Job Seeker Blog - Spark Hire

How to Prepare For a Video Interview

Much like a traditional interview, preparation is necessary for a video interview. As companies start to use video integration more in their hiring process, you will want to be fully prepared and ready to nail that online interview. Before you start interviewing online like a pro though, there are a couple technical things that you will want to check out. Perhaps you didn’t even think of some of these steps, but that is why we are here to help you through!

Take a look at some of these preparation tips for your video interview and start working on perfecting your video interview techniques. To increase your chances of finding the job you want even more, sign up with Spark Hire and take advantage of the newest, most advanced job search platform out! Once you have read all of the steps on preparing for an interview, you can create your own Profile Video on Spark Hire and start interviewing with companies online. A Spark Hire Profile Video is the best way for companies to see your personality, communication skills and passion. With a Spark Hire profile, you are putting yourself above the competition. What job seeker wouldn’t want that?

1. Webcam
If you’re going to be engaging in a video interview, you are going to need a webcam. Most laptops today have a webcam already attached, but if yours doesn’t or if you have a desktop, then it shouldn’t be too hard to find an affordable webcam at your local electronics store. If you have to purchase a webcam, make sure you are setting it up at a good angle that places you in the center. You don’t want it to be looking up or down at you, but rather have it almost centered with your eyesight.

2. Lighting
I’ve discussed this in quite a few other posts, but it’s an important aspect of video interviewing so I won’t hesitate to talk about it again. The lighting you have set up around your webcam is very important. If it’s too bright, you may blind the interviewer and they won’t listen to or care much about what you are saying. If you don’t have enough light, the interview will likely have to strain to see you and that can be very annoying- and painful on the eyes I might add. That is why you want to sit down in front of your webcam before participating in a video interview and check out what kind of lighting you have. If it’s too dark, set up a couple of lights around the webcam pointing towards your face. You don’t want them shining into the camera, because that would exude a blinding effect. You also don’t want any bright lights behind you because they will have the same effect. Do a trial interview with one of your friends and ask them if the lighting is good or if it is distracting.

3. Have a Neat Area
You don’t want the interviewer’s first impression of you to be that you are an unorganized mess. That’s why you should make sure that the area you choose to sit in for your video interview is very neat and clean. There should be no clutter around you to distract the interviewer’s attention and you should sit in front of a plainly colored wall. For example, the red or orange wall in your bedroom might not be the best backdrop. You want a background that offers no distractions. Make sure all areas visible in the webcam space are clean and tidy.

4. Noise
Perhaps this is one of the most important steps towards preparing for a video interview. If you are engaging in an interview from your home, there can be a lot of background noise and things going on around you. You want to do everything you can to keep all of these things out of your webcam range. If your kids are home every day, go in a room that is far away from them and make sure whoever the other adult in the house is knows that from time A to time B you are going to be unavailable and cannot be bothered. Having your child run into your office asking you for a sandwich is worst-case scenario status. This video interview is just like a traditional interview, only you are meeting remotely. Therefore, it deserves the same amount of respect and professionalism. If there is a lot of noise in your house, consider asking a friend if you can go to their house to do the interview. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

5. Microphone
A lot of people may overlook this step, but it’s essential to your interview. After all, if the interviewer can’t hear what you are saying, what’s the point of the interview? Much like the lighting, this is something you will want to test before. Make sure the microphone is offering a clear, clean transfer of your voice. If it’s coming out muffled or fuzzy, you may want to consider getting a new mic.

6. Dress Accordingly
A video interview may seem a bit more informal to you, but chances are the interviewer will regard it the same way they do a traditional, face-to-face interview. That is why you should dress for your video interview as if you were going to meet the interviewer in person. You shouldn’t assume that since you aren’t meeting them in person that dressing up isn’t necessary. Dress to impress and make sure everything looks good on the webcam before you start the interview. Bright colors and loud patterns aren’t the best for online video interaction because they may look different on the other person’s screen, so stick to plain, neutral colors. For more tips on what to wear, check back with Spark News next week. If you are certain you cannot see your pants, then dressing up from the waist down isn’t really necessary. Just make sure your bottom half isn’t visible before you decide to don your sweat pants for the interview.

Nicole Nicholson

Nicole is the Content Editor for Spark Hire and mainly writes for and edits the work for the Spark News blog. She graduated in 2010 with a BA in Journalism from DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois. She has a passion for writing, editing, and pretty much anything to do with content. In her free time she frequents the Chicago music scene and writes reviews on shows for her own personal blog. Connect with Nicole and Spark Hire on Facebook and Twitter