12 Tips from Recruiters on Successful Video Interviews

So, you’re looking for a job.

That’s great, and you’ll succeed if you are ready to win the final round of the application process we all know as a video interview. While five in ten recruiters practiced this technology for screening a candidate before inviting them to a “physical” job interview in the pre-COVID era, now video is the #1 channel to search and hire talents from all over the world.

The competition is super high, and you should prepare to win this round.

Career tips for students and young specialists are so many and available across the web that it’s easy to get lost and confused. Which of those resources is worth trusting? Which rules, tips, and advice work, and which would be better to avoid?

The best option is to ask recruiters, agree? Below are short yet actionable tips from career specialists for you to get prepared and succeed during a video interview. Feel free to use them as the checklist, stage by stage.

Stage 1: Before an Interview

1. Test the video program. According to Zenefits, most recruiters (72%) conduct video interviews via Zoom, and 43% prefer Skype. Ensure you have the necessary program on your device and check everything beforehand: connection, camera, sound, light – everything should work fine.

2. Organize a test interview with a friend. Connect with a family member or friend to check your video and audio connection quality. Such test interviews are also your chance to get feedback on how you look and speak. It will help you feel more confident during the interview with a recruiter.

3. Think of a perfect location. Choose a place where you’ll sit during the interview: there should be no mess on camera and no distracting background noises. Adjust the light, consider the area with the most stable internet access, and choose a neutral background. A plain wall would be an option: It won’t distract a recruiter from communication and won’t “help” them build an impression about you based on what they see behind your back. An office-like setting is also fine.

4. Turn off all notifications. Check it twice before you connect with a recruiter: Programs and social media notifications will interrupt and annoy both of you; plus, it’s a sign of bad manners.

5. Dress to impress. Most recruiters (52%) say they would prefer a candidate wearing business casual, while 44% admit they don’t have any preference here. Let’s face it, a jacket with a tie would look too much, given that you sit at home, but a light shirt looks neat and is worth considering. Also, say no to gums and leave minimal jewelry and piercings.

6. Prepare a notebook and a pen. You might have some questions or points to highlight to recruiters during an interview, and writing them down will help to stay focused and remember everything. But ensure all your notes are off the camera.

Stage 2: During the Interview

7. Don’t rush. Most video interviews have a time limit, but it doesn’t mean you need to speak as fast as possible to cover all the questions at once. Watch your tone of voice, answer their questions in brief, — a recruiter will ask you to elaborate if they need more information — and try to avoid irrelevant or unnecessary details.

8. Be ready to answer the most common interview questions. We all read about them in numerous online articles sharing tips on answers. You don’t need to copy everything they say, but it’s worth preparing your honest replies to some questions you expect a recruiter to ask: it will save time, prevent confusion, and help you get a dream job faster.

9. Smile. Look into the camera and smile: Eye contact and a friendly smile is your weapon to build a positive impression.

Stage 3: After the Interview

10. Ask when they expect to make a decision. Once the video interview is over, it’s okay to ask when you can expect the final decision from employers. Thus you’ll encourage them to provide an approximate date, and you won’t get nervous while waiting.

11. Write a thank-you note. Send individual emails to each interviewer to thank them for their time and for considering you a candidate for that position. Even if you believe you’ve failed the interview, it’s a sign of good matters. And please don’t copy-paste the same thank-you note for everyone: They might want to compare them.

12. Follow-up. When the approximate date for the final decision has come, but you haven’t got any verdict yet, it’s okay to follow up and express your interest. Ensure you don’t sound as if you’re desperate: The hiring process can take several rounds, so be patient while expecting.

Get prepared for video interviews, learn from your mistakes — and your dream job will find you.

By Lesley J. Vos
Lesley J. Vos Career Strategist, Content Writer