10 Tips to Help You Master Your Video Interview

October 25, 2021 | By | 1 Reply More

video interview


Prolonged safety precautions such as continuous social distancing, have made two-way video interviews employers’ preferred method of interviewing candidates.* For many job applicants, however, virtual interviews can feel more awkward than in-person meetings.

(* Gartner.com)


According to SHRM, the “shared pandemic experience has engendered empathy among recruiters and hiring managers, but new biases may have also been born, such as judgment of a candidate’s ability to effectively do a video interview or judgment of a candidate’s home surroundings, referred to as ‘background bias.’”


How do you ace one of these two-way video interviews? For starters, recognize that it is a real interview. All the same rules of being interviewed in person apply: know the company’s background, and prepare your answers to difficult questions about yourself. Additionally, however, in a virtual interview not only are you being scrutinized, but so are your surroundings.


To help you have a smooth experience, here are ten tips to ensure you make it through your video interview without a hitch:


Before the Interview

1. Download Required Software and Check Your Tech

Familiarize yourself with the required interview software. Set up a professional user name. Practice using the software with a friend to get an idea of how smoothly the image and sound flow. Make sure your camera and microphone are working. Also, plan for potential technical difficulties by having another computer available, if possible.


2. Stage Your Setting

Arrange your interview area by making sure to clear your desk of unnecessary items. Be sure your background is clean and uncluttered. To ensure that an interviewer has a clear view of you on their end, find out how the lighting will be around the time of day for which your interview is scheduled. Add more lighting if necessary.


3. Prevent Interruptions

It’s a good idea to turn off the sounds on your cell phone. Put pets in an area where they can’t be seen or heard barking. Notify your family and friends that you are not to be disturbed for the period you are being interviewed.


4. Appearance Counts

Keep in mind that how you look for a video interview carries the same weight as an in-person interview. Dress appropriately—all the way down to your shoes. You never know if you’ll have to get up for something and then get caught on camera in your sweat pants.


5. Stand Out from Your Background

Make it easy for the interviewer to focus on you. A plain, neutral colored wall is best. Or, perhaps, a neat, organized bookshelf as a backdrop will work.



During the interview

6. Eliminate all Distractions for Yourself

Close all your browser windows, except the company’s website. It’s good to have a copy of your resume in front of you, but don’t keep referring to it during the interview. You should already be well-versed in its contents.



7. Don’t Stare at the Interviewer

Look directly at the camera, which is the equivalent of looking the interviewer in the eye. If it’s tempting to watch yourself in the small image on screen, turn that off. Smile throughout the interview, when appropriate, so you don’t appear rigid, with a deer-in-the-headlights gaze.


8. Resist the Urge to Fidget

Interviews—online or in person—can give anyone jitters. But fidgeting with your hair or watch during a video interview is distracting. It also signals a lack of confidence. Minimize body movements, such as shifting from side to side, knee shaking under your desk, or foot tapping. These can make small noises that get amplified through your microphone, and are disturbing to the interviewer.


9. Speak Clearly & Wait to Respond

Practice eliminating subconscious noises, like “Um”, “Er”, and avoid empty phrases such as “You know?” and “And stuff.” Also, be aware that online conversations can occasionally lag, which can cause an interview to get out of sync. Always make sure that the interviewer has completely finished speaking before you respond.


10. Make Notes During the Interview

Taking notes during a video interview is appropriate, but do so in pen so that you aren’t clicking away on your keyboard. Continue to make as much “eye” contact as possible as you write.



Bonus Tip:

Allow an Interviewer to Disconnect First

An interviewer may have last minute thoughts or questions, but if you cut the connection before they do, you could miss an opportunity to hear something critical. Also, you don’t want to appear to be in a rush to end the interview. Once the video interview session has ended, double-check to make sure they disconnected you before you go on with your daily activities.



Your turn: Have you gone through a video interview? What do you think made it turn out well—or not so well?

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Category: Employee Engagement, Interviewing, Telecommuting

About the Author ()

Pamela La Gioia is a resume writer and LinkedIn profile expert. She is also a pioneer in remote work, and has been researching and writing about remote work since the early 1990's. You can follow her on LinkedIn, for resume tips, LinkedIn insight, and general career help.

Comments (1)

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  1. VSI says:

    Thank you for sharing this worthful article! In this article, I like the point that gets rid of any distractions because in the video interview this the most important point which is considered.

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