Video Interviews

One-way video interviews

One-way video interviews provide candidates with pre-scripted questions. You will usually receive the questions in advance and allowed time for preparation before you record your answers. The questions may be pre-recorded by a staff member or appear in writing on the screen. Your answers will be timed, and while you record your answer to each question you may notice a timer on the screen, try not to let that distract you! In some cases, you may be allowed to re-record your answer.

One-way video interviews are becoming increasingly popular with recruiters as they save time in the selection process and allow the employer to screen more candidates than they could face-to-face. It also helps to assess the suitability of a candidate, including their technical and transferable skills, presentation and personality.  This type of video interview often takes place earlier in the recruitment process, and is used as a replacement to the phone interview. It breaks down barriers, such as location and availability, and gives the interviewee the opportunity to showcase their personality.

Video interviews

You will receive instructions on how an employer’s video interview process works – read the instructions carefully and do some preparation beforehand, as you would do for a face-to-face interview. Here are some additional things you will need to consider:

  • Location – be aware of your environment and what it says about you. Choose a room that is clear of distractions. The background behind you should be free of clutter, neat and tidy. Good lighting is important too, you don’t want to be sitting in darkness or have too much glare on the screen.
  • Noise – Make sure the people in the surrounding rooms know you are doing a video interview so that there is no background noise. Don’t leave a pet in your room or home – sometimes pets can be loud even if kept outside.
  • Equipment – Make sure your webcam works and it is a reasonable quality. Do a test run. Check your camera view and audio, and play the test recording back. Connect your laptop or device to a power outlet, or make sure you have ample battery charge for the interview duration.
  • Body language – Make sure you’re in a comfortable chair, so that you don’t slouch, and avoid swivel and recliner chairs. Use hand gestures where appropriate. Keep your laptop/computer at eye level, this will help you to maintain your eye contact, which should be with the camera and not the screen.
  • Dress – Wearing the right clothes will help you make a great first impression. Dress in professional attire as you would for a regular interview – it will also help you maintain a professional manner.
  • Prepare and practice – Prepare in the same way you would for any other interview. Read over your application, research the organisation and position. Use Big Interview to practice your responses and view your recorded response.
  • Notes – Having a few notes nearby can help calm your nerves; short points are better than paragraphs. It’s also best not to memorise your answers as it may make you sound robotic and doesn’t let your personality shine.
  • Internet Connection – ensure your internet connection is reliable – if you don’t have access to the videoconferencing tool the employer is using, test your connection with something similar like Skype or Zoom. It is a good idea to have an alternative connection ready as a backup, such a phone hotspot.

Action: Go to your downloaded workbook and complete Activity 3

Additional Resources

Log in to LinkedIn Learning and watch the video: ‘How to Nail a Phone or Video Interview’.