How to prepare for your first video interview

Candidates Shine Futures
How to prepare for your first video interview

You may be reading this blog because you’ve been invited to your first video interview…fear not, it can be one of the most effective ways to successfully land your dream job.  To help you along the way though, here’s a little information to keep in mind.

Video interviewing is growing in popularity every day – many companies are recognising it as a cost and time effective way to get to know their candidates before bringing them into the office, and it means potential recruits that are based further away still get a chance to impress.

However, being interviewed for a job through a lens is often just as nerve-wracking as meeting someone face to face, and many candidates still feel nervous at the idea of a video interview.

The good news? There’s no need to panic. We’ve got some simple tips to help you get prepared and feel as confident as possible going in to your first video interview – and maybe even land you that dream job!



Think where & when

The great thing about video interviewing is that you get a little more control about when and where the interview happens than you would if you were going to a company’s offices.

Use this wisely.

Pick a time and date that you are as certain as possible will be convenient for you, where you know you’ll be home in plenty of time, you’ll have a quiet space to conduct the interview, and where you don’t have to be anywhere afterwards.

Also, make sure you think about where you’re going to actually do the interview – home is probably best, rather than a crowded or noisy coffee shop; somewhere with plenty of room for you and the camera (and nothing inappropriate or embarrassing in the shot behind you!) is ideal; and pick somewhere that you know can be well lit so your interviewer can see you properly, ie. not your dingy bathroom!

Still do your research

You may not be meeting your potential new employer face to face, but that doesn’t mean you should shirk on the research you do beforehand. Not only do you need to know the company inside out so you can formulate your answers, but you need to ensure you have a good idea of the expected dress code so you can wear something suitable. Dress as professionally as you would if you were seeing them face to face – you need to feel as much like your work self as possible, even if you are just sitting in your bedroom!

Practise makes perfect – and unscripted

The biggest bonus about video interviewing for candidates is that it gives you so much opportunity to prepare in advance, and rehearse until you’re happy. Whilst you might not get to see questions in advance, it certainly provides you the ability to prepare.

Despite this, don’t get carried away and write down word-for-word answers which you read from during the interview.  Whoever you’re speaking to will know you’re just reading aloud, and it will be distracting during the interview for you to keep looking away. Write down key points (not sentences) that you’ll base your answers on, and practise talking around them in a natural way.

For rehearsing, it’s a great idea to pre-record yourself answering the questions. Watching it back, you can note down how you come across (Too quiet? Too loud? Waffling too much? Talking too monotonously?), and then work to improve it. You can even rehearse your answers in front of friends and family and ask for feedback.

Test your tech

Perhaps most important – be as sure as you can that your camera, internet and computer/mobile is good to go on the day. You don’t want a technical malfunction to ruin your chances of landing the role! Our software here at Shine Interview helps with this, as you can record your answers from your mobile, tablet or PC, and all you need to do to is download our app.

Also, figure out exactly where you’re going to be sitting, what the lighting is like, and where the camera will be beforehand – you want to ensure the interviewer can see you properly, and that it’s easy for you to maintain eye contact with the camera.

As a candidate, video interviewing can provide you with a lot of advantages – so make the most of them! Best of luck…

It’s easy

It’s easy once you start.  Matthew, who recently joined us as an apprentice has written about his experience of his first video interview here

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