8 Tips For Acing A Video Interview

Written by EO Executives on Apr 27, 2015

Video interviewing is growing in popularity as an assessment tool for the early part of the hiring process. In fact, since 2011 the use of video interviewing has risen 49% and 6 in 10 HR Managers now use video as part of the interview process.

Using video interviews or pre-recorded videos to screen candidates offers a significant advantage for candidates and hiring managers. Hiring managers can save money and time whilst gaining insight from watching the candidate talk about their suitability for the role, while candidates have the opportunity to influence ahead of a face-to-face meeting.

So whether you like the idea of video interviewing or not, if you haven’t been asked to participate in a video interview already you probably will be soon.

So how can you give yourself the best chance of acing a video interview?

Our 8 tips will help you conduct a high quality video interview or pre-recorded response in a way that helps you put yourself across in the best light possible.

1. Think about your setting and keep it simple.

You don’t need to be a film director to get your setting right. No interviewer wants to be distracted by a busy or cluttered background. Set the camera up so the interviewer can see your head and shoulders against a plain (preferably not white) background.

Rooms with ornate wallpaper, messy desks or the worst setting we’ve seen – the middle of a busy carpark – should be avoided!

2. Think about your attire

A good first impression is vital, and just because you may be giving a video interview in your living room doesn’t mean that a professional dress code doesn’t apply. Wear solid colours, not stripes, and avoid white or “hot” colours.

Also, be fully dressed. Don’t think that just because the camera only shows your head and shoulders you can get away with wearing a suit jacket and your pajama bottoms. You never know when you might need to stand up!

3. Set the camera up at eye level

You don’t want to be looking either down or up at the interviewer. Also remember that if you’re recording from a computer or laptop to look at the camera and not at yourself on the screen. If you are making a pre-recorded video, avoid reading a script off your computer screen as the eye movement can be a distraction and make it feel staged.

4. Get the lighting right

Two lights in front of you and one light behind is a good rule of thumb. Your lighting shouldn’t cast you into a shadow or make you look 10 years older than you are.

5. Think about your body language

Body language is critical in a video interview. Try and stay calm and relaxed, and engage with the interviewer, maintaining good posture and eye contact. If you need to use notes or remind yourself of key points, tape them to the wall in front of you so you can spend minimal time looking away from the camera.

6. Take your time

Just like a face to face interview it’s important to take your time and not rush through what you have to say. Use a non-verbal cue, such as nodding, to indicate you’ve heard and understood the question, and take a pause before answering to try and match the rhythm of your answers to any transmission delay and avoid the interviewer hearing a garbled response before they’ve finished the question.

7. Be prepared

Don’t read from a script. We’ve seen this happen before and the responses just sound too staged. It’s ok to have notes on your key points, but keep them as bullet points to give yourself room to improvise and expand.

8. Keep it professional, but still about you

Particularly in pre-recorded video interviews, you may want to talk a bit about yourself. Keep it professional though as hiring managers don’t want to hear about your favourite football team, but try and let your personality shine through. After all, they’re interested in understanding you as a person.

What Next?

Video interviews are just one of the technological advancements being used more and more by HR teams and hiring managers. Download our ebook to find out more about how science and technology can be used throughout the hiring process to make smarter hires.

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