How to Prepare for a Video Interview (Digital Interviewing Guide)

The interviewing process can be difficult, especially with the current state of the job market. One hiring shift that has blown up over recent years is video interviewing…with no slow down in sight.

Here’s how you can win over the hiring manager or recruiter during your next video interview.

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Video interview tips


Questions Answered:

  • What are video interviews

  • What are digital interviews

  • What to wear for a video interview

  • Can you look at notes during a video interview

  • How to prepare for your video interview

    • Video interview tips


What are Video Interviews?

Video Interviews take place when a recruiter or hiring manager contacts a potential new hire via Skype, Hangouts, or Zoom to discuss a job opening. It plays out much like a formal in person interview but instead online. 

If you applied for a job in a new city during this pandemic, you would have likely partaken in a video interview. 

What are Digital Interviews?

Digital Interviews can be slightly different.

Rather than talking (virtually) face to face with someone, you may have to record your answers when prompted.

Chances are you will not be speaking to another person when providing these answers but instead read from a list of questions or a robot.

Both types of interviews can be nerve-wracking, and it is best to prepare yourself well in advance. Read on to see how you can do it.

What to Wear for a Video Interview

While some might think it doesn't matter as much in a virtual interview, what you wear is still important.

You've most likely heard the saying, "dress for the job you want, not the job you have." which is good advice. However, you'll first want to research and familiarize yourself with the company interviewing you to see what clothes are appropriate.

It's generally best to keep everything professional, even though the interviewer might not necessarily see your entire outfit. 

Avoid bright colors and patterns that may look strange on camera. It's best to go with a neutral color palette and neat clothing.

Learn more about what to wear during your interviews here.

Can You Look At Notes During a Video Interview?

Looking at notes during a video interview is acceptable. Use them more as a guide than a list to read directly from.

We recommend you also ask the interviewer if you can TAKE notes during the interview - this will help cover up any obvious glances at the notes if you are concerned.



How to Prepare for a Video Interview (Video Interview Tips)

1.Set Up Your Tech and Interview Space

You will need to ensure that you have the right equipment and set up prior to the interview. Review the following video interview checklist to see if all items are in working order:

  • Your webcam is working.

  • Your microphone and audio are also working.

  • Your internet connection is stable.

  • No extra apps, windows, or tabs are open on your computer.

  • Things like your phone are set on silent.

  • A private, clean, quiet room with good lighting where you will not be disturbed.

  • Clear a desk space with only your printed resume for reference and a notepad and pen.

  • Make sure the background of the location you've chosen is neutral.

  • Set a glass of water on the desk for yourself during the interview.

Note: Do not leave all of these “to-do’s” until the day of the interview. You will want to test out your equipment and make sure it is working well before the interview takes place. 

You can also ask a friend or family member to video call you and test the sound and camera quality with them.

2. Practice, Practice, Practice

Your setup and equipment are not the only things that you should prepare in advance to land this job.

Practicing a virtual interview with someone you know will help. Ask them for their honest feedback on how you presented yourself and any disturbances in the call.

For example, were you fidgeting or avoiding eye contact? Was your audio reliable and clear? 

Practice, even on your own, will also make a difference in how comfortable you feel once it's time for the real thing. You can repeatedly check if you projected your voice and paused long enough not to talk over the recruiter because of any lag.

For digital interviews, practice will be slightly different due to the time constraints to answer the questions.

You will still need to be professional and confident, but you also want to be sure that your answers are clear, not overly complicated—time yourself to see if you can respond to questions in two minutes or less.

3. What kind of questions are asked in a video interview?

You will want to have answers ready for the common "Tell me about yourself," "Why do you want to work here?" and "What are your strengths and weaknesses?" questions.

Of course, you don't want to make it look or sound like you're reading from a script, but it can help to have a visual if you would like to write them down.

When the recruiter is interviewing you, make sure to stay poised and focused.

Have good posture and make sure your "eye contact" during the interview is with the webcam. You don't want your eyes to wander too much to your notes. 

Prepare yourself for these common interview questions before your interview.

4. Ending the Interview and Follow-Ups

At the end of your interview, feel free to ask the hiring manager a few questions yourself. Here’s a list of questions to ask the interviewer at the end of the interview.

Even after video or digital interviews, it is still best practice to follow up with the person who interviewed or contacted you for the job opportunity.

Sending a thank-you note (email) within 24 hours is helpful.

You can add information about how you enjoyed the interview and why you think you're a great candidate for the job.

A great way to personalize this follow up email is to add a slightly personal touch.

You can mention a topic you discussed during the interview; this can help them remember you, especially if you found that you and the interviewer had something in common.

Here’s a short article on how to properly write a post interview thank you email. 


Final Thoughts | How to Prepare for a Video Interview

Although interviews tend to be stressful and nerve-racking, don't feel overwhelmed at the fact that it’s taking place digitally or over video chat.

Video Interview stat from forbes

They clearly saw something great in you if they requested to speak about the job opportunity, so be your confident self.

The worst that could happen is they decide it’s not the right fit at which you move on and find an even better opportunity!

Best of luck!


References:

  • https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/interviewing/video-interview-guide

  • https://www.roberthalf.com/blog/job-interview-tips/screen-time-how-to-nail-your-next-video-interview

  • https://www.themuse.com/advice/how-to-nail-your-video-assessment-and-actually-get-to-meet-the-hiring-manager-in-person

  • https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/finding-a-job/the-complete-guide-to-researching-a-company

  • https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/interviewing/how-to-dress-for-a-job-interview

  • https://www.thejub.com/job-interview-resources

  • https://www.themuse.com/advice/3-steps-to-successfully-mock-interviewing-yourself-with-minimal-awkwardness


Title: How to Prepare for a Video Interview (Digital Interviewing Guide)

Category: theInterview

Tags: Video interview tips, How to Prepare for a Video Interview, Digital Interviewing Guide, Digital Interviewing, What to wear for a video interview, How do you stand out in a video interview, Can you look at notes during a video interview, how to ace a video interview, did my interview go well quiz


Author: Reid is a contributor to theJub. He's an employment and marketing enthusiast who studied business before taking on various recruiting, management, and marketing roles. More from the author.