Job Seeker Blog - Spark Hire

Video Interviewing: How to Prep

Prepping for Interviews and What to Expect in the FutureVideo interviewing can be stressful.  Not only do you have to worry about how you dress and present yourself to the hiring manager, but you also have to think about the types of questions you may be asked and remind yourself to stay positive and smile.

While video interview prep in general has stayed consistent with the times, the interview format is gradually changing.  It is important that you are in the know when it comes to how hiring managers are conducting interviews now in order to best prepare.  

One-way Video Interviewing

As mentioned in a previous article, there are many benefits to job seekers when it comes to one-way video interviewing.  You are able to complete the video interview at your own time and pace, while having the ability to review your recorded answers before submitting.  However, there is still preparation that must be done on your part before you ever start that video interview.

Sure, it’s not a live interview and you can record and re-record your answers until your heart’s content, but you still need to pay attention to a few things before hand if you want to make the best impression.

First things first, do not wait too long to complete the interview.  If you received the video interview request that morning, complete the interview no later than first thing the following morning.

Take a look at your surroundings.  What is going to be seen from the video?  Make sure that your background is tidy and professional.  Ensure that there is proper lighting.  No one wants to be the talking, black blob on the screen.

Pay attention to your clothes.  Make sure that you are wearing something of neutral color with a professional appearance.  Limit jewelry and any flashy accessories.

Place a copy of your resume near by for quick reference, as well as any notes that you may want to reference.  As you read each prompted question, take a few moments to think the question through and how you can best answer according to your skills and experience.  Remember, you will be able to watch your recording and re-record it if you are not happy with it prior to submission.

Finally, remember to look into the camera, smile, and stay upbeat and positive as you record your answers.

Live Video Interviewing

Live video interviewing requires much of the same prep as the one-way video interview.  You should still pay attention to your surroundings and background, your appearance, and lighting.  However, the big difference here is the fact that it will be LIVE.  This means that you have a set time to attend the video interview and you will be interacting in conversation and video with the hiring manager.  You will not have the luxury of time when it comes to responding to answers, nor will you be able to hear and see your answers before the hiring manager.

Before your live video interview, make sure that you have a copy of your resume, the job description, and your notes nearby for easy access.  This is still a video interview, so make use of the fact that the hiring manager cannot see your desk or notes – it’s okay to cheat here!

Review the job description and try to think of the types of questions that the hiring manager may ask you.  How does your experience apply to these questions?

In addition, make sure that if you are required to download any type of platform in order to connect to the live video, that you have done so ahead of time.  You will not make a good first impression on the hiring manager if you have waited until the last minute to download and sign in for the interview.

Throughout the interview, remember to look at the camera rather than always looking at the computer screen.  When you look at the camera it will look like you are engaged and looking at the hiring manager.  On the other hand, when you are focused on the computer screen itself, it appears as though you are looking down, rather than looking at the hiring manager.  Remind yourself to smile and stay positive and upbeat.

Just as with any type of interview, make sure that you have questions to ask the hiring manager at the end of the interview.  Ask questions such as:

  • What are the 3 key traits that someone must have in this job?
  • What is the biggest challenge in this role?
  • Are there any concerns about my experience or ability to be successful in this role that I can address? 
  • What is the next step in the process? 

Make sure that you have a good strong list of questions, but only ask three or four questions.  The reasoning is that some of the questions you will have are going to be answered throughout the interview.  You do not want to find yourself at the end of the interview with no questions to ask.

Thank You

Even though videos are becoming more common in interview processes, a proper thank you is still expected by most hiring managers.  After your interview, be sure to complete a thank you letter or email to the hiring manager, expressing your appreciation for his time and your interest in the position.  Be sure to reference something from the interview conversation so that the hiring manager understands why you believe yourself to be a fit for the job and why you are interested.

All in all, video interviewing is really not much different than interviewing of the past.  Looking forward, video interviewing will become more of a standard with many companies.  Make sure that you are current in your preparations and that you understand what to prepare for in order to make the best impression and have a chance at an offer.

What are some ways that you prepare for video interviews?  Please share your tips in the comments below. 

Image: Tomnamon/

Julia Weeks

Julia is a skilled Recruiter with over 8 years of experience in sourcing, interviewing, and hiring within many industries globally. She works closely with hiring managers and job seekers to understand needs and desires, while offering guidance and ensuring the right fit. When not recruiting or writing, Julia enjoys spending time outside cycling, taking her dog for walks, or honing her sailing skills.

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