Ten Top Tips for a Successful Video Job Interview

CONGRATULATIONS! You have an interview!

We understand that interviews can be stressful at the best of times, but the switch away from face-to-face interviews to those conducted by applications such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams throws up more challenges (for generic interview tips please read our articles here – https://inspireselection.com/articles/interview-tips/ )

Follow our 10 Top Tips for a Successful Video Job Interview to help you get that job!

A picture containing text, person, indoor, screenshot Description automatically generated


Find somewhere private and quiet where you won’t be interrupted, switch off your phone, close the windows and doors to block out any noise (or uninvited intruders!)

2. Background

Many apps have fun and interesting backgrounds and whilst these are good for group calls – they should not be used for interviews – they look fake – and this can be distracting. Find somewhere to sit that has a simple, neutral background that will not distract from you – not an untidy room and ideally NOT a bedroom.

3. Hardware

Test out your various devises, choose the one that you are most comfortable with. Download the video software that you will be using and check you know how to use it.

To get the best picture and sound quality we recommend using a webcam and headphones.

Ensure that you have a strong and reliable wifi connection.

4. Positioning and Lighting

You don’t have to be a film director to pay attention to positioning and lighting. Set up your shot so you are positioned in the centre of the screen with your eyes at the top two thirds of the screen. Make sure your head is not cut off nor are you in the bottom corner of the shot.

A person sitting at a desk Description automatically generated with medium confidence You do not want to be looking down on your interviewer so raise your camera to head level, if necessary use a laptop stand – or even a pile of books. Position your camera so you can make eye contact with your interviewer.

Lighting is also especially important, for best results use a natural light or a soft light coming from in front of you.


5. What to wear

As in all formal situations, care should be taken to look your best. Research the company dress code – speak to your consultant and dress appropriately and professionally – take care to practice your appearance so you look presentable and natural on the screen.

Do not wear anything distracting or patterned, softer colours work better on a screen rather than a harsh black or white but be comfortable. And please – be fully dressed – not just from the waist up!

6. Prepare

As with all interviews preparation is key – do your research on the organisation, the role and potential questions (see link). Unlike a face-to-face interview you can have notes prepared for a video interview, keep these off camera and don’t allow them to be distracting.

Keep your desk nice and clear so you are not distracted and keep your CV, the job description and notes close by – along with a pen and paper for anything you need to write down and a glass of water to hand.

7. Remove distractions

Turn off your phone and any on screen notifications that may pop up during the interview. Remind anyone who could interrupt you that you are in an interview and try to ensure that no deliveries will arrive so you won’t be interrupted by a door bell or a barking dog.

When you are set up and confident with your positioning – turn off or minimise the box with your image. Looking at yourself is distracting and can be off putting, by having the interviewer/s in full screen you can remember to make contact and concentrate on the conversation.

8. Test

This is crucial, test your setup, your audio, your technology and internet speed, ask a friend or your Inspire Selection consultant for a quick trial run he or she will be able to help you plan your set up and check for any irregularities.

9. Interview technique

Video interviewing is new to many people, don’t expect it to be the same as a face to face interview – try the following steps to make it seem more natural

  • Remember your body language – make solid eye contact and smile (when appropriate).
  • Look directly into the camera – this may take some practice but will ensure that you are making eye contact with your interviewer
  • Use a conversational voice – just as you would in a face to face situation.
  • Prepare notes and use them, if need be, should you have critical facts you want to remember. Don’t allow yourself to get too distracted by them.
  • When responding to questions, take a second. Nod, but pause for a second, in case the connection is weak, so you don’t end up talking over the interviewer.

10. Have a backup plan

Technology can let us down, be proactive. Ask the interviewer or your consultant for a number to call should the connection drop.

Closing Thoughts

These tips should help you prepare for your video interview. You will, of course, need to do all the normal interview preparation, understand the role and how your experience qualifies you for it. But also practice, practice with your technology, how you behave on a video call and where to carry out the interview.

Good luck and don’t forget to call your Inspire Selection Consultant straight after the interview to feedback.


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