Tips for a successful video interview

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the hiring process has changed. Video job interviews are becoming increasingly common. If you have a video interview coming up or are overwhelmed with the thought of them, this blog pulls together the top tips for a successful video interview. 

Remote video interviews

With the current situation, most video interviews will take place outside the employer’s office space. If this is the case for your video interview you’ll need to ensure that you find a quiet location, have a good internet connection and have a computer/laptop with a webcam (a tablet or a smartphone may be an option if not). Some other aspects you might want to consider are: 

Tip! Use headphones with a built-in microphone or headphones and a separate microphone.

Find a quiet, private, and well-lit place where you won’t be interrupted by other people, pets, or noises. Make sure you position your webcam so that you have a neutral background that’s free from distractions. Try and avoid coffee shops and other communal spaces.

If you don’t have these resources, don’t worry you might want to try: 

Exploring the resources available at the public library in your area. Some libraries have private rooms you can reserve and may be able to loan you the equipment you need.

Ask friends if you can borrow the equipment needed.

Rent equipment.

Live VS. pre-recorded video interviews

Video interviews can be both live or pre-recorded. During a live video interview, you’ll most likely be asked to join a video call on platforms such as Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts, or another provider.

Once you’ve joined the call you’ll be able to see and talk to the interviewer as you would in a face-to-face situation. If you do have a live video interview on Skype or Google Hangouts you might want to check that the username on your accounts is professional. 

When it comes to a pre-recorded video interview, the format is different. The employer will give you instructions as to how to join the interview, however, instead of connecting with a person, you’ll be asked to answer questions that have been pre-recorded for you or that appear on the screen itself.

You will have to record your answer to each question and the employer will view it at a later time/date. You often have a time limit to answer your questions in but you may also have the chance to record each answer more than once. This format can feel unnatural to many people, try to imagine that you are having a live conversation with someone. 

What to wear for your video interview

Like any in-person interview, you should dress professionally for a video interview. Make sure you research the company culture before your interview, so you can understand what is appropriate and what isn’t. 

To look your best on camera, try to avoid bright colours and patterns as this can be distracting on screen. It’s also best that you wear professional clothing on your bottom half, you might think it’s unlikely that the interviewer will see but in case you do need to stand up for any reason it’s best to ensure you look professional.

Video interview body language 

It’s important to consider your body language during your video interview. Eye contact is hugely important within an in-person interview and you should try and convey this connection within a video interview as well. You can do this by looking straight into your webcam when answering questions rather than the person on screen, this way your eyes are more likely to align with the interviewer’s eyes. 

During your video interview keep your mood upbeat, one way to archive this is to have good posture. Try to sit in your chair with your back straight and your shoulders open. When listening, make sure you nod and smile when appropriate to communicate that you are giving your full attention. Try to avoid fidgeting and letting your gaze drift from your device.

Practice and tech set up 

Practice is key, get yourself used to the technology, set up, and body language you will be using. Even try and do some practice video calls with friends and family. Ask them to give you feedback and run through it a few times so you feel more comfortable and confident on video calls. 

If you’re worried about your setup here is a checklist for the day:

  • Ensure that you won’t be interrupted, either by locking the door or by alerting others that you can’t be disturbed.
  • Clear the desk space, except for a notepad and pen/pencil for you to take notes.
  • Have a copy of your resume and any other notes ready for you to reference.
  • Set out a glass or bottle of water for yourself.
  • Check that your webcam is working.
  • Check that your audio is working.
  • Close any windows, tabs, or applications on your computer that you’re not using.
  • Check your internet connection and make sure you’re not downloading anything in the background.
  • Set your phone to silent.
  • Check that the background behind you is neutral and free from clutter.
  • Adjust the lights in the room. If things appear dark or dim, you may want to bring in an extra desk lamp to brighten the space.

There is always a chance that things could go wrong, technology can have a mind of its own at times. A good idea is to have a backup plan, before the interview ask the interviewer for a phone number you can contact them on if you do experience any technical difficulties that way you and the interviewer will not be left in the dark and you can quickly organise whether to try again or arrange another suitable time after you've rectified the problems. 

Thinking about a new job next year? Why not get ahead now and browse all our latest jobs here  or register your CV with us here.

You can contact the team at Precision on 0116 254 5411 or email is at 

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9th July

Job Tips