Be Prepared for Video Interviews


It feels great to clear the first hurdle of the job search process and land an interview. It’s your chance to really sell yourself, have an open conversation with the hiring manager and get one step closer to closing the deal on a new opportunity.

Except not all interviews happen in-person or with a chance for a live exchange of information. Some companies are relying more on recorded video interviews to weed through contenders.

There are pros and cons of video interviewing, but don’t let the camera scare you. If a company extends an invitation to interview via a recorded interview, seize the offer and prepare just like you would for any interview.

Some of the benefits of video recorded interviews include a more efficient way to conduct numerous interviews and expedited time to hire. Those advantages may seem to fall on the side of the hiring company, but they can be pluses for you as well. You won’t have to wait as long for an interview. Coordinating phone or face-to-face meetings can take days if not weeks at times. Video recorded interviews can shorten that time drastically and don’t require scheduling time on multiple calendars.

You can generally also find a time that works best for you, day or night; choose your own setting; and not have to travel any distance to an on-site meeting. Some platforms also can be accessed on a tablet or mobile phone.

The Downside
Some people may have performance anxiety and worry about how they look on camera. There is generally only one shot to answer a question on some video platforms, and there is not a way to clarify questions or ask for additional information. You also can’t read the interviewer’s non-verbal cues since questions are pre-recorded or in written form. A Skype interview, for instance, is different. That medium does afford a two-way visual and verbal exchange.

The worst part: a video recorded interview can feel a bit de-humanizing and like one more use of technology to remove the real sense of connection and rapport between two people. There is also the chance that video recordings can increase discrimination, giving the hiring company a means of judging appearance rather than qualifications.

How to Prepare
You still don’t want to miss getting your foot in the door, even if that first introductory interview is through a video recording. How can you ace a video interview?

Just like you conduct any interview. Prepare.

  • Find the most comfortable place for to record your interview, preferably a professional, office-like setting.
  • Try out a practice recording of yourself in which you check for lighting, distance from the screen, microphone reception and noise levels
  • Dress like you would for an on-site interview (at least from your torso up)
  • Smile; you’ll look and sound more upbeat if you smile throughout the recording
  • Research the company and prepare for potential questions like you would for any interview
  • Set a time for your recorded interview when you know you will look and feel your best
  • Be natural and use hand gestures just like you would if you were sitting in front of the interviewer

A video recorded interview can feel a bit like creating a video for a dating site, but it’s all about putting your best foot forward. You’ll need to do that if it’s in-person or on camera. Rehearse, set the stage and…and break a leg!

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