How to Ace Your Video Interview

Kellie Hanna, CPRW
By Kellie Hanna, CPRW, Career Advice Expert Last Updated: October 05, 2023
How To Ace Your Video Interview

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These simple steps can help you stand out and nail the job during your video interview. Follow them to increase your chances of getting the job.

The video interview is a very important tool in the hiring process for many hiring managers. Some have considerably more applicants for a single job than they need, and a video interview is a fast way to weed through those who are qualified but might not be the right cultural fit for the job. While a video interview is convenient, it also comes with its own set of unique challenges for both the interviewer and the interviewee.

Recruiters are looking for confident, capable, and prepared candidates during a video interview. They want jobseekers who are interested in the position and the company. Interviewers also want to determine how a candidate will react to difficult situations on the job. Preparation is a key part of this step in the hiring process, and we’ve put together a list of tips that will help you ace your interview.

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1. Set the Right Scene

The first step in your video interview preparation is to set the right background and scene. You don’t want anything in view of the camera that distracts from what you are trying to sell — your skills. The benefit of a video interview is that you have control over your surroundings, rather than walking into an office that is unfamiliar and new to you.

Be very careful about what is behind you, as this is what the interviewer will see. Try to avoid having posters, pictures, or knickknacks in the background. Find a quiet space that is free of distraction, and control the lighting. Check beforehand to ensure that your face is lit and that the room’s major light sources aren’t behind you, as this can cause shadows on your face and silhouette.

2. Practice Different Types of Interview Questions

This step can help you in any type of interview. You simply can’t practice enough interview questions. The more trial runs you do, the better you become at answering questions on the fly. During a video interview, you are likely to get traditional questions such as these:

  • What is your educational background?
  • What previous jobs have you worked at similar to this one?
  • Why do you feel you are a good fit for the job?

You will also get several behavioral interview questions that show how you have acted in the past in specific situations. Your answers give an indication to the interviewer about how you are likely to behave in the future. These are some examples:

  • How have you dealt with a co-worker you didn’t get along with in the past?
  • How do you motivate others to be invested in a project?
  • What are successful ways you resolve conflict? Give me an example.

3. Triple-Check Your Equipment

If your webcam cuts out right before the interview, it can have devastating consequences. The day before the interview, make sure all your video, audio and Internet connections are working correctly. Even if your equipment worked a month ago, it should still be checked out before your recent interview. Make sure you have a stable connection, a power source for your device, and audio and video equipment that works. If you are required to download a specific program for the interview, do so several days before so you can practice with it.

4. Make Eye Contact With the Camera

Often, people are confused during a video interview about where they should be making eye contact. Looking at the faces of the interviewers on screen makes it appear that you are looking down. If you look directly at your camera, it appears as if you are making eye contact with the interviewer, which projects confidence and friendliness during the meeting. Always speak to the camera rather than the screen.

5. It’s Your Show

Think of a video interview as a one-man or one-woman show. You’ve got the lighting, the background, and the equipment ready, and now it’s show time. It’s your job to control all these factors, but also to show the interviewers enough about your personality and your skills to get you the job. Think of yourself as a Hollywood star with a little humility. You are willing to do what it takes to get the job, but you are also confident that you are the best candidate. After all, you’ve done the work to prove it.

Be confident and relaxed going into your interview. Take the time to unwind and put a smile on your face. Your body language and facial expressions are vital during a video interview, and recruiters can sense stress when your body is tense. The best way to feel comfortable and confident during a video interview is to practice and prepare beforehand.

With the right amount of research, a fair amount of practice, and all the right equipment, you will be ready to ace your video interview and get the job.

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