How to nail a video interview

This guide provides you with a useful tips & tricks to support you in your preparation and make your video interview a smash hit!

You were invited for a video interview? Congratulations! It’s time to prepare yourself, just like you would for a face-to-face interview. Here, we discuss some of the most important preparations you can take to leave the best impression on your future employer.

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin

Do your research

Start preparing yourself by getting to know something about the company you’re applying for. Have a look at the company website and their social media accounts. Next, use your favourite search engine to find more information and recent news items. By researching the company, you will have a relevant knowledge about what’s currently going on in the company, allowing you to ask interesting questions. Asking the right questions goes a long way in showing your sincere interest for the position. You will also find out if and how your personality matches the company culture. You can use this in your interview to illustrate how you will add value to the team.

Know yourself

The great thing about an interview is that the questions are all about you, and there is no better person that knows more about yourself than, well… you! Prepare yourself by thinking about who you are, what you want and why you want it. List all your skills, experience and achievements, as well as areas you would like to learn or improve on. Then, select the most relevant ones for the interview: This is what you’re going to want to articulate, it’s what makes you stand out from the crowd.

Practice until you drop

Part of the stress of on interview comes from not knowing which questions you’ll be asked. You can never be entirely certain which questions will come up, but you can predict a few. A quick Google search on frequently asked interview questions will show you the most common interview questions. Prepare yourself by thinking of your answers to these questions. Practice makes perfect, and for interviews that’s no different. Ask your friends to randomly ask you standard interview questions, it’ll help you think on your feet and articulate answers clearly and efficiently. You can practice yourself by trying the online training app until you feel comfortable in front of a camera. Be critical towards yourself, and see what you like and dislike about your interview.

Get yourself set-up

Set up your system and make sure you don’t run into any surprises. You don’t want to boot up your device seconds before you record your interview, only to find out you need to install an update and your battery is low. Plug in, update your system, and check that your camera and microphone are working. Now that everything is working, make yourself comfortable in a quiet, well-lit area.

When you’re ready, it’s time for your interview!

You’re prepared and good to go for your interview. This is your opportunity to convince the interviewer that you are the best suitable candidate for the available position. It’s your time to shine, and we’ve gathered some advice for you to help you make the most out of your interview.

Set the scene

As opposed to a face-to-face offline interview, you are in charge of the location of your online interview. When choosing your location, find a space that is quiet and comfortable, where you won’t get distracted or interrupted. Pro tip: make sure that your background looks tidy, as this will (subconsciously) effect the interviewer. Switch off your phone, and close everything on your computer you don’t need.

Interact with your audience

The best interviews are much more a conversation than they are a Q&A. As a candidate, it is important to interact with the interviewer as they will see your engagement as an indicator of genuine interest. Keeping eye contact is one way of interacting. When using video, remember that you should be looking at the camera, and not at the picture of yourself on your screen. Train yourself to do this, as your eyes will start to wander to moving images. You can also move your picture as close as possible to the location of your camera, so you aren’t completely looking away. Another way to interact is by talking to your interviewer and asking questions. Talk in a personal, engaging way, and don’t get lost in a blur of buzzwords just for the sake of using them.

Sell yourself

During your preparation, you have thought about what it is that makes you unique. This is your chance to bring up everything you want to say. Remember, an interview is your opportunity to promote yourself as the best possible candidate for the position. You will want to promote yourself so the interviewer will have a strong, favourable picture of you. Because you’re recording a video message, you’re basically creating a personal advertisement that can be viewed by many people in the organisation. Make it the best it can be!

Relax and be confident

Before you start your interview, allow yourself a minute to have some water and take a couple of deep breaths. Know what you’re going to say, and say it calmly and with confidence. Don’t worry if you get stuck in a sentence, the most important thing is that you present yourself with calm, positive energy. If you speak in perfect phrases your answer may even seem too rehearsed, whereas your genuine excitement is something that interviewers are looking for in the perfect candidate. So, take a breath and just go for it. You got this.

That’s it, your interview is done. Now, show your appreciation by following up with your interviewer.

You’ve already prepared and practiced well, engaged and interacted during the interview and you’re just finishing up the interview before you start waiting. At this point, you have yet another opportunity to set yourself apart and present yourself as the best possible candidate for the position.

Ask about the next steps

When your interview is (nearly) over, ask what the next steps will be in the hiring process. If you don’t ask this question, and the company takes 2 weeks to decide, you might be anxiously waiting by your phone for the next 14 days. Asking the question helps you set your expectation (and calm your nerves). If you haven’t heard back after the communicated deadline, you can send a quick email restating your interest in the position. If your interview wasn’t real-time, you should still ask about the following steps: ask about it in your thank-you-note.

Send a thank-you-note

Soon after you’ve finished, send the interviewer an email to thank them for their time and interest. Show that you’re excited about the position, and that you would bring lots of value to the position. Keep this email short and simple, and send it as soon as possible after finishing the interview. By doing so, you’re keeping the conversation going and you will stay on top of mind of the recruiter.

Wait for the phone call

You’ve done a great job preparing and interviewing. Surely, you’re on top of the interviewer’s mind now. The waiting begins, and one of two things can happen: you get accepted to continue in the hiring process (congratulations!) or you get a rejection (they don’t know what they’re missing!). Whichever happens, you’ve done the best you can.

If you got bad news, thank the interviewer for their consideration and keep your head up. You’ll get the next one, no doubt about it! If you got good news, congratulations! Show your excitement (don’t overdo it) and get ready for the next round of interviews, or your new job.

“Either you follow-up or you fold-up” – Bernard Kelvin Clive