Nailed it: tips, tricks, and techniques for your next video job interview

Posted by: Schepisi - Friday, September 11, 2015

Video job interviews are becoming more and more common these days, and with all the advanced video conferencing technology, why wouldn't they?! 

If you're nervous about an upcoming video interview, follow the advice below to maximise your chances of making the second round!

Before your video job interview, you must…

Choose the right location (with the right background)

That is, an indoor place like your home that is quiet, has good lighting, and can remain free from distractions in terms of pets, siblings, partners, etc. You also want ensure you have have adequate access to power points and a strong Wi-Fi signal.

Video conferencing home office

Pick your clothing

Stay away from flashy patterns that often don’t translate well on video. Above all, dress as you would for any face-to-face interview, that is, tailored shirts, blazers, ties, and pants for men, and blouses, jackets, and skirts or pants for women.

Prepare questions

It’s almost standard practice that near the end of a job interview, your interviewer(s) will give you the chance to ask any questions that may not have already been answered during the interview.

It’s key to always have a few prepared. There are hundreds of suggestions online, and these are some of our favourites. You could use a few of these, if relevant, of course:

  • Could you describe a typical day in this position?
  • Is this a new or existing position?
  • What are the prospects for growth in this position?
  • What is the most difficult or challenging part of this position?
  • If I were offered a position, how soon would you like me to begin?
  • What is the best part about working at this company?
  • Do you want a list of references?
  • What is the next step?

Remember, some of these might already get answered during the interview, so make sure you don’t ask them again.

And what should you never do?

Talk negatively about your previous (or current) boss, or ask about money and holidays (until it has been brought up by your interviewer).

Test your sound and video…

Possibly one of the most important factors of your video interview! Pretend you are starting the interview from scratch, check the lighting in the room (if your seated in front of a window the glare will wash you out!), remove anything unsightly from your background, and record yourself on camera to gage the sound and video quality.

… but still prepare for a problem

So you have tested your sound and had a couple of test runs… everything seems to be running smoothly! Great.

However, you can never tell when there’s going to be a fault or error, even beyond your control. Perhaps the Wi-Fi signal becomes weak, or there is an unexpected power outage.

Ensure your interviewers have your mobile phone number and that your phone is charged and accessible, and ready to use in the event that there is a problem of any sort during the video conference.

Rest well

Particularly if you’re participating in an interview with people located in a different timezone.

Turn off or mute any gadgets or technology that could disrupt your interview

That includes, of course, your mobile phone, but also computer notifications, your landline telephone and your smartwatch.

During your online interview, you may like to…

Record the session

Record your interview if you can (and of course, with permission). This is a great way to assess your performance post-interview, and to make notes or give yourself feedback for next time.

Many people do not like to watch themselves on camera, but post-assessment will help you identify of you are speaking to fast, if you’re fidgeting too much, or if you’re making poor eye contact.

Pause for a moment and have a breath before you speak

This will help you relax, ensure you speak slowly and clearly, and it also ensures your interviewer has, in fact, stopped speaking before you respond.

Video job interview preparation

Take notes

Have a notepad and pen ready to jot down notes when you need to. This is also where you can list your questions, and make a mark next to those that happen to be answered during the interview (so you don’t ask them again!)

After your video interview, you should…

Send a follow-up / thank you email

There are so many things you can address in such a letter, but keep it brief – you don't want to repeat your resumé.

The key factor is to add something personalised about the interview, such as the specific job title, your qualities, and how they will coincide well. This helps ensure the message doesn’t feel like a generic email that you send to everyone after every interview.

There are thousands of sample letters online, some of which you can find here.

Evaluate your own performance

Take notes of what worked and what didn’t, questions that tripped you up. This will teach you more about your strengths and weaknesses.

It can be quite confronting to have to watch and assess yourself during an interview, but it can only help better prepare you for the future.

Now get out there and nail that video job interview. Good luck!