10 Tips For Video Interviews

Posted by Sujatha Ramanathan on 7/27/23 12:56 PM
Sujatha Ramanathan
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Video Interview Tips-1

Video interviews are commonplace in today's hybrid work economy. If you're interviewing for a role, you may find yourself attending an interview that is conducted over Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, or others. The mistake job seekers often make is to treat the video interview less seriously than an interview that takes place in an employer’s office. The next time you are invited to a video interview follow these tips:

Test your software

From your internet connection to your webcam and microphone, don’t leave it until five minutes before you’re due to “meet” with the employer. Check it out a day in advance to ensure everything’s working effectively. Consider investing in a separate microphone and webcam if the quality of your built-in system is patchy.

Testing this is as easy as roping in a friend to jump on a practice call with you.

Dress professionally

We’ve said it before but first impressions count. Always wear professional attire as you would for an in-person interview. Normal body language signs are less visible during a video interview so your appearance counts. Avoid bright or patterned clothing, it is often distorted on a screen and can be off-putting for the hiring manager.

Remember that practice call we mentioned above? Consider wearing your interview outfit during your test call to see you it looks onscreen.

Use bright lighting

Keep the camera at eye level. Check that your lighting isn’t too bright or too dim, and ensure you present a professional image. If your set-up is in a room with a window, consider facing the window so that you are not backlit, or close the curtains if the window needs to be behind you.  

Our SkyWater recruiters often times volunteer to be the friend who agrees to a test run, and they have a special eye for noticing little things like shadows on the face, or a backlit camera angle.

Clean background

Be sure you have an uncluttered, neutral background to reinforce a sense of professionalism. Don’t allow the interviewer to become more interested in what’s behind you than in what you have to say. We are partial to a natural clean background vs. one of the background images or filters that these platforms provide. If you really like using those special features, consider the feature that blurs the background slightly. But in our opinion, simply a clean, uncluttered, well lit room is the most professional option.

It goes without saying that your location should also be quiet, without distracting background noise.

Body language/eye contact

While body language is less apparent during a video interview, it’s still important to project a poised, confident image. Sit up straight and look directly into the camera to engage eye contact with the hiring manager. Don’t be tempted to move around too much or swing in your chair. Remain still and focus on your answers to the interviewer’s questions.

One more note about eye contact: 

During your video interview, keep in mind that looking directly into the camera feels like you are making eye contact on the other end. Do your best to not just stare at your own image. Make virtual eye contact with your potential employer.

Avoid screen distractions

Close all other programs on your computer so you aren’t distracted by social media, incoming messages, or e-mail alerts. Avoid the temptation to subtly check your updates while responding to the employer’s questions – take it from us, it’s never subtle.

Keep your resume handy

One advantage of video interviews is that it’s OK to keep your resume nearby for reference and also to share if the hiring manager doesn’t have a copy available. This is similar to an in-person interview where you may print out an extra copy of your resume to bring along.

Prepare thoroughly

Video interviews are often used to eliminate candidates from the hiring process, just as telephone interviews are. Don’t let that candidate be you! Treat a video interview as seriously as you would a face-to-face meeting. Research the company, prepare questions for the employer, know your career history and achievements back to front. Show the employer you really want this job!

Record your conversation

Recording a video interview allows you to evaluate your answers to questions and your interview performance. How many times have you agonized over how you answered a particular question? With a video interview, you can check it out for yourself. If you don’t get this job it will also help you to improve your responses for future interviews.

Follow up after the video interview

If you really want this job, send an e-mail or post–interview thank you note to the employer as you would in any other interview. It’s a simple gesture that will keep you in the front of an employer’s mind and reiterate your interest in the vacancy.

View our template for the perfect followup email.



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Topics: For Job Seekers, Interviewing For Job Seekers, Human Resources