A Quick Way to Prepare for a Video Interview

In-person interviews and interviews by telephone have long been important tools in the candidate selection process. In today’s more mobile, digital environment, video interviews are gaining in popularity. They allow interviewers the opportunity to read their interviewee’s body language and gain an appreciation for how the interviewee presents themselves in addition to the information they share verbally, giving this method several advantages over the phone interview.

And while interviewing in person is often the first choice, it can also be a source of unnecessary expense due to distance, especially in the early stages of choosing a candidate. A video interview offers many of the advantages of an in-person interview, without the need to fund long distance travel that might otherwise be required.

So, for anyone in the job market today, it’s important to prioritize preparing for an interview that may take place over video. Here are a few of our interview tips for doing just that!

1. Prepare a space

In the past, some companies would have potential interviewees go to a nearby video conferencing center. Today, the relatively inexpensive nature of video conferencing equipment, makes this a less common practice.

As a result, you’ll want to have a suitable space prepared for your interview. This space should present an uncluttered, professional view. You want the interviewer to focus on you, not your collection of knickknacks, after all!

2. Prepare to dress for success

Just because you’re interviewing at home doesn’t mean you should do it in your pajamas! You should dress just as sharply for an interview via video as you would for an interview in person.

3. Acquire a great video conferencing camera

Today’s desktop and laptop computers are typically quite capable of supporting video conferencing software, so you’ll want to focus on making sure your video and audio equipment are in order, especially your camera and microphone. If your computer or laptop have speakers that were built in or came with the machine, they’re probably fine for hearing your interviewer.

However, it’s usually a good idea to purchase a third party camera and microphone (or a camera/microphone combination), even if one is built into your monitor. That’s because a third party camera will typically offer better resolution, more features, and greater flexibility in placement than a built in camera—something you’ll appreciate when you’re figuring out your most flattering angles!

4. Set up your equipment

Before you do your first interview, you’ll want make sure your equipment is set up correctly. Set up your computer, camera, and audio equipment just as if you were about to do an interview.

Test runs are so important—you never know when you might need to update a driver or fiddle with settings, and the last thing you want is to experience difficulties during the interview (or even not be able to start the interview because of technical problems).

5. Do a dry run

Your new camera should come with software that allows you to record videos. Write down some typical interview questions for yourself, and rehearse answering them on camera. Here are some good questions to include:

  • What are your strengths?
  • What are your weaknesses?
  • Why are you interested in this position?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?

While you’re making this list, go ahead and make a list of questions you might have during the interview. It’s always a great idea to show your interest in the position by asking relevant questions about the organization, their culture, their mission, and the interviewer’s hopes for the position you’d like to be hired for. Write your list of questions to ask during an interview down clearly, so that you can see them “off camera” during an interview in case you get stumped and need a reminder.

6. Test different types of video conferencing software

If you’re called for an interview, the interviewer may suggest video conferencing software they’d like you to use. It’s a good idea to test out a few paid or free video conferencing software options with friends to see how your set up performs.

Also, since many types of video conferencing software have similarly intuitive user interfaces, you’ll be prepared in case they ask you to use something different. There are plenty of resources available to help you explore video conferencing software options, including our Video Conferencing Buyer’s Guide and our Ultimate Video Conferencing guide.