How to prepare for a video interview

3…, 2…, 1… Action!


If you are reading this post you most likely are another step closer to your new job. A video interview invite is not something you are used to? Don’t worry, I can help you with some tips and share with you my own experience so that you can concentrate better on the task at hand and be at ease with this challenge. To be prepared is an advantage that will guide you through the actual video interview, and it’s also a good start to show the recruiters you don’t take the challenge lightly.




1. Find yourself a quiet and comfy place.

Which room is your oasis? Is it your office or your living room? It doesn’t matter if you record yourself at your office desk or at the dining room table as long as no noise interrupts you. But do not forget that the camera picture will show your surroundings as well. If you claim to be a precise person but the background is messy and untidy, the recruiters will believe what they see and not what they hear



2. Double check your devices.

You will need a laptop, a functioning microphone and camera. Not checking these devices beforehand might cause you great trouble. If you do not own it yourself, try borrowing one from a friend. You can even talk to the company providing the video interview software, ask for help if needed.



3. Do not leave it to the last second.

The ideal time to do the interview is at least 2 days prior to the deadline. This way you will have enough time to deal with possible problems, such as slow internet connection or bad sound quality. Should you have any problems with the software (the recording won’t start) you can still contact the company for further assistance.



4. Do a test recording.

You should never miss this step! Once you have answered the test question, watch what has been recorded. Are you content with what you see and what you hear? If not, you can still adjust the camera, the microphone, the light or the background and try it all over again. Like this you can be sure that the evaluators will pay 100% attention to you.



5. Be prepared.

What are the most basic topics you will be asked about? Be prepared to answer questions about yourself, your motivation and your skills. If it helps, put some of the keywords on post-it notes all around your display or figure out your own creative solution. If you would like to read more ideas on the subject, read our How to show your best self in competency-based interviews post as well.



6. Tune in.

Try to find the right mindset that works for you. The familiar space at home will definitely help you to relax or maybe a glass of water might just do the trick. Whatever helps you, it’s absolutely all right.



7. Imagine that you are talking to a friend.

If you find the video interview a bit uncomfortable, imagine that a good friend is asking the questions. You can even ask someone to sit with you while you do the recording so that it feels like a real conversation.



8. Dress up to impress.

If you want the recruiters to have a good first impression of you, dress up as if you were going to a personal interview. A wrinkled shirt or a funny T-shirt is not the same as a jacket with a tie or a nice dress to impress.



9. Look into the camera.

Everyone knows it is not easy to look into the camera and not at the display. If you can manage though, it will feel as you were looking directly into one’s eyes.

This is how the “interviewers” are going to see you on screen:

Last but not least let me share with you some cliches:

  • Be brave.

  • Use past events to prove your point.

  • Think out loud.

  • Emphasize what is important.

  • It seems like a monologue, but in fact it is a conversation.

  • Be on top of your game

  • Laugh, it is okay.

  • Also, it is okay to be wrong.

“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” — Seneca

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