Latest HB News

Improving video interviews

Improving Your Video Interview Skills

Hatty Blue

Some people will be more relaxed during a video interview; for others, it can be more stressful. This all depends on your personality and communication type.

But for camera-shy candidates who are more likely to find video interviews stressful, there are some techniques you can employ, which will help you answer questions with ease.

There are two main types of video interviews – live and pre-recorded. Most video interviews take place as a live question and answer session, but some employers may ask that you send pre-recorded answers instead of, or as well as a live interview; let’s look at both in turn.

Pre-Recorded Video Interviews

Pre-recorded (sometimes called asynchronous) video interviews are being used with increasing occurrence as a way to screen candidates when there is a large range of possible applicants for a role.

A relatively new way of interviewing, a pre-record will not usually take the place of a live video interview; or it might be the first stage in a longer interview process.

These interviews usually take the format of you being sent a link with pre-recorded interview questions, which you will often have a time limit to answer and then send back. You will sometimes have a chance to re-record your answer if you so wish.

Candidates can feel as though pre-recorded interviews are unnatural; it is essential to try to act as though you are having a live conversation when recording your answers – a certain degree of confidence in your ability to ‘perform’ is needed.

To prepare for a pre-recorded interview, practice giving concise answers to some of the most common interview questions such as -

·      Tell us about yourself

·      What do you know about our organisation?

·      Why do you want to work for us?

·      What can you bring to this role?

·      What are your strengths/weaknesses?

·      Where do you see yourself in five years?

Being prepared to answer these questions on-demand will make answering them on the spot easier – success is all about practising.

Live Video Interviews

Live interviews are the most common type of video interviews happening now.

As I mentioned, this type of interview, while unfamiliar and potentially intimidating, can make for a more successful interview for nervous candidates – we will go through how to communicate effectively during your video interview in the next section.

The topics covered in the video interview will be the same as if the conversation was taking place face to face. Try not to focus on the medium and instead focus on giving detailed, concise answers.

It would be best if you prepared for a range of common interview questions, mixed with industry-specific questions.

If your video interview is taking place out of necessity due to the pandemic, the role which you are interviewing for could be impacted similarly. The interviewer should highlight whether or not, and for how long you can expect the position to be remote for, or you might be starting within the physical organisation straight away.

The best way to feel prepared for a video interview is to feel confident in your interviewing skills in general. Interview skills are not something that comes naturally; they improve, as with everything, the more you practice them. 

In the days before your interview, practice as much as you can answering questions, talking about yourself and your career – and though this might sound strange, film yourself too.

This way, when you watch yourself on camera, you will be able to tell which parts of your communication style, facial expressions or body language you might want to improve. Watching yourself on camera beforehand will eradicate some of the nervousness that many people associate with speaking on camera; there is a well-known phrase that ‘practice makes perfect’, and this relates to being on camera too.

Do research the company, checking out their website, LinkedIn and research your interviewers plus have some industry-specific topics to talk about.

During the interview, remember to have a glass of water on your desk so that you can take a sip if your throat starts to feel dry or if you need to pause for a moment.

Communicating via video is a skill in itself, and one which can seem uncomfortable if you aren’t familiar with the set-up.