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Preparing for a video interview

Preparing for a video interview

Video interviews have become very common since the pandemic and there are two main kinds you'll likely come across: pre-recorded and live.

Pre-recorded videos are usually part of a staged recruitment process where you'll be given instructions to access a platform and answer pre-set timed questions. Live videos are pre-arranged two-way conversations between you and the interviewer/s.

Pre-recorded (asynchronous) videos

These will assess your communication and presentation skills as well your ability to follow in instructions and work to a deadline so make sure you understand and follow any instructions you're given. You won't be talking to an actual person in this, so practice as much as you can to feel comfortable. If it helps, stick a photo of someone on your wall just above your camera lens! Questions will be timed so pace yourself and make sure you practice doing these well in advance. If you make a mistake, just let the interviewer know and move onto the next question. Have a glass of water handy. Make sure you know how much time you have so you can pace your answers.

For all video interviews

Make sure any usernames you use for the different platforms are professional sounding. Check your tech is working. Ensure your device has a good charge, a good Wi-Fi signal and that your audio and video is working. Let the employer know about adjustments you may need in advance. Prepare well as you would for any interview, research the role the employer and how you meet and even excel the criteria they are recruiting for, have relevant mini-stories and examples ready to back up anything you say,

The space you're in

You will want to be somewhere with a neutral background and no visual or audio distractions- you are the star of the show, you don't want your flatmate walking past in their pyjamas at a crucial point in your interview or you cat walking over your keyboard! Check your lighting. See if you can get natural light falling on your face and that you are not blocked out by light sources behind you- recruiters will want to see your face and read your body language.

To look or not to look?

You want to try and build rapport with the interviewer, and it can be harder with a fourth wall so don't look at the screen, look at your camera lens at eye level as this will help you make eye contact with the interviewer. Hold eye contact for as long as you feel comfortable. Keep all prompts and notes on your eye line or stuck on a wall behind your webcam lens. Don't make it obvious! If you can do without them, do, you'll come across as more prepared and confident!

Presentation and Body Language

Dress the part, wear a professional business outfit that reflects the particular culture of the organisation, you want to come across as professional and credible. Be aware of your body language, all the interviewer has to go on is what they see from your shoulders up so video yourself in a mock interview and get a sense of how you come across and are framed in the screen.

Remember other candidates will be practicing their video interviews so make sure you don't put yourself at a disadvantage. Get your friends to help you practice recording yourself so you can give your best interview performance, call in those favours!

How to Ace Your Video Interview

Preparing for a video interview requires research, practice and set design. Career coach Ashlee Anderson, who's been working from home for 10 years, tells you how to prepare-and make eye-contact through a screen. Photo: Adam Falk/The Wall Street Journal.

Suggested Reading

> How to prepare for a pre-recorded video interview
> 21 Pre-recorded Video Interview: Questions & Answers
> Pre-Recorded Video Interview Questions and Tips
> Video interview tips

Preparing for a video interview

By Anna Gordon - Certified Business Coaching Psychologist ABP CBCP

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