How to ace your next video interview

Published on: 28 Jul 2020

With lockdown restrictions gradually being lifted and businesses beginning to reopen, we have started to see the number of vacancies on SecsintheCity begin to rise once again. However, this doesn’t mean things are entirely ‘business as usual’ in the world of recruitment.

Video interview tips

Government-ordered social distancing measures mean that recruitment processes for many businesses have moved online. With a growing number of employers arranging to meet candidates via video conferencing applications like Zoom or Skype in place of a traditional in-person interview, we thought it would be useful to provide some tips on how to succeed at a video interview.

If you are applying for jobs in the coming weeks and months, there’s a high chance that your interview will happen remotely, but the prospect of a video interview can be a little nerve-wracking for those who haven’t had one before.

Fortunately, the success of a video interview is dependent on many of the same factors that contribute to the success of a face-to-face or phone interview, while the differences can be prepared for with relative ease.

These 7 simple steps will help you to prepare for and ace your next video interview.

Dress to impress

We’ll let you in on a secret: you already know what to wear for your video interview, because it’s the same as what you would wear if you were meeting your interviewer in person.

Regardless of whether your interview is remote or face-to-face, your potential employer needs to see that you are a presentable professional who is serious about the job at hand. Dress appropriately, and remember that if you aren’t sure about the correct level of formality, it’s always better to be overdressed and leave a lasting impression than to be underdressed and appear careless.

Furthermore, the outfit you wear for your video interview isn’t just there to impress your potential employer. Wearing smart, business clothing can help to get you in an interview frame of mind that is particularly hard to achieve when you’re sat in your bedroom.


Choose the right location

What is the point in going to all the effort of looking your best if you’re going to take the interview in a messy room that’s full of distractions? We recommend setting up your computer somewhere with a tidy, neutral background - a blank wall is the best option.

Test the lighting in the room prior to your interview to ensure that your interviewer will be able to see you clearly. For best results, avoid having sources of light directly behind you or too close to your face.


Eliminate distractions

It’s all too easy to become distracted at home, so it’s essential to eliminate any potential interruptions before they have the chance to disrupt the flow of your video interview.

Let anyone that you live with know that you have an important call and that you aren’t to be disturbed, then set your phone on silent. Any notifications on your computer not related to the interview should also be muted. We recommend using a pair of headphones with a built-in microphone for the interview as this will eliminate any distracting background noise.


Avoid technical glitches

We suggest downloading, installing and setting up any video conferencing software well in advance of the interview, making sure that the username and email address you use are professional and appropriate.

If you are to have your interview on a mobile application, make sure the app is set up and that the location you’ve chosen has reliable phone reception or Wi-Fi.

Whichever platform your interview is taking place on, you should run a practice call with a friend or family member ahead of the appointment to ensure your camera and microphone are working properly.


Handle tech issues with grace

If, despite your precautions, your hardware or software have any technical issues during the interview, make sure that you try to resolve them promptly and gracefully. If you cannot hear the interviewer due to a weak internet connection, for example, alert them immediately and calmly try to fix the problem.

It may be frustrating to suffer technical glitches, but don’t let yourself get worked up. Employers want to hire people able to handle unexpected problems, so you’ll be ticking one of their boxes by showing that you can resolve issues in a stressful situation while remaining calm.


Build rapport with the interviewer

Video interviews allow you to show off your interpersonal skills and ability to build rapport in a way that a phone interview never could. Ensure you are making eye contact, smiling and using affirmative gestures throughout to develop a relationship with the interviewer and show them you are present and interested.

If you’re looking away from the interviewer or slouched over with your arms crossed you’ll be giving off all the wrong signals, even if you’re saying exactly the right things. Make use of positive body language and good posture so that your movements match your words.


Wrap it up

As with an in-person interview, thanking your interviewer for their time at the end is essential. Make sure to ask any final questions, reiterate your interest and find out when you can expect to hear about next steps. We suggest not to ask about salaries at this point as it can seem like you’re only interested in what you can get out of the job. There will be plenty of opportunity to discuss your rewards later in the hiring process.

Good luck with your next video interview!

Find out more about starting a new job remotely in our recent interview with EA Gina Haynes.