Video interview guide

Top tips for a successful video interview

In the current climate, some of you may be facing a scenario where you are being asked to conduct interviews via video instead of face to face. For many of us, this is something we rarely do, so we thought we would walk you through the types of video interviews, what you should wear, and helpful tips on body language and eye contact.

What you will need:

  • An internet connection with bandwidth speed of at least 1 megabits per second.
  • A laptop or desktop computer with a webcam. In some cases, a tablet or smartphone may also be an option.
  • Headphones with a built-in microphone or headphones and a separate microphone.
  • A quiet, private and well-lit place where you won’t be interrupted by other people, pets or noises. Position your webcam so that you have a neutral background that’s free from distractions. Avoid communal spaces.

Live vs. pre-recorded video interviews

Some interviews will be live. Once connected, you’ll be able to see and speak with an interviewer on the other end.

Make sure your user name is professional if you’re using a personal Skype or Google account.

Some clients use dedicated interview platform software and in this format, the employer will give you instructions on how to join the interview. You will be prompted to answer questions and the recording will then be sent to the employer at the end of the question series.

Extra Hints and Tips

Make sure that you’ve closed other apps or windows on your computer that could interrupt the conversation or slow the internet connection. Set your phone to silent before you begin the conference.

What to wear for a video interview

You should dress as professionally as you would for a face to face interview.

Bright colours, especially reds, yellow, orange, and pink don't look good on video.  If you wear glasses, adjust the lighting in the room to reduce glare from the lenses.

Position of the camera and body language

Position the camera so that you are looking up slightly and central on the screen. Eye contact is very important during an in-person interview, and you want to convey that same level of connection during a video interview. When you’re listening, you can look back at the screen.

Throughout the interview, keep your mood upbeat and convey optimism with your body language.

In many ways your body language should mimic a face to face interview: When you’re listening, nod and smile when appropriate to communicate that you’re giving them your full attention.

Practice and tech set up

Practice will help you get used to the technology and the body language of a video interview.

On the day checklist

Ensure that you won’t be interrupted.

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 go wrong

Here are some backup plans to have ready just in case.

Troubleshooting

If your video or audio stops working
Before the interview, ask the interviewer for a phone number where you can reach them if you experience technical difficulties.

If noises interrupt your video interview, apologise for the interruption and ask for a few moments until the noise has subsided.

If someone enters the room unexpectedly apologise to the interviewer, ask for a few moments, mute your microphone and turn off your camera, and then step away to deal with the interruption.

As with any job interview, you should conclude by thanking the interviewer for their time.