20+ Video Interview Tips for Candidates: Full Guide to Land Your Dream Job w/Checklist

Smiling candidate sitting in front of computer reading video interview tips to land dream job

With the rise of remote work and digital transformation, video interviews have become a standard in hiring. As a candidate in an often unpredictable market, you will need to adapt to this format.

Although similar to traditional interviews, video interviews present unique challenges and opportunities that you can leverage to land top jobs. Mastering video interview best practices can drastically improve your chances of making a positive impression.

In this article, we provide actionable video interview tips for candidates you can use to navigate the nuances of digital interviewing. Let’s dive in!

Table of contents

Video Interview Tips for Candidates

Key Takeaways

  • Research Thoroughly: Investigate the company’s background, mission, and values. Use LinkedIn, the company website, and reviews on Trustpilot or Glassdoor to understand its culture and goals. This preparation will help you answer questions effectively and demonstrate genuine interest.
  • Prepare Your Technology: Ensure a reliable internet connection and conduct a mic and camera test. Recording a mock interview can help assess audio and video quality. Place the camera at eye level for natural interaction. Properly setting up your technology is crucial for a successful video interview.
  • Optimize Your Environment: Choose a quiet, well-lit space for the interview. Avoid backlighting that can obscure your face, and maintain a professional, distraction-free background. A well-prepared environment is essential for a positive impression.
  • Engage Professionally: Start with a friendly greeting, maintain eye contact by looking into the camera, and use non-verbal cues like nodding to acknowledge the interviewer. Good video interview etiquette is crucial.

How to prepare for a video interview? 5 tips for before a video interview

When preparing for a video job interview, it’s crucial to take steps that build your confidence and ensure you are technically ready. Thorough video interview preparation includes practicing your answers and managing the technical aspects. Here are five essential video interview tips for candidates to remember whether you’re new to video interviews or looking for ways to improve:

1. Technical check

Before the day of your video interview, test your equipment. Ensure your microphone, camera, and internet connection are working optimally. Consider making a test call to a friend or conducting a mock interview to ensure everything is functioning well. These video interview techniques will help you avoid technical difficulties during the actual interview.

2. Environment set-up

Choose a quiet, well-lit space for your interview. The background should be neat and professional. Good lighting is essential—make sure it’s in front of you, illuminating your face clearly without casting harsh shadows. Proper setup is part of mastering video interview etiquette. You also want to ensure your environment is free of distractions during the interview.

3. Dress appropriately

Just like an in-person interview, your virtual interview attire should match the company’s culture. Dressing up can also help you get into a professional mindset. This is one of the key tips for a video interview, as it shows you take the opportunity seriously.

4. Practice for a one-way interview

If you’re preparing for a one-way video interview, use your computer or phone to record practice videos. Some video interviewing platforms like Spark Hire allow you to record practice videos before you start your interview. Practice with common video interview questions to get comfortable with your responses and the technology. Understanding how to do a video interview successfully involves getting familiar with the format and expectations.

5. Warm-up before the interview

Dedicate at least 15 minutes before starting your one-way video interview to practice and get into the right headspace. For live video interviews, a practice session with a friend via Zoom or FaceTime can simulate the experience and help you field real-time questions. Knowing how to nail a video interview often comes down to thorough preparation and mental readiness.

How to practice for your video interview?

When preparing for a video interview, you should focus on both technical setup and personal presentation. Here are a few video interview best practices to cover all of the bases:

Technical preparedness:

  • Test equipment: Ensure the webcam, microphone, and speakers are functioning properly.
  • Check connections: Verify that the internet connection is stable and supports live video streaming.
  • Familiarize with software: Conduct a trial run with the video interviewing platform to navigate features seamlessly.

Personal presentation:

  • Dress rehearsal: Wear professional virtual interview attire as if attending an in-person interview.
  • Practice questions: Record yourself answering typical interview questions to review responses and body language.
  • Set the scene: Choose a well-lit, quiet environment with a clean, neutral background. These video interview best practices will help you create a positive first impression.

Body language and engagement:

  • Eye contact: Practice looking at the webcam, not the screen, to simulate direct eye contact.
  • Posture: Maintain an upright position, sitting squarely in front of the screen to convey attentiveness.
  • Facial expressions: Consciously relax the face and smile naturally to display enthusiasm.

Timing and conciseness:

  • Use a timer to keep answers succinct, respecting the interviewer’s time.

Following these video interview tips will help you confidently approach your interviews, ensuring you present yourself effectively.

Video interviewing tips for during a video interview

Acing your video interview begins with understanding that certain video interviewing tips and etiquette are crucial for success. Here are some tips for a video interview that can make a big impression on interviewers:

During both one-way and live video interviews:

  • Speak slowly and clearly: Ensure your points are well understood.
  • Maintain eye Ccontact: Look at your camera to simulate the directness of face-to-face engagement.
  • Stay calm: Interruptions can occur, so remain calm and carry on. Recruiters understand that technical and/or “life” hiccups are part of video interviews.

Reflecting on best practices from face-to-face interviews:

  • Stay professional: Bad-talking a previous employer is unprofessional, just as in any interview setting.
  • Manage answers: Preface with the number of points you plan to make to help manage long-winded answers. For example, articulating, “I have two main points,” can structure your responses.

For one-way video interviews, pay attention to specific settings:

  • Answer length: Be aware of how long your answers can be and stick to the point.
  • Think time: Recognize the allotted time to consider your answers before you begin recording.
  • Takes: Note how many attempts you get for each question. Practice makes perfect, but ensure you’re well-prepared to make the most of each attempt.

Monitor these parameters closely, as they can vary between questions. Your adaptability and attention to detail are crucial to potential employers, presenting a confident and capable image.

What to do after your interview? 5 post-interview video tips

1. Prompt follow-up

After completing a video interview, you should:

  • Send a follow-up message within 24 hours
  • Demonstrate promptness and professionalism
  • Adhere to good video interview etiquette

This approach ensures clear communication and reflects well on your professionalism.

2. Express appreciation

You should always express gratitude for the opportunity. If the interview was live, specifically thank the interviewer for the time invested. An appreciative message reflects good etiquette and positive character traits, which are crucial in video interview techniques.

3. Reiterate interest

It’s crucial that you clearly demonstrate your enthusiasm for the role. The essential tips for video interviews are conveying a genuine interest and eagerness to be a part of the organization and reinforcing your commitment to contributing meaningfully if selected. Your energy can be more challenging to communicate when not face to face, so using positive body language, eye contact, and speaking with confidence in your video interview speaks volumes.

4. Highlight compatibility

In your follow-up, mention specific instances or topics discussed during the interview that highlight your suitability for the job. This could include:

  • Referencing particular skills or experiences that match the company’s needs.
  • Highlighting areas of compatibility.

These practices are among the best for video interviews.

5. Inquire about next steps

Inquire about the expected timeline for the hiring process if it hasn’t been discussed. This information aids in planning and shows ongoing interest in the position.

Key steps for effective video interviewing include:

  • Asking about the hiring timeline
  • Understanding post-interview actions

Following these steps demonstrates professionalism and reinforces qualifications and eagerness for the role, potentially providing an edge in the competitive job market.

Final thoughts on video interview tips

Mastering the art of video interviews is essential in today’s digital age. You can present yourself effectively and confidently by following these comprehensive video interview tips for candidates. Preparation is key, whether it’s understanding how to do a video interview, mastering video interview techniques, or adhering to proper video interview etiquette.

Nonverbal cues, like maintaining eye contact with the camera and adopting a confident posture, significantly influence interviewers’ perceptions. These elements are crucial for acing a video interview.

Remember, each interview is an opportunity to showcase your skills and fit for the role. Video interviews offer a unique opportunity to stand out from the competition for top jobs early in the screening process. With preparation and practice, you can navigate the unique challenges of digital interviewing and make a lasting impression.

FAQs

What’s the best way to practice before a video interview?

The best way to practice before a video interview is to ensure your computer, webcam, and internet connection function properly. Familiarize yourself with the video software to be used, and follow these tips for video interviews to boost your confidence and performance:

  1. Environment: Choose a quiet, well-lit space where interruptions are unlikely. The background should be professional and tidy.
  2. Mock interviews: Conducting a mock interview with a friend can help you rehearse responses to common questions and receive constructive feedback on your delivery. This is one of the key video interview techniques that can enhance your preparedness.
  3. Practice in front of a mirror: Practicing in front of a mirror or recording yourself can help you become aware of your body language and remind you to look at the camera, simulating eye contact.

Should you take notes during a video interview?

Taking notes during a video interview can be beneficial, but it must be done correctly to maintain professionalism. Notes should not detract from the interview, and it’s best to inform the interviewer so they know why your attention appears to be divided. 

  1. Brief notes: Use brief notes as prompts rather than reading extensively from them, which could disrupt the flow of the conversation. This aligns with good video interview etiquette.
  2. Inform the interviewer: Inform the interviewer if you plan to take notes so you won’t be mistakenly perceived as distracted.
  3. Maintain eye contact: Maintaining eye contact with the camera as much as possible is essential, which is critical to a successful video interview.

Should you ask your recruiter questions in your pre-recorded video interview?

While the recruiter will be watching your pre-recorded video interview, there’s no explicit way for them to respond to questions you ask in your recordings. It’s best to make a direct connection with the interviewer through email following your video interview if you have additional questions. Here are some tips for a video interview in this format:

  1. Avoid questions in responses: We do not suggest asking questions in your video responses. It detracts from the substance of your answers and is difficult for the recruiter to respond to in this format.
  2. Reach out directly: Whether it’s a question you have during the pre-recorded video interview or one you have when you’re done, we suggest reaching out to the recruiter directly via email or the primary channel you’ve been communicating through. This is an essential video interview tip for candidates to remember.

How early should you show up for your video interview?

Preparing for a video interview requires understanding the type of interview you are about to undertake. It’s important to pay attention to the timelines, deadlines, and guidelines provided by the employer when they send the invitation to interview. Here are some guidelines on how to nail a video interview in any format:

One-way Video Interviews

These are not conducted live but are recorded by the candidate at a convenient time before a specified deadline:

  1. Don’t procrastinate: Leverage the opportunity to prepare for the video interview well ahead of time by testing equipment, practicing answers to common questions, refining responses, and ensuring you present your best self.
  2. Avoid last-minute stress: Waiting until the last minute adds unnecessary stress and can lead to technical or performance issues. Plan to record and submit one-way video interviews with plenty of time ahead of the deadline.

Live Video Interviews

These function much like traditional face-to-face interviews, except they are conducted over video call platforms:

  1. Arrive early: Aim to be ready at least 15 minutes before the scheduled time. This window allows time to check and troubleshoot any potential device issues, ensure a stable internet connection, review notes, and prepare questions for the interviewer.
  2. Punctuality: Even in a virtual setting, ensuring punctuality demonstrates professionalism and respect for the interviewer’s time. It also enables you to mentally prepare and confidently enter the interview, which is a vital aspect of video interview best practices.

How do you introduce yourself in a pre-recorded video interview?

When you are prompted to introduce yourself in a pre-recorded video interview, you must present the information clearly and effectively. Here are some tips on how to video interview with a strong introduction:

  1. Professional background: Provide a concise overview of professional credentials. Include pertinent education, work experience, and notable achievements.
  2. Interest in the position: Articulate clear reasons for interest in the role. Explain what draws you to the company and the specific job.
  3. Suitability for the role: Highlight the skills and qualities that make you a good fit for the job. Relate experiences to the role’s requirements.
  4. Personal touch: If relevant, conclude with an interesting fact that adds personality to the application but remains professional.

Remember, the objective is to leave a positive and memorable impression on the hiring team. You can significantly enhance your performance by following these video interview tips, which demonstrate confidence and professionalism while providing a brief yet comprehensive introduction.

Integrating these video interview tips for candidates into your preparation can ensure a more polished and professional presentation. For more insights on how to do a video interview effectively, feel free to explore our other resources and guides for candidates.

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