3 Essential Tips for Video Interview Success

By: Ben White


The future of interviewing is here. Here's how to set yourself up for success.

If you have yet to do a video interview, get ready, because the odds are your next interview could be one. In a poll of HR Managers done by Recruiter.com, 63% said that their company often uses video interviews. What is perhaps more impactful is that the number is up 14% from when they ran the same poll 5 years ago. If we were to jump ahead another 5 years, it’s probably safe to assume that you would see another significant another jump.

So, if we can assume that video interviews are on the rise, the question you need to ask yourself is are you prepared to nail your next video interview? Even for seasoned professionals it might be hard to answer that question with a confident yes. But don’t worry, the rest of this post is designed to help you win your next video interview and get to the next step!

1. Make sure you test the video before your interview!

When you are asked to do a video interview, the first thing you should do it make sure everything is going to work as it should. The last thing you want is to log onto the program your potential future employer is using and run into technical difficulties.

Most companies will be using a service like Montage or Skype. Either way, you should be able to log onto their website beforehand and eliminate the possibility of a last minute technical error. By getting familiar with their video interview platform of choice, you are eliminating a last second blunder that can totally derail an interview.

2. Dress the part

The biggest difference between a phone screen and a video interview is you can be seen. While that can seem obvious, one of the biggest mistakes candidates make is that they don’t dress the part. Because they can see you, my recommendation for professional level roles is a minimum of a shirt and a tie. While it may be early in the process, you want to convey the message that you took the interview seriously.

Additionally, all the visual tips that apply to an in-person interview apply here as well. You want to make sure you smile, aren’t fidgeting and try your best to appear comfortable. While this experience can be new and a little unnerving for some, knowing that you are dressed appropriately can go a long way when it comes to making you feel prepared.

3. Prepare the area

Another big visual key to success is to make sure the background is appropriate for an interview. I would recommend avoiding windows and taking down your Metallica poster. They “shred super hard” isn’t justification enough to leave their poster up in the background while interviewing for a professional role. The advice I give to candidates is to try to set it up so the backdrop for the interview is a blank wall.

If you have a framed copy of your diploma or perhaps a certification and you would like that to be visible, that is fine. The main rule of thumb is that you just don’t want anything hanging that could be inappropriate or a distraction. The main focus should at all times be on you and what you could bring to the table if hired.

Well there you have it, those are our 3 essential tips for video interview success. If you are able to do these three things, you have positioned yourself for success. The last tip I would give is just to relax and not let your nerves get the best of you. For many people interviewing is stressful enough, but you add in an additional stressful element and it can be enough to throw you off your game.

My advice is relax. The interviewer knows this might be new and a bit stressful for candidates. Speak slowly, confidently, smile and you will be just fine. Thanks for reading. Please feel free to share this with your social media or share any additional tips you may have below. Lastly, remember, there is never a bad time to hear about a great opportunity!


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