Video Interview Tips for Live and Screening Interviews

Video Interview Tips for Live and Screening Interviews

Fraser Clarke

Video interviews are replacing the old methods of telephone and physical interviews and as a job seeker, you must know how to handle them well to succeed. Over 50% of companies now use some form of video interviewing software to streamline their recruitment processes and most use video interview applications for interacting with remote candidates. 

You may be asked to do a video screening interview with a series of pre- recorded questions which you can do at your own selected time or you may be invited to a live two way interview with a recruitment team. With video interviews, you are reduced to using just two of your senses - eyes and ears and you must train them to be effective observers.

We would say there are five areas to focus on - technology, background, clothing, body language and attitude.


1. Technology

There is a wide variety of video interviewing technologies on the market and each employer will have unique preference for a specific type of interview software. It may be a general application such as zoom or microsoft teams or one of the many tailored specialised softwares.

The employer will send you a connection link and you should check the software and your hardware in advance of the interview. You should perform a test run of your camera and microphone at least an hour before an actual interview. Better yet, you can prepare a replacement in case of mid-interview malfunctions.

Instead of interacting face-to-face, there is now a screen separating you and the interviewer. You are still talking live like a physical interview, however, your senses are limited to your eyes, which can only see as much as the camera can, and your ears which are subjected to the mercy of the audio quality. Ensure that the webcam is at your eye level.


2. Background

Having an appropriate background signifies that you care about this interview. A professional setting creates a decent overall image, ensuring a pleasant yet well-qualified interview experience just like a typical in-person interview. Avoid backgrounds which look cluttered or messy and favour a quiet, well-lit space for every interview session. 

Your chosen interview location can say a lot about you. For example, If there is a cluster of trash or a pile of dirty laundry sitting behind, that says something about your organization skills.

Ensure that your lighting is adequate but not too strong. Lights should be in front of you to illuminate you but not drown you out.

Remove children and animals from the location and ensure that the area is quiet and you will be undisturbed.


3. Clothing

Have you ever heard the phrase “Dress to impress?” No matter where or when, a job interview is a professional activity that demands professionalism from all parties, whether it is physical or through a video interview, so business attire must be the mandatory dress code. 

Even if you are allowed to dress casually, one should at least look presentable. Casual clothing such as pyjamas, sweatpants, or t-shirts with inappropriate imagery indicates the job seeker's lack of interest in the career opportunity.

Clothiing colours are important and should be strong enough to ensure that you don't blend into the background but not so bright as to be overwhelming.


4. Body Language

According to a research, approximately 55% of our communication is non-verbal, 38% derives from our tone, leaving the remaining 7% as actual words. Gestures can also give you an idea of someone’s personality.

Here are some of the body language signs you could pay attention to: 

  • range of facial expressions  - a high variety of expressions and accompanied voice tone usually indicate an active personality.
  • posture - maintain an upright posture and don't slouch 
  • eye contact - maintain good eye contact. Not being able to do so is a tell-tale sign of communication difficulty or signals you may be reading notes on the screen instead.
  • maintain interaction - this is a must! (Some interviewees often receive feedback showing a lack of eye contact; this is because they only look at the screen, not the webcam. To prevent this from happening, place your webcam right above your eye level.)

Every movement that you can’t express by words still conveys volumes of information; therefore, body language plays a crucial factor in how you will be evaluated.


5. Attitude - Stay Both Professional and Personable

Respect must come from mutual ends, from both you and the interviewer. 

Showing genuine interest in the job and the interview, be patient with any technical issues which arise at either end and ask questions.

We hope these tips help with your job interviews and good luck!