How to prepare for a video interview

Published by MAXSolutions on January 04, 2021
Video interview

Video interviews are increasingly becoming the norm for many companies and businesses. They are very similar to traditional interviews but differ in a few important ways. The good news is that understanding how to prepare for a video interview doesn’t require a lot of effort. In fact it may be easier than the trip to the office would have been for a face-to-face interview!

How to prepare for a video interview

  • Test the technology - You don’t want the program to close halfway through your video interview. So, make sure everything is up to date on your phone or computer and the program works correctly. Test your audio, your camera and your internet connection as well. Remember to charge the device and have a charger on standby just in case.

  • Set up your background - This is one key difference compared to a traditional interview. The background your interviewers see will contribute to their first impression of you as a candidate. The best bet is to pick a fairly plain, tidy part of the house or the office and make sure nothing is in view that could leave an employer with the wrong impression.

  • Check your lighting - The interviewers need to see you clearly. Where you set up needs to not create shadows or obscure your face in anyway. As you aren’t sitting face-to-face it may be hard for the interviewers to get a read on your facial expressions; you don’t want them to misunderstand something you have said because they can’t see your face clearly.

  • Dress the same as a traditional interview - Apart from the technology, the video interview format is largely the same. Which means you should dress just as you would for a face to face interview. If you need some tips on how to wow your interviewers, you can find some in our dress for success article.

  • Warn your housemates - Let everyone in the house know about your video interview; what time it is taking place and your need for quiet. Whether family, friend or feline they shouldn’t be joining you on the interview!


Common video interview questions

Video interview questions won’t differ from what you would be asked in a traditional interview. Making sure you are prepared and know what to say, and what not to say in an interview and how to be confident in an interview are great places to start. Your placement consultant can also help get you prepared.


General video interview tips

  • Read the instructions carefully – you need to understand how the video interview is structured. If it is live, or you have the ability to record yourself, or even if there are exam components.

  • Forget the screen – remember that there are real people on the other side of the screen so maintaining positive body language like smiling and active listening cues, like nodding, are important.

  • Practice ahead of time – video interviews can be awkward. It is often obvious if you aren’t prepared and struggle through questions you aren’t ready for. With the screen acting as a barrier, it is often harder to recover from a poorly answered question.

  • Take notes – bring a pen and paper for note taking and keep your resume handy, even if they just end up being props. Also, try and have them visible for the camera.

  • Be clear and ask questions – there may be technical limitations that impact your interview. Don’t stress, just roll with it, explain when you are writing things down if you aren’t answering a question. Let them know when you are finished talking if there is a lag. Show them you are adaptable.

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