How to Ace Video Interviews

Graduate jobs

December 05, 2019

For quite some time now, video has been the trending format of content. So, it comes as no surprise that more and more companies have resorted to video interviews in the recruitment process. As an increasing number of recruiters add them as a key stage in the application process, it becomes important for you to be prepared. We give you all of the hacks in this guide. Read on to ace that video interview.

What is a Video Interview?

The most common form of video interview is where you answer questions that light up on the screen (or on an app). You read each question, and then record your response. In most cases, there is a time allocation for each response (usually somewhere between 1 to 3 minutes), and you have around 30 seconds after reading the question to prepare the response.

Employers that have been using video interviews for graduate recruitment include:

·       DHL

·       Fidelity International

·       Lloyds Banking Group

·       Morrisons Supermarkets

·       RBS

·       KPMG

·       Deloitte

·       PwC

·       Mazars

Mostly, these video interviews are conducted remotely for convenience (while very few are conducted in the employer’s office location).

Thus, if you are going to be giving the interview from home/library/cafe, there is more than just the interview you’ll have to worried about. We enlist all the things you should check off your list before the video interview:

1. Find a quiet and well-lit location. The setting is important: it can make it or break it

2. Ensure you have a steady internet connection. Try to have a connection with the speed of at least 1MB per second. And always have a back-up

3. Be technology-ready. Headphones with in-built microphone, or a separate microphone. A laptop/desktop system with webcam. Or a smartphone or tablet might work too. 

4. Make sure everyone at home knows what you’re up to, and that you have zero distractions during the interview. No pets, flatmates, friends or noises should be able to disturb you! For this reason, you might want to avoid cafes or public spaces.

5. Adjust the web camera in a way that you face it centered and looking up slightly, and in a way your profile is visible without reflections. If you wear glasses, for example, adjust the seating position to avoid or minimise glare from lenses.

6. Dress to impress. Avoid wearing funky colors/designs and keep it simple, yet formal. Even though the video won’t record you face down, it is a good precaution to wear something formal like pants or skirt in case you need to stand up.

7. Body language. It is tricky to understand the amount of importance one should give to their eye contact, hand movements, and facial expressions - things that matter a lot in a conventional face-to-face interview. Here’s a quick tip: look directly into the webcam while answering (practice this beforehand if you feel unsure), don’t worry about your facial expressions as that may distract you from the content of your answer, don’t fidget or twitch during those few minutes, and hand anywhere near chin is an absolute no-no. In the end, remember it is about articulating your ideas well.

8. Don’t worry if you stumble or if things go wrong on the technical aspect. If you fumble, or if you find yourself nervously repeating yourself, or, if an issue crops up with video/audio etc, do not get anxious. It is also a test of how well you can handle stressful situations: be calm, breathe and take a solution-oriented or remedial approach immediately.

Final words: Before your actual interview, it is advised that you practice some sample questions and do a test-run of the technology set-up. This will help you understand your body language, keep eye contact, let you be ‘you’, and minimise surprises during the actual interview. 

Always thank the employer in the end, however you are given the space to, whether at the end of the last response or in the very end when you’re asked to wrap it up.

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