There’s no escaping video interviews now

by Sep 11, 2020

Before the global pandemic, video interviews were something you had heard about from a friend, or perhaps done one yourself, but they probably seemed like a foreign concept. What’s the point of doing a video interview when you can just go to their office and meet in person? How times have changed!

As a lot of us have had to adapt to studying and working from home; we have been forced to upskill and get comfortable sitting in front of a webcam and conducting classes and meetings from our kitchen table or bedroom. Face-to-face interviews have seemingly become a thing of the past, and video interviews are here to stay for the foreseeable future.

Check out the following tips to make sure you can master your next video interview.

Know the type of video interview have you been invited to do

Make sure you are clear on which type of video interview you have been invited to participate in.

Pre-recorded questions

This is not a live video interview. Instead, pre-selected interview questions appear on the screen and you must record your response. Once you have recorded your responses, the recruiter will be notified, and they will review your answers in their own time. Usually you have a set amount of time to answer each question (approx. 1-3 minutes) and are sometimes able to re-record your answer if you were not happy with your first attempt. You may also have the option to view the questions ahead of time to help you prepare your answers. With pre-recorded video interviews there is usually a time frame of a few days, or up to a week, to complete them.

Live virtual interview

This type of video interview is much more similar to a face-to-face interview. A time and date will be arranged with the interviewer and the interview will be conducted in real time. It is important you turn up at the correct time, so make sure your technology is working to avoid any issues. Be prepared to participate in small talk before the interview begins.

Dressing for a video interview

What you wear in a video interview, whether it be pre-recorded questions or a live virtual interview, should be the same as what you would choose to wear in a face-to-face interview. Don’t make the mistake of feeling comfortable at home and dressing too casually. Make sure you dress in FULL interview attire (rather than only your top half) in case you need to get up from your seat to attend to a disturbance. The interviewer does not want to see your pyjama bottoms and slippers!

Your set-up and background

It is important to create an environment that is professional and enables the interviewer to see and hear you clearly. As mentioned above, dressing the part is important but there are a number of other elements to keep in mind:


Choose somewhere that is tidy and free from clutter. You want the main focus of the interview to be on you (not your messy bedroom!). Consider setting up somewhere with an indoor plant or artwork in the background to add some personality.


Natural light always works best. Try to choose somewhere where you can face a window to light up your face and your background. If you are doing a pre-recorded interview, try to avoid recording this at night so you can make use of natural light during the day.

Angles and eye contact

Always make sure your camera is at eye level. This gives the impression you are sitting across from the person and looks most natural. Often when using a laptop, you have to look down at the camera. To avoid having to do this, place a few textbooks or a shoebox underneath to build it up to the correct height. Throughout the interview try to look at the camera as much as possible to give the illusion you are making eye contact with the interviewer. 

Tech check

Ahead of the interview time make sure your technology is working well. Is your internet connection stable? Is your speaker and microphone at the correct volume? Do you need to download any applications or software to conduct the interview?

What questions will I be asked?

The questions asked in a video interview are no different from what is asked in a face-to-face interview. You may be tempted to feel more comfortable and relaxed at home however you need to do the same amount of preparation and practise as you would for a face-to-face interview. Start by reading over the job description so you are familiar with the role responsibilities and the skills required. Also make sure you have done research on the company and have practised answering behavioural questions.

Helpful video interview resources  

UTS Careers have a number of helpful resources to help you master your skills and ensure you are confident for your next video interview. Please check out the following:

  • Interview Skills Workbook – this guide helps you to know how to prepare, common interview questions and how to answer them.
  • Interview Playlist – want to hear examples of someone answering an interview question well? Watch our short video series!
  • Video Interview Practice Tool – have a go at recording and answering some interview questions. These can be submitted to UTS Careers and will be reviewed by a staff member who will provide you with tailored feedback.
  • Careers Drop-in – and don’t forget about Drop In! Book an appointment with a Recruitment Advisor who can help you to prepare and practise interview questions with you.


Featured image courtesy of Pexels

By Courtney Sue

By Courtney Sue

Recruitment Advisor

Courtney Sue works as a Recruitment Advisor for UTS Careers. She enjoys working with students to support them in their career journey and help them to improve their employability skills. Courtney has previous experience working in HR and Recruitment.