Tips for a successful video interview

16th March 2020

Video interviews have been around for a while but are being used more and more so it's worthwhile familiarising yourself with what you can expect. Here are a few tips!

Video interviews are used (the majority of the time) at the start of the process to cut down the time taken to find suitable candidates. There are many benefits of interviewing using this method, including time-saving. These videos can also be viewed multiple times which means that the Hiring Manager doesn’t just have to rely on notes.

The key to a successful interview is to practice beforehand as this will help reduce any technical issues and hopefully help boost confidence when the time comes.

Here are a few tips to help prepare:

Test your connection

It’s worthwhile testing the internet speed or plan a test interview with a friend or family member to get feedback on how you come across and what you could improve upon prior to the interview.

Webcam and microphone

Before the interview, test out the webcam and microphone. This will save any mishaps during the ‘live’ interview and will also show you where to place the webcam, where a good location is and also if the lighting is ok.

It is also worth checking the microphone settings to ensure the sound is ok, you come across well and that the recipient can hear you.

Smile, speak clearly and make eye contact

In-person, you obviously come across a lot more personable and enthusiastic then you would through a screen. That’s why it’s so important to make a conscious effort at smiling, making eye contact and emphasising your interest in the position.


As standard interview practice, it’s wise to set up and be ready to go 10-15 minutes before your scheduled timing. This also means that if any errors do occur, you have ample timing to rectify.

If your video interview is happening from the comfort of your home, it’s worth checking the following:
  • Ensure you won’t be interrupted or distracted. If there are people at home at the time, make them aware that you cannot be disrupted.
  • Clear your space, this will decrease distractions whilst your interview is going on.
  • Be mindful of the background, aim for something neutral – you don’t want to have an interview with a pile of dirty laundry behind you! If you don’t have a study or desk space, make sure that your surroundings are tidy and distraction-free.
  • Print a copy of your CV ready to use as a reference point.
  • Post-it notes! If you’ve got key areas you’d like to cover or questions, jot these down and pop these on your screen.
  • Put your phone on silent mode or keep it in a separate room during this time.
  • Make sure you’re dressed smartly and look well presented, just because you’re at home doesn’t mean you should be dressed any differently than an in-person meeting. Also, think about how patterns on your clothes may appear on the screen, avoid stripes as these look blurry and can cause a distraction, it may be wise to stick to plain colours.
  • Be mindful that by moving around or making fast hand movements this may cause the camera to lag.
Different video interview types
One way / pre-recorded

In a one way interview, the Hiring Manager will have set up questions they’d like answering by the candidate, all responses are recorded and have a time limit to answer. Once completed, the Hiring Manager can then view these at a later date.

  • Remember to read all the instructions.
  • Look directly at the camera and don’t forget to smile!
  • Even though you’re the only person videoing, someone will be watching this after, if not multiple people and like most other interviews, there will be competition. Make sure you come across engaging and stand out from other applicants.

Similar to a face-to-face interview, however, you’ll be speaking to the Hiring Manager over a real-time video service such as Google Hangouts, Zoom, Skype etc.

The perks of live interviews are that it saves both parties time, money and also means that no travel is involved. It also speeds up the recruitment process as it cuts out any time lost on candidate no shows.

Remember to treat it exactly the same as an in-person interview, speak clearly, smile and ask questions to portray interest and that you’ve done background research for the role.


Lastly, best of luck!! If you’re nervous just keep calm, use this as a learning experience to better yourself for the next time.