Five tips for preparing for a video interview.

First off, let’s start by defining what a video interview is. Video is the latest tool used by recruiters and employers to screen and interview job seekers in the first, second and third stages of the screening and hiring process. It’s a great way for you to exude all of your best skills live and really win over the recruiter and move yourself to the next stage of the hiring process.

There are two types of video interviews 1) video responses and 2) live video interviews. Video responses are one-way video “answers” to questions that a recruiter will send to you in advance. You will receive a notification that a recruiter would like to consider you for a posting and they will provide you with the questions, the time limit for your video response recording and the deadline when they need to responses back. The video response tool will also be provided as part of the system making it easy for you to record and post your response. You can even re-record it until you are happy (phew!). The second is the live interview. This tool is typically used after the video responses stage and potentially after one or two rounds of video questions and answers as part of a screening process. The live interview is different in that it is live. You and the recruiter, or interviewer, live, online conducting a video interview that will be recorded.


When invited to do a video interview, put yourself in the hiring managers shoes for a moment and think about why they are using video interviewing in the first place. They are probably faced with a large volume of candidates that they need to meet and screen. They are looking to effectively and efficiently move through the screening process without having to juggle travel and face-to-face meeting schedules. They likely have a very busy schedule and want to review candidates on their own time, so all video responses will have a deadline and video interviews will be scheduled at the end of the video screening process. It also says a lot about this employer as a company who is innovative and embraces new technology – so they will expect you to do the same!


Ok, so now that we have set the stage, on to the tips!


1. Be prepared with the technology

You don’t want technology to get in the way of a great interview. Take advantage of the pre-testing option for your video response or interview and ensure you have everything setup properly ensuring a smooth video experience. This will include your Internet connection, your embedded or peripheral webcam and your audio settings.


2. Don’t let video fool you!

Just because this is a video response or video interview, don’t think that means you need not present yourself in the same way you would in a live, face-to-face meeting. It’s exactly the same! The interviewer will see you from the waist or shoulders up so ensure you are dressed for success and well put together. This is an opportunity for you to show off your stellar communication skills and convey passion and interest for the role. You should conduct yourself the same way you would in a face to face meeting thinking about posture, body language, facial expressions and communication style. All of these things are important and will come across in a video interview whether it is live or a recorded video response to a question. When recording video responses be careful to manage your time and ensure your answers are timed based on the maximum-recorded time allotted, as you don’t want to be cut off, mid sentence. And, the good news is that you can re-record your response before sending if you weren’t happy with the first one. Phew! Ok, video responses are a little less pressure then live.


3. Be interested and interesting

Remember that the recruiter or hiring manager is going to be watching a lot of video so you want to stand out and be memorable. Be sure to convey your interest in the position, do your homework and share your knowledge. Wherever possible be unique with your responses – avoid conventions. And don’t be shy to turn up the passion a little bit. You’ve probably heard it before but ‘turn it up for the camera’. Make sure you are expressing yourself well in your facial expressions, gestures and body language. Remember, the camera only sees part of you so you need to ensure your interest is coming across.


4. Avoid interruptions

Ensure that you have everything handy and accessible that you may need on hand for reference. Ensure other devices and distractions like alert notifications and phones are turned off so you can concentrate and send the message to the interviewer that this is your top priority. Have your resume handy in case you need to reference it, and any other documents or notes that you may want reference.


5. Go with the flow

In a video interview environment, things can come up. If recording video responses, remember that you want to put your best video answer forward so make sure to re-record it until you are happy with the result before sending. In a live video interview, this is a relatively new technology that companies are adopting, so, expect the unexpected. The Internet could drop signal or any other number of things could happen. If there are pauses on the part of the interviewer it may be that they are taking notes. Stay cool through the process and remember that the interviewer chose this system because it works for them so it is your job to make it work for you!

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