Video interview preparation

Video interviews

Video interviews are conducted remotely from the interviewer. This saves them money and you the time involved in getting you to a central location. They are often used for pre-screening prior to progressing to the next stage of selection. They can typically take one of two formats:

  • Skype/Google Hangouts/other web-based platforms:Conducted live, face to face with your interviewer and is very similar to a face to face interview where you are in the same room together. You are able to gain visual and oral feedback through the interview and can build a relationship with your interviewer. 
  • Recorded interviews: Your only interaction is with the camera and the screen. You are likely to be asked an on-screen question and then asked to record your answer, typically after having a short while to think about your answer. You may be given an opportunity to practice before moving on to actually recording your answers.

Both will have a different feel to more regular face to face interviews. There will be certain things that you can do to enhance your performance and make a good impression.

Remember, prior preparation prevents poor performance!

A video interview will have a different feel to a regular interview, so follow our advice on how to prepare

Prepare for the interview

Refer to the extensive information on the rest of this webpage for more details, but to summarise:

  • Research the company
  • Research the job vacancy
  • Know the person specification
  • Understand how you meet their requirements
  • Prepare your evidence in the form of examples using STAR (situation, task, action, result)

Prepare yourself  

  • Dress for success – the full works. Don’t think you just have to dress the top half – what happens if you need to stand up for something? 
  • Speak clearly – the recorded voice sounds different to the normal voice. If in doubt record yourself and listen to the playback. 
  • Sit comfortably – you don’t want to start fidgeting halfway through, especially if it mucks up the camera settings. 
  • Keep eye contact – with the camera. Whilst it is tempting to look at the screen, all that the interviewer will see is you looking away from them. Good positioning of your camera can minimise problems.

Prepare your tech  

  • Check your connectivity – always try to do video interviews from a device with good connectivity. If possible avoid mobile devices as it is really hard to get a good and consistent camera angle and sound quality. 
  • Set up the equipment and check it all works. 
  • Do a camera/video check – make sure that your face is centre screen and the camera sits on top of the monitor. 
  • Check the height of the screen (and camera). If necessary raise the height of the screen/camera so that your face is not angled up or down. 
  • Do a sound check and adjust the levels accordingly.

Prepare your space  

  • Do not disturb. If at home, ask your housemates to be quiet and not interrupt you.
  • Professional environment - Make sure the background is suitable, move any personal items out of shot. You are aiming for a setting that looks tidy and professional. 
  • Check the lighting. Make sure your face is well lit but avoid harsh lighting - the camera check should identify any problems. 
  • Turn off your mobile. 
  • Minimise distractions - close the windows, turn off the music, put the cat out….  If you have problems you can always ask us here at the Careers and Employability Centre; we may have an interview room free.

Practice  

If you are unused to sitting in front of a camera then practice and record yourself. Check if there is anything you can do to improve your technique.  
If you think it will help, book a mock interview with the Careers and Employability Service. Google Hangouts interviews are also an option.

Confidentiality  
Recruiters are bound by confidentiality and data protection legislation. Therefore, you can be confident that your recorded interviews will not end up on YouTube.

Your recorded responses are likely to be shared internally within the organisation. This will be with select members of staff involved in the recruitment process.

Video interview resources:

TARGETjobs - discusses how graduate recruiters are using video interviews.

TARGETjobs - also offers advice on performance tips for Skype and video interviews.

Prospects- offers some top tips to ensure a successful video interview.  

Bright Network - provides a range of guides with video and telephone interview advice and information.

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