How to ace your Online Video Interview

By itContracting Senior Recruiter Chris Byrne

The video interview has become a very popular method within the IT industry, second nature to many recruiters and agencies as a way to initially assess potential candidates. It may feel odd at first, yet interviewing using video technologies is practical, time-efficient, and transforms interviews into a more relaxing affair when done within the comforts of your own home.

Rather than making sure you turn up early or remembering to bring your notes and ID card at a traditional interview, the video interview has its own set of preparation steps you need to take into consideration.

Here are our super tips for acing your one-on-one video interview:

Before the Interview:

1. Account set up

Setup, prepare and test your account or web meeting software well before your interview. If you’re unsure of the common video interview technologies, here are the most popular types: Skype, Google Hangouts, WebEx, GoToMeeting, Microsoft Teams.

2. Make sure that you have a reliable fast connection.

We strongly advise you not to sit outside McDonald’s and rely on a public internet connection! Make sure you have a strong connection, preferably at home or a quiet space where you can represent yourself clearly to the interviewer. Good WiFi connection = good interview.

3. Audio quality trumps video quality

Your audio is much more important than video quality. People put up with poor video, but poor audio is very distracting, off-putting and annoying. Test this with a friend or family member before your interview. If the built-in microphone is not very good you might consider using a USB, Bluetooth or other high-quality headsets.

4. Dress to impress

Always dress as if you are attending a face to face interview. You should always treat any interview as a formal interview unless you are specifically requested not to. This rule should also apply to meeting with agencies. You are demonstrating to an agency how you will present yourself to their customers and they will be much more confident when presenting and submitting you to them.

5. Prepare your surroundings

Make sure that you are in a nice location and have a nice simple background. Don’t have your laundry drying in the background, your dishes drying on the sink or have confidential documents on your office desk or shelf. Yes, our recruiters have seen all of this and more. Oh, and don’t forget to put the cat out as well.

6. Frame yourself

Make sure you’re directly in the centre of the camera. Don’t sit too far back from the screen or too far forward. And try not to shuffle during the interview.

7. Have your mobile handy

If you have connection issues on your PC and laptop. All of the above utilities have excellent IOS and Android apps available. Also, you can revert to a phone call if all else fails. And make sure to put your phone on silent or even better, ‘Do Not Disturb’ with the vibrate turned off.


During the Interview:

8. Be early

However, if you a joining an online meeting room, don’t join too early. 2-3 minutes beforehand is usually fine. Your interview may also be interviewing other people and you wouldn’t want to join that interview also!

9. Be aware that your interview may be recorded

It’s always wise to think before you speak at an interview. Just remember to be positive and make a good impression.

10. Make eye contact… with the camera

Look into the camera as much as you can during the interview. Your interviewer will get the impression that you are looking them in the eye and talking directly to them. Avoid the temptation to look at the video of you that is shown on your screen. If possible, switch off your picture on screen as that can be distracting.

11. Know your job spec

Be prepared for technical or non-technical questions, and practice talking about your experience with the technologies that they require.

12. Have your CV to hand

Keep your CV in front of you and be very familiar with it. Some agencies will wrap your CV in their headed paper. This is fine but ask for a copy of it so you can see what the interviewer sees.


After the interview:

13. Disconnect fully

Make sure to completely disconnect from the interview. You wouldn’t want to leave a line open by mistake and say something that you don’t want your interviewer to hear!

But most importantly, enjoy the process! Embrace the experience of interacting with a video interview as it’s a good skill to master, even going forward throughout your career. You might one day be on the other side of the screen interviewing candidates.

What is your experience with video interviewing? Have you other tips to share with us at itContracting? Share your hints in the comments section below!

Career Advice