10 Video Interview Tips That Can Help You Land the Job Offer

Video interviews have become a common method for employers to screen candidates, save money, and reduce the time-to-hire. But for applicants, preparing for a video interview can be daunting. Not everyone is comfortable in front of the camera, which may put some candidates at a disadvantage.

The good news is that the contents of a video interview aren’t much different to ones held in-person or over the phone. In fact, they can prove more beneficial. Video interviews may offer valuable insights that you don’t usually get over the phone, like body language and seeing more of the employer’s personality. They also allow you to easily meet with employers in different geographical locations.

With the right preparation, you can overcome that initial aversion and move on to the next stage of the interview process. To help ease your mind and answer some common questions about the process, here are our top 10 video interview tips.

1. Research the Interview Format

It’s vital that you understand what format the interview will be in – either live or pre-recorded. These two main types differ greatly, so being aware in advance will help when preparing for a video interview.

Live Video Interview

These are similar to face-to-face interviews, whereby you speak to the employer (or a panel of interviewers) in real-time, usually over Zoom or Microsoft Teams. Employers are able to emulate the traditional interview format without the candidate traveling to their office. Try to treat the conversation as you would at the office and build a rapport with the employer.

Pre-recorded Video Interview

This requires you to pre-record a video of yourself answering questions provided by the employer – often to a time limit. While it’s a less personal experience, this format helps employers to screen candidates quickly at a time that suits them. Pre-recorded interviews make practice even more important. However, you have more space when preparing for a video interview that’s pre-recorded.

2. Prepare for Your Video Interview

As with an in-person interview, you’ll need to prepare well. This includes knowing basic interview information, such as:

When preparing for a video interview, you should:

3. Prepare Your Tech Setup Beforehand

Preparing for a video interview extends beyond your answers. The last thing you need is to experience technical faults during the interview.

A few days before it takes place, it’s important to test:

Checking things over on the day of the video interview is equally vital. This includes making sure the battery is fully charged or plugged in. Switch everything on at least half an hour before and sign into any software that you need. It’s also worth closing down any apps that may slow your computer down.

If technical issues crop up during the interview, don't struggle through it. Mention the issue – it may be easily fixed, or the interviewer may be happy to end the call and try again. If it’s a pre-recorded video interview, check whether you're allowed to stop and restart in case of technical problems.

4. Find the Perfect Location

The location of your video interview is important, so you want to plan well in advance where you’re going to be conducting yours. Seek a quiet location where there are minimal disruptions. Make sure the room you choose is tidy and use a clean and simple backdrop so the recruiter focuses on you. A good natural light can also help with this.

If possible, use a computer or laptop rather than a tablet or mobile phone, and position it so the camera is at eye level.

It may also help if you:

5. Present Yourself Professionally

Whether it’s a live or pre-recorded video interview, you’ll need to present yourself as you would in an in-person interview. It’s standard video interview etiquette to wear smart clothes that look professional. Go for something plain that doesn’t look distracting on camera. And avoid wearing a lot of jewelry, or anything else that could be noisy when you move.
Practice runs can help you to determine how well you come across on video.

Record yourself and watch the recording back, looking out for the following:

Be mindful to pause at the end of each question. There’s a slight delay online so this prevents you from talking over the interviewer.

6. Use Positive Body Language

The interview may not be in person, but you shouldn’t disregard your body language. Good video interview etiquette requires you to avoid slouching, touching your face, or moving too much. Employers will expect you to smile, make good eye contact, and pay attention to what they’re saying. To help you do this, your camera should be at eye level and you should look into it rather than at the screen.

For pre-recorded interviews, envision yourself speaking to a real person and maintain your enthusiasm throughout. It can be easy to speed through your answers when you’re nervous, but remember that the employer would rather you say too much than too little. Speak clearly, and be careful not to speak over the interviewer – this is more easily done with the slight delay over the internet.

7. Show Up Early

Punctuality is everything. You wouldn’t show up to a 3pm interview at exactly 3pm, so treat your video interview the same. Prepare your computer beforehand – at least half an hour earlier – and load up the relevant software. Knowing how to prepare for a video interview properly will help you to avoid delays. If you will be showing a portfolio or document during the interview, have it ready to go in a minimized window.

A lot of video interview software will allow you to check your camera before the meeting. Be fully in place and practice some calming breathing exercises. This will gear you up for the interview, so when you join the meeting, you’re feeling centered and ready to go.

8. Get a Well-Established Shot

When preparing for a video interview, getting the perfect shot is key. You’ll want to be eye-level with the webcam, with a bit of empty space above your head and your shoulders and upper chest visible. The interviewer should also be able to see a bit of your desk at the bottom of the shot. This will allow them to see your hand gestures, which is helpful when expressing yourself.

Try to sit at a reasonable distance from the webcam so you’re well proportioned. Too close, and you’ll look zoomed in; too far, and you may appear like a dot in the distance. Ensure you set up your chair well in advance to avoid fiddling during the interview.

We also recommend checking for glare. If your glasses are reflecting a bright computer screen, it may be distracting during the interview. Try adjusting your screen brightness, moving further back or wearing contacts if possible.

9. Build Rapport

Video interviews are inherently more relaxed, as you’re free to choose your own setting and speak in a familiar environment. Despite this, it’s still important to establish rapport. You can do this by discussing a common interest, finding a neutral topic to learn more about your interviewer, or asking them about their experience with video interviews.

This also calls for you to be your most authentic self. Recruiters will pick up on how you express yourself to gauge if you’re a good fit for the company and its culture. Remember to implement positive body language and facial expressions to convey your confidence and personality. This may be what edges you past the competition.

10. Treat it Like a Conversation

Knowing how to ace a video interview starts and ends with your mindset. A video interview is really just a conversation between you and the interviewer, and may also appear less formal compared to an in-person interview. The employer’s task is to determine whether you’re a good match for the role. Meanwhile, your task is to learn more about the role and decide whether they align with your goals. That means the interviewer will need to come just as prepared.

If you stay calm, show confidence, and treat the meeting as a casual conversation – while still being professional – you can improve your chances of reaching the next interview stage.

With the following tips, you can step into the role with your best foot forward. Being more personable and confident can go a long way, but it’s just as beneficial to arm yourself with the right tools for interview success.

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