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Top tips to ace your next video interview

May 24, 2020

With the rapid advancement of technology particularly in the field of communication, supported by overseas job requirements, video interviews have been gaining consistent popularity. Now, with the spread of corona-virus and strict social distancing norms in place, the trend of video interviews would grow more than ever before.

Many new-gen job seekers would have faced such interviews and might be aware of the unique requirements of these formal interactions. However, if you don’t have much experience attending video interviews, you might not be aware of the special requirements and would be curious to know about how to do a video interview.

Now, though video interviewing has some specific requirements, yet many requirements are similar to that of regular face-to-face interview.

Knowing them in advance would give you an edge in the competition and offer higher chances of succeeding in the interviews.

(Image courtesy: Forbes)

In this article, we would provide you the top tips on how to prepare for a video interview.

You might already be aware of some of the practices which are quite similar to the in-person interviews. However, the article would re-emphasize these practices as well so that you do not ignore them considering them unimportant.

Besides, these top tips would provide you an opportunity to practice the new skill-sets required to face the interview in a much more confident manner.


Selecting the Proper Location

This is one of the major differences in traditional and new interviewing methods. Selecting your own location for an interview has its advantages; however, in the absence of proper care, it may turn disadvantageous to you.

(Image courtesy: Forbes)

The biggest benefit of selecting your own location is that you can have a more comfortable set-up over which you can have full control. However, if you select an improper location it can really put an adverse impression on the hiring manager and can be a cause of your failure at times.

So, be careful in selecting the proper location for your video interview keeping following important factors in mind.


No Distraction

Be aware that your audio and video channels are on. The interviewer would be able to hear or view any activity that is taking place around you. So, select a distraction-free location.

There should not be any noise in the surroundings whether inside the room or from the outside.

(Image courtesy: Forbes)

You can take some measures to ensure this.

  • Be aware of the period of the interview and ensure all the below activities for at least 15 minutes over and above the fixed duration of the interview.
  • If you are planning for an interview in your home, inform everyone in your family about it, and ensure that no one disturbs you during the entire interview.
  • Keep the door of the room closed.
  • Do not allow pets to enter the room.
  • Place a ‘Do Not Disturb’ board on your main gate.
  • Switch your phones or put them in silent mode.
  • Put all app notifications on sleep to avoid them displaying on your screen.
  • Switch off programs on your PC that might interfere with the audio/ video software and the hardware that you are using for the interview.
  • Close windows so that the noise from outside does not cause any distraction.


Keep it Tidy

It is not only your activities that are on the screen but also the entire vicinity within the focus of the camera is also visible to the interviewer. To ensure the tidiness of your surroundings:

  • Arrange your room properly before the interview.
  • Ensure that the background is not shabby. You can actually use this opportunity to hang some photographs of the successful people or put some quote-sheets if there is a wall behind you.
  • Ensure that there is no clutter around you.
  • Keep your desktop free of any non-essential articles. This would not only create a bad impression on the interviewer but also distract your attention during the interaction.


(Image courtesy: TheGuardian)


Keep it Illuminated

The best way of illumination is to arrange the set-up such that natural light illuminates your face. If that is not possible, put up a bright light that is soothing to you but not awkwardly glaring your face.


Have the Reliable Technology

Technology is yet another aspect that makes video interviewing a unique experience. While dealing with devices you need to prepare very well.


Know Your Requirements

Understand the hardware and software requirements fully well and try to get the most reliable devices and connections. You may require the following essentials while preparing for such interviews:

  • PC, Laptop or TAB
    • Arrange for UPS in case of PC
  • Webcam
    • Prefer an external webcam for its clarity and flexibility in setting the angle.
  • Network connection
    • Remember that a wired system is more reliable than the wireless connection
  • Microphone
    •  Prefer a headphone to avoid any outside noise interference.
  • Video platform apps like Skype etc.


(Image courtesy: TheGuardian)


Test the Systems

Do not wait until the last moment. Check all your devices and connections.

  • Run them at least one day in advance and practice with a family member or a friend.
  • Recheck at least half an hour before the interview.
  • Login at least 10 minutes before the scheduled time.
  • Remember your Username and password.
  • Keep a spare PC or a Laptop.
  • Check the network speed and keep a spare network connection handy.
  • Sit near to the High-Density Wi-Fi spot.
  • Keep your laptop fully charged.
  • Place your tablet over a stable surface.
  • Try to avoid Smartphone for such formal interviews.
  • Keep other cellular devices away to avoid interference.
  • Set the camera facing under your forehead with a downward angle.


Preparation & Practice

While the right preparation keeps you relaxed, practice, as they say, makes you perfect. This aspect is almost similar to the in-person interview. And that is precisely what you need to understand well and should not try to make any amends in your approach towards the interview. Following are the important points to re-emphasize the importance of these aspects:

Know the Company well

  • Do thorough research about the company, including its history, vision, mission, objectives, products, and services, etc.
  • Study the position & the job-profile and company’s expectation from you as a potential employee.
  • Be clear about how you can contribute to the growth of the company.
  • You can keep these notes of these inputs with you during the interview. It would give you a psychological advantage of having the information with you.


Anticipate and Prepare 

  • Prepare some very commonly asked questions. These questions may include general information about yourself, the reason for leaving the current job, and your showing interest in their company. You should also be prepared to respond to the questions related to your expected salary and the justification for that, if required.
  • Review your CV. Anticipate the questions relevant to the company. This may include your past accomplishments and how your past experience can help you perform well in the new company.


Practice… And Practice well

Yes, attending an interview itself makes people a bit conscious.  On top of that, if they have to attend it through an entirely new method involving advanced technology it can make them more nervous.

To prevent this, you must practice before the camera many times before the actual interview. You can take the help of a family member or a friend and organize a mock interview. Based on your personal experience and their feedback you can work on the areas of improvement.

This will not only give you more confidence in your subject matter but also acquaint you with the technological aspects of the video interview.

Remember to attend this mock interview exactly in the same formal environment and dress up as you would have during your actual interview.


Facing the Interview

All preparations, planning, and practices that you have done above are for this most important occasion. Yes, the interview.

The video interview per se is no different than the in-person interview. The objective of both of them is the same. That is why you must attend the video interview with the same sincerity as the face-to-face interview. The following are some of the important points you must keep in mind while facing video interview:


Dress-up Professionally

This is one of the most important factors that many candidates tend to ignore. They attend the interview session while in their informal clothing.

Never commit this mistake. Do not also consider wearing the upper half in professional style while wearing casuals on the lower half. An accidental mishap in your camera angle can spoil all your preparations in a flash.

The interviewers consider this to be a casual approach and may not consider you for a professional job.

So, always dress up professionally. You should wear formal clothes as you would wear during an in-person interview. This does mean to include even the tie and a pair of shoes during the interview.

In this dress up, you not only leave an impression of a professional, but also feel confident while facing the interview.

Also, select the color of your dress as per the illumination and visibility on the camera. For sure, avoid bright & sharp colors but at the same time do not wear a white dress as well. Try different combinations during the mock sessions and finalize your clothing.

As you would have enough information about the company through the research, you can select the dress that suits the company’s culture.


Face the Camera

Sit straight; keep your feet flat on the ground and hands on the desk while looking directly at the camera. This way you would be making eye contact with the interviewer. This gives the impression of a confident and professional individual.

Looking at the screen instead would show you looking down avoiding eye contact. This sends a signal of a nervous, submissive, and dishonest person.


Avoid Fidgeting

Your body language is as important as your eye contact in presenting you as a sincere and professional individual.

Do not make restless movements and awkward hand gestures. This not only gives the impression of a nervous individual but also causes unnecessary distractions during the conversation.

(Image Courtesy: TheGuardian)


Speak in the Right Volume 

Do not speak too loud to sound harsh and ill-mannered. At the same time don’t speak so softly that you are not audible to the interviewer.

Also, be observant about the delay in receiving the communication due to the network connection. Wait for a while after the interviewer has finished the communication and then respond.


Be a Good Listener

Listen attentively to the interview. Respond appropriately by nodding your head, by smiling or by using words of acknowledgment while making eye contact with the speaker.

Do not interrupt the interviewer. However, ask relevant questions to show your attentiveness and interest. Do not hesitate to politely clarify your doubts.

Always look interested in the company and the job position in a dignified manner. Remain positive and joyful with energy and enthusiasm while giving a personal touch to your overall sincere and professional approach.


Keep Calm during a Technical Glitch

You cannot be 100% sure of the technology. Despite your best of planning and preparations, something may go wrong with a device or the connectivity.

Do not lose your composer. Deal with the problem professionally. If required, humbly seek permission to disconnect the call. You can then connect back after resolving the problem.

This will show your ability to deal with adverse situations confidently in a cool and calm manner. You can, thus, convert an adverse situation into an opportunity.


Post Interview Communication

Similar to the traditional interview, thank the interviewer for giving you the opportunity and wait for the interviewer to disconnect the call.

Do follow-up with the interviewer by e-mailing a formal thank-you note within the next 24 hours. Show your interest in the position without posing being restless.


Final Words

So, you must have realized that a video interview is not too different than an in-person interview. However, there are still certain unique requirements for which you need to arrange, prepare, and practice in advance.

We hope that with this article you would have learned how to prepare for video interviews.  We further hope that once you get used to practicing video interviews, you would be able to face your next video interview with confidence and succeed in the interview in flying colors.