How to Achieve a Successful Video Interview

Video interviews are becoming more popular as the world evolves into a remote working era, reducing the amount of face-to-face interaction. Many organisations are looking at flexible home working solutions and some offices may sadly not be welcoming any visitors for some time.

With these changes coming into play, it’s important to make ourselves familiar with the key fundamentals to a successful video interview, from the initial preparation to how you present yourself during the meeting.

Choose a suitable area

One of the first things to take into consideration when setting up your laptop or computer for the video interview is location. It’s important to select a quiet area in your home, free of interruptions and distractions to ensure your interview runs smoothly and professionally. Try and choose a place that will offer limited background noise as this can hinder the sound transferring to your interviewer making it more difficult to hear the conversation.

Your choice of room should ideally have neutral décor, so the main focus remains on you. Be sure to position yourself wisely, ideally facing a window to ensure a bright and clear visual on the receiving end. We would also recommend testing out a few areas to identify which works best for you before setting up your device for the video interview.

Setting up

Once you have identified where you are going to undertake the video interview, spend some time a few days before setting up your device to ensure everything works as it should. This will give you peace of mind as you won’t incur any technical difficulties on the day.

Another aspect to consider is your internet connection. It’s essential that your device is receiving a stable and reliable connection to eliminate the chance of disconnecting or experiencing time lags or ‘buffering’ throughout the interview. You may even want to use your mobile data if you know your Wi-Fi isn’t completely dependable and the ‘interviewer’ has given you some software to download or a link so you can become familiar with how it works and have your login details at hand.

Next, it’s time to consider your hardware and ensuring the device is fully charged and you have set up your webcam successfully. We highly recommend testing your webcam with someone you know prior to your interview and adjust if needed. You should also check your microphone is working correctly and test the volume on your device before the day of the video interview.

Preparation is always key

Perhaps to your advantage, a video interview means your potential employer cannot see any notes, CV or other documents that might assist or prompt you during the interview. You may want to highlight specific parts of your CV to ensure you are reverting key achievements and experience that are relevant to the role. Remember to also have a notepad and pen to detail important information throughout the call.

Although it’s important to be well prepared, it’s also recommended the space around you is tidy to eliminate any unnecessary background noise from moving paper around. Make sure your cell phone is on silent and out of reach to reduce the chances of being distracted by notifications or calls.

Dress professionally

It’s easy to assume that video interviews might be more ‘casual’ compared to a face-to-face meeting, however, it's important to put in the same amount of effort as you would to meeting in person as these VC’s become more common place. Despite the medium, you should always want to come across as being motivated and interested during an interview.

Your attire should be smart and comfortable, so you don’t appear agitated on screen. You should also have a different background colour against what you are wearing so you can be seen clearly and avoid vivid patterns or overly bright colours that could be distracting to the interviewer.

Positive body language

Remember to express a positive and confident persona to your interviewer and ensure you are listening and acknowledging the discussion, retaining professionalism at all times. Your posture should be comfortable and confident, sitting straight and ensuring your shoulders are facing the camera. Focus on making consistent eye contact with the interviewer by looking directly at the webcam and not at your screen. This will make the conversation more engaging and feel closer to face-to-face interaction.

It’s not uncommon to feel a little nervous during a video interview which can sometimes cause us to talk faster than usual. Try and remain calm, encourage yourself to talk at a normal pace, ensuring your answers are clear and concise. You should also remember to smile and express enthusiasm throughout the interview.

Follow up

Finally, as you would after any face-to-face interview, it’s important to send the interviewer a thank you email, expressing your appreciation and interest in the role. This can make a significant difference in being successful in an interview process and reassures potential employer you are genuinely enthusiastic and interested in joining their organisation.

Do you have a telephone interview instead of a video-based interview? Check out our latest blog on how to achieve a successful telephone interview with your potential new employer.