The Video Interview: Really? Do I Have To?

by May 26, 2017

I recently had my first dabble with video interviews from a recruiter’s perspective, and I’m a convert. We’re using a web and app platform called Vieple to shortlist candidates, rather than using traditional methods like phone screening. A video interview helps to quickly identify whether a person could be a good cultural fit within the company, as you get an insight to the applicant’s personality. It also livens up the recruitment process, which for me it’s a win-win.

So how does it work?  Well, the recruiter will set a few questions (maybe 5-8) and give you, the applicant, a chance to review the questions before the camera automatically starts rolling and it’s go time! This can be a little daunting for the applicant, and after reviewing a few video interviews using this platform I would love to pass on some tips.

So here are my quick ten tips for doing a great video interview:

1. Smile

First, and this goes for any recruitment process, remember that as soon as you hit the apply button (or interact with the recruiter in any way) you are being judged. Not in an ‘I can’t believe you paired brown shoes with black pants’ kind of way, but in a professional manner. So when you see that record button start, begin with a smile. From the applicants that I reviewed, all of those who started with a big, friendly smile were elevated to in-person interviews. Coincidence? Maybe not.

Read more: 3 Tips to Get You Interview-Ready This New Year

2. Everyone makes mistakes

Secondly, it’s okay to slip up. We know that you only received 2 minutes to review the question and you can’t always re-record a video interview. Just acknowledge the mistake and strive forward. You can say something like: “Apologies, I forgot the word I was searching for. Now, where was I …. “

3. Tailor your responses

Third, stick to the question and relate back to your experience, along with the potential benefit of you being awarded the role. If the question is: ‘What does your average day at work look like?’, be selective, and tie-in elements of the selection criteria. For example, you could include something like: “I review my workload for the day and prioritise”, as this alludes to your time management skills. (Feel free to leave out the “I take a 30 minute coffee break with my colleague at 10am”).

4. Avoid filler

Fourth, if you’ve answered the question and have time remaining, don’t feel like you need to fill the silence if you have the option hit submit. A well-structured, shorter answer in a video interview can be ruined with fluff filler.

5. Dress to impress

Fifth, dress for an interview. This is a mini interview, and if you’re in your PJs you may not get the call back. If you want to be seen as a professional, you need to dress professionally.

Read more: How to Answer 5 Common Interview Questions

6. Your surroundings matter

Sixth, choose your surroundings carefully. Move as far away from noisy children and animals as you can. (The sound of a banana smoothie being blended could also be a little distracting). You want somewhere quiet, well lit, and with a relatively plain background so as to not detract from your wonderful face!

7. Prepare your equipment

Seventh, test your equipment! If you’re using a laptop or computer, make sure your webcam works beforehand. Or if you’re using a program like Vieple, where you have the choice of using an app or a web browser, then see which works best for your set up. With Vieple, I found that the app often works more easily – there is less set up and you don’t need to configure your microphone and camera. Then make sure everything works, to the best of your ability. If something goes wrong, contact the recruiter.

8. Lighting!

Eight: lighting, lighting, lighting! Make sure we can see you. (You don’t want the viewer so distracted by a poor quality video that they miss your answers).

9. Get comfortable

Ninth: to sit or to stand? Sitting may be the better option, especially if you’re holding your phone. But really, whatever makes the camera stay still and helps you fidget less is the way to go.

Read more: How to Overcome Your Nerves, and Ace Your Next Interview

10. Address your accessibility requirements

My tenth and final piece of advice is to think about accessibility. Remember, if you have an access requirement where you cannot complete the task of video interviewing, just let the recruiter know and they can make other arrangements.

Basically, try not to be like this guy…
Image source

My key take away would be use video interviewing as a tool to show your personality and cultural fit for the role. Don’t forget to squeeze in as much relevant experience and examples to your answers, as appropriate. Plus, the more practice you have with video interviewing, the better you will become at it!

More and more companies are moving towards some form of video interviewing, so good luck. And if you need some more tips or practice, swing by our office (CB01.04.13) for a Drop-in session with one of our Recruitment Advisors!

Featured image courtesy of Pexels.

By Michelle Maarhuis

By Michelle Maarhuis

Marketing Consultant

Michelle Maarhuis creatively drives marketing strategies to connect students and employers with UTS Careers.