BlogJob Interviews13 Pro Video Interview Tips and Tricks That Will Get You the Job

13 Pro Video Interview Tips and Tricks That Will Get You the Job

video interview

In the digital age of convenience and efficiency, video interviews are becoming increasingly popular. Job seekers, recruiters, and employers all look for ways to streamline hiring processes, speed them up, and make them more efficient. As a result, they are embracing modern technologies to improve traditional methods.

Video interviews are similar to conventional ones in many ways. Concepts such as preparing for an interview, ensuring you’re properly dressed, and answering questions with confidence still apply. However, there are several differences that you need to be aware of. Let’s find out what they are and how you can master your video interview!

Key Takeaways

  • Pre-recorded video interviews are asynchronous, as candidates answer pre-made questions while their responses are documented for hiring managers to review later on.

  • Live video interviews are akin to real meetings, where there’s direct communication between the interviewer and the job hunter.

  • One of the best ways to excel in live video interviews is to treat them as in-person meetings.

  • Before jumping into a call, prepare the answers and the environment, pick a suitable outfit, and test your setup.

  • Enter the call on time, maintain your posture and eye contact by looking at the camera when speaking, use facial expressions, and emphasize when you’re done speaking.

  • Try to get the hiring manager’s phone number at the start of the interview so that you can call them should any technical issues interrupt the meeting.

Pre-Recorded vs. Live Video Interview

Pre-recorded and live video interviews share several similarities. They are both methods of remote interviewing, but the exact means of conducting them—and sometimes even their goals—are different.

Pre-recorded video interviews are also called asynchronous since the candidates aren’t directly communicating with hiring managers. Instead, they are presented with a series of questions prepared in advance.

These can be your typical situational interview questions, but they can also be tricky or unique ones. Candidates answer these video interview questions, and their responses are recorded for hiring managers or potential employers to review at a later time.

One of the main benefits of this approach is flexibility, as candidates can do the interview when it suits them. They often get to redo the answer a couple of times until they are satisfied with the result. Pre-recorded video interviews are typically conducted by large companies and are often used when there’s a need to assess many candidates in the earlier stages of the hiring process.

Live video interviews happen in real time, much like in-person interviews. They are as close to a traditional meeting as it gets, featuring direct interaction with hiring managers. The communication between job seekers and hiring managers is instantaneous, and there’s a dynamic exchange of information where any concerns are clarified immediately.

5 Tips on How to Prepare for a (Live) Video Interview

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Let’s check out live video interview tips that’ll help you get prepared for the event. Keep in mind that the majority of these tips apply to pre-recorded interviews as well.

#1. Treat It as a Live Interview

One of the best rules for video interviews is to treat them with the same gravity and preparedness as live interviews. This means you should do all the preliminary work that you’d do for a regular interview and behave in front of the camera the same way you’d do in an in-person meeting.

Simply put, you want to dress the part, be confident, have most of the answers ready, and overall be ready for engaging communication with the other party because the similarities between live and video interviews are much more prominent than their differences.

#2. Prepare Answers

Having answers to the common interview questions prepared in advance is as important for a video interview as it is for a regular one. It can help you sound confident and natural when conversing with hiring managers, conveying all the important information in a clear and concise manner.

Another benefit of having answers prepared is that you’re much less likely to get caught off-guard by tricky interview questions. One of the best ways to achieve that is to research the company to have specific answers prepared in addition to the most common ones.

You can take notes and have them nearby during the interview, just make sure not to look at them and disrupt eye contact.

#3. Test Your Setup

You should thoroughly test your setup before the interview starts. You want to ensure that every piece of equipment works optimally to minimize the chances of potential mishaps and disruptions.

This includes verifying that you have a strong and stable internet connection, that your webcam and microphone are working, and that you’re receiving audio. It’s also important to keep your system and relevant applications updated so that everything is spot-on software-wise. Lastly, you should close any unneeded browser tabs or applications that might interrupt the call.

The best way to test all of this is to jump on a practice video call with a friend or a family member.

#4. Prepare the Environment

You should prepare the environment in which you’ll be having a video call to optimize the visual and auditory experience for hiring managers.

Here are some tips to help you achieve that:

Tips to Prepare Your Environment

  • Choose a well-lit room so that the hiring managers will be able to see you clearly.

  • Ensure that the background for your video interview is clean and easy on the eyes, without too many objects or visual noise. This includes cleaning the part of the room that’s in the camera’s field of view and removing any personal and potentially unprofessional items.

  • Soundproof your room as much as possible by closing all the doors and windows.

  • Inform your friends, family, or roommates that you’re having a video interview so that they know not to come into your room.

  • Put your phone on silent for the duration of the call.

  • Have a copy of your resume ready for reference.

#5. Pick a Professional Outfit

A dress code for a video interview is the same as a dress code for a standard professional meeting. What you’d wear to an interview remains the same, regardless of its remote nature. Your video interview outfit needs to convey seriousness and professionalism, befitting the position you’re applying for.

You should avoid brightly colored clothes or excessive prints and patterns. Instead, go for softer, more neutral colors. Furthermore, even though you will only show the upper half of your body on camera, you still want to wear formal pants or a skirt to the meeting. That will help you get into the role better, and you never know if you will need to stand up at some point.

5 Tips on What to Do During a Video Interview

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Now that you know how to prepare for a video interview, let’s give you some tips on what to do during it.

#1. Enter the Call on Time

It should go without saying that you need to be punctual and enter the call on time. Being late for a video interview (which is typically easy to do since there’s no commute like with traditional interviews) demonstrates a lack of commitment and respect for the interviewer, as well as poor time management skills.

The best thing to do is to be ready a bit ahead of time. That way, you can show punctuality and diligence while having a few extra minutes to make any last-minute adjustments, if necessary.

#2. Follow the Video Interview Etiquette

Proper video interview etiquette involves maintaining eye contact with the interviewer. While that’s challenging to do when you’re watching each other on a screen, there’s a trick to it: look at the webcam while speaking. That way, your gaze can align with the interviewers'. You can look back at the screen when they are speaking.

It’s also important to practice active listening during a video interview. Show that you’re fully concentrated on the hiring manager by responding to their communication appropriately, whether through gestures or follow-up questions.

#3. Use Facial Expressions

Facial expressions are another aspect of video interviews to be mindful of. You can convey everything from focus and enthusiasm to empathy. This is all the more important during a video interview compared to a live meeting since it can be difficult for hiring managers to see your temperament, energy, and excitement through the screen.

That’s why you don’t want to stare blankly at the webcam. In addition to utilizing your verbal communication skills, you should smile and nod when it’s appropriate and use other subtle expressions to convey that you’re involved in the conversation and that you understand what the other party is saying. 

#4. Maintain Your Posture

Body language is essential during a job interview since your posture can communicate as much as what you say. For starters, you want to sit upright in front of the camera while slightly leaning forward to highlight your attentiveness.

To maintain a professional image, avoid slouching, moving, or fiddling too much. Instead, be calm, collected, and deliberate in your actions.

#5. Emphasize Your Answer is Complete

During video interviews, sometimes it can be unclear whether you’ve finished talking or if you still have something to say. This happens due to the nature of these calls, as it’s much harder to spot physical cues. Some technical problems, such as video glitching or audio delay, can further accentuate this issue.

That’s why you want to emphasize that your answer is complete and that it’s the other participant’s turn. You can achieve this by making various nods, gestures, and expressions that highlight that you’re ready for the next question and listening.

You can also finish your answers with phrases like “That’s how I handled that situation” or “I hope that clarifies the situation.” 

3 Pro Tips on How to Deal With Video Interview Challenges

what to include in a cv

Let’s see some examples of video interview challenges and show you how you can deal with them like a professional:

#1. Technical Issues

Some of the biggest concerns with video interviews are all the technical issues that can arise since there’s a lot of hardware and software involved. Connectivity problems, video glitches, and choppy audio are just some of the examples.

One of the best ways to alleviate this concern is to ask for the interviewer’s phone number at the start of the call. That way, you can call them should any technical issues interrupt the video meeting.

You can also have a secondary device with a webcam for many platforms, including Zoom and Microsoft Teams. This includes a spare laptop, a tablet, or even a smartphone, in case one fails.

#2. Someone Comes Into the Room Unexpectedly

Even when you let everyone know that you’re having a video interview, someone might still accidentally come into your room during the meeting. It can be a roommate, a family member, or even a pet that might make noise or otherwise disrupt the call.

In that case, you want to apologize to the interviewer for the inconvenience, mute your microphone, turn the camera off, step away from your webcam, and quickly resolve the issue. You should also ensure that they don’t interrupt you again by the end of your interview.

#3. Accidental Noise Interrupts the Conversation

No matter how prepared you are for the video interview and how well you’ve secured the environment, you can always be surprised by uncontrollable noises, such as outdoor construction, sirens, neighbors, and more.

If that happens, you should acknowledge the situation, apologize for the inconvenience, and wait for the noise to stop. If the sounds become too loud to the point they are uncomfortable, you should mute the microphone until they subside.

Final Thoughts

As modern technology transforms the professional landscape, video interviews will become increasingly prevalent. Mastering them—in addition to writing outstanding resumes and cover letters—is one of the best ways to increase your chances of getting the job of your dreams.

In this article, we’ve given you all the guidelines and tips on how to make an outstanding impression on the interviewers during the video call. More than that, we’ve given you expert advice on how to handle the most common challenges that come up when communicating through the screen.

Remember to treat video interviews like in-person meetings, and you’ll be one step closer to the role you’re after. Best of luck with those Zoom calls!

Kervin Peterson
Kervin Peterson
Career Coach
Whether you need help preparing for an interview, optimizing your LinkedIn profile, or creating a resume, you can rest assured that our dear Kervin Peterson can help! Kervin is a man who can turn obstacles into experience with his eyes closed, always striving to bring the most to the table. Other than being a career coach, he’s a new dad and loves nothing more than hitting the gym and spending time with his family!

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