversation.

8. Practice makes perfect. Record yourself, and ask friends and family for feedback. Speak clearly and with enough volume; don’t shout. Remember that laptop/device mics may require you to project a little more than usual. This is especially important if your interview is in a second language. If you have any sense of the interview content, think about and rehearse some possible responses in advance. One question you will usually be asked is: “Why are you interested in this role/our company?”

9. Be prepared. Know which role that you are interviewing for, do your research on the organization and have questions prepared to ask your interviewer. You are using the interview to determine your fit—is this the company you feel suits you? And take notes during the interview if needed, but try not to use any notes you’ve taken to prepare. If you do decide to use them, avoid reading directly from them, and opt for cue cards instead.

A great video interview may not only help you get the job; it can also help you perfect some invaluable communication tactics necessary in today’s world of work and for future client presentations.

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Louise Klupacs

Talent Acquisition Specialist – Melbourne, Australia