How to Prepare for a Video Interview 

26th June 2020
How to Prepare for a Video Interview 

You’ve got a video interview coming up – congratulations! So, the next thing you need to consider is how do you prepare for a video interview?  

You should treat a video interview as you would a face to face interview. Here are our top tips on how you can get virtual interview ready:  

1. Look and sound your best

Lights, camera, action – this famous phrase isn’t just a cliché, it represents the importance of what goes into making great visuals. Just like film and television, you are tasked with delivering a message; in your case, the message is centred around why you’re perfect for this job. Don’t let poor video quality, sound and lighting get in the way of that.  

Prior to the interview, you should test out the equipment you’ll be using to ensure all runs smoothly. This is important to avoid any technical glitches.  

Here are some things you should test beforehand: 

  • Software – Make sure the device you’re using for your interview is equipped with whatever software is required for your interview. Ensure that you download and test the application before the meeting. Double-check that your internet connection is strong enough to record or stream video.  
  • Audio – “What did you say?” “Can you repeat that please? I can’t hear you!” – these are all phrases you don’t want to hear during your video interview. To avoid this, you must ensure that: you are recording in a quiet locationyour microphone works, the sound quality is clear, and your notifications are muted. Remember maintaining high-quality communication is the key to projecting yourself in interviews! 
  • Lighting – This is the first time the employer is meeting you, so you need to make an impression! Making sure you are visible is a great startSufficient lighting allows you to be seen clearly whilst removing any dark casts and shadowsA quick and easy way to ensure you have good lighting is to put a light source in front of the location you’ll be recording from. If you’re interviewing/recording during the day try facing a windowIf you don’t have access to a window or you’re recording in the evening position another light source a few feet in front of you at eye level. Top tip: Avoid using light from above, beneath, or behind the camera. 
  • Location  Don’t conduct your interview in an unprofessional environment. Finding a suitable location where you’ll be uninterrupted is crucial. You should also ensure that the background behind you isn’t busy, dirty or untidy. Remember you’re meant to be the focus so an unpleasant or hectic background can be distracting! Try to do your interview in front of a plain wall, artwork, bookcases, or plants. This will showcase a professional persona. 
  • Wardrobe – Aim for a professional appearance; this can range from smart casual to extremely suaveStick to safe colours such as blue and grey and other solid coloursand neutral tones as these are the most camera-friendly options. It’s important to note that white or bright clothing can clash with complexions and/or backgrounds on cameraAdditionally, patterns such as stripes can create distracting visual issues for some cameras. 

2. Arrive early and be presentable  

Whether it’s face to face or a virtual interview – these are words live by. Interviews are essential to demonstrate your value to employers, so why not put your best foot forward?  

Don’t be late ever. However, if it’s unavoidable due to something out of your control make the employer know in advance and be sincerely apologetic. In addition to making sure that you look the part, make sure that you make eye contact and display positive body language.  

3. All eyes on me

Video or face to face – this is your time to shine! So, remember to show the interviewer who you are and what you can bring to the table. Aim to listen carefully, maintain eye contact and try to form a connection with your interviewer. 

Here’s how you can prepare for a virtual conversation: 

  • Position your camera – Combat the low camera angle embedded in your laptop by setting your camera at eye level to provide the illusion of eye to eye contact. This can be done by putting your device on top of a pile of books, a box, a stand or any other elevated object. Keep your camera an arm’s length away from yourself to portray the average distance you’d be from your interviewer in a face to face interview. 
  • Eye contact – Body language is a vital non-verbal communication tool that you should always utilise. To convey impactful body language virtually you should make eye contact with the camera by looking directly into the lens. This may feel weird at first, but it creates a more human touch when being viewed by the recruiter than looking down or at your own face. 
  • Don’t fidget – Too much movement can be distracting and cause the other elements of your interview to suffer. Be mindful to stay still whilst seated, listen carefully, think before you speak, and look into the lens as if you were looking into someone’s eyes. 

To summarise here are 6 things you should do to have a great video interview: 

  1. Record in a quiet space with an interesting but non-distracting background. 
  1. Make sure you have good sound quality by testing your mic. 
  1. Make sure you’re well-lit by facing a window or light source. 
  1. Position your camera at eye level and at an arm’s length away from you. 
  1. Be presentable (avoid patterns, whites, and bright colours.) 
  1. Maintain eye contact, good body language and posture.