Job interview


How to Ace Video Interviews: Expert Tips and Examples


How to Ace Video Interviews: Expert Tips and Examples

by CVMaker

  • Job interview
  • · February 15 2024
  • · 3 min read
interview mistakes to avoid

Table of contents

Let's face it. Video interviews are daunting. No matter how many you sit through, each one leaves you as nervous as the first one. With the Covid 19 pandemic forcing more and more companies to adopt work-from-home policies, video interviews are increasingly becoming a routine part of the application process. So once you have mastered making a cv leading to an interview, the Skype interview might be your next challenge.

Types of video interviews

Depending on organisation size and application stage, you would typically come across two types of video interviews: live and one-way video interviews.

Live video interviews

On the one hand, live video interviews are typically done between you and a recruiter in real time, usually over Zoom, Google Hangouts or Skype. Think of it just like a regular face-to-face interview but over a webcam.

One-way video interviews

On the other hand, a one-way video interview (also known as an asynchronous video interview) is where you record yourself responding to text-based interview questions and send it to the recruiter.

These questions could either be delivered to you in text format via email or pre-recorded in the recruiter's chosen video software, with time allocated between questions for you to record your response.

No matter which type of video interview you've got coming up, we want to give you the best chance of acing it, so here are four embarrassing yet simple to avoid blunders to watch out for. Perhaps you can even recall some from experience.

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5 tips on how to ace video interviews

1. Know who you're about to talk to

Applying to multiple vacancies is common and often encouraged when looking for a new role. After all, the more applications you make, the more likely you will get an offer.

Switching between a conversation with one potential employer and another can be confusing. And it's easy to lose track of whom you're interviewing for next, but one of the worst blunders you can make is mistaking Harry for Mike or Emily for Sandra. To avoid this, take a moment before your interview to recap your conversations with the recruiter. Double-check who will attend the interview (if it's not a one-way video interview) and remember their name.

2. Put away your pets, kids and immature flatmates

Whether you watch BBC News or not, I'm sure by now we've all seen the infamous interview where professor Robert E Kelly's super serious interview on South Korean politics was hijacked by his kids … if you haven't, here's a spoiler:

When you've put so much thought and effort into securing an interview, you want the recruiter to leave the session thinking you're perfect for the role. Rather than remembering how adorable your pet was in the background or how visibly hungover the flatmate wandering around in the background was.

3. Spring clean beforehand

Just as you don't want the recruiter focused on people walking behind you as you drop your best spiel and pitch how perfect you are for the role, a messy background can take a recruiter's focus away from you. Picking a spot with minimal distraction in the background will keep all eyes on you.

Now, if you're like me and can be guilty of occasionally having a place that resembles a demolition site rather than a room, then don't despair. Video software tools like Zoom and Microsoft team now include features that allow you to hide your surroundings with a virtual background or just simply blur everything behind you.

4. Dress for the role, not the environment

One of the main upsides of doing a video interview from home as opposed to a face-to-face interview is that you don't have to commute to a location that chances are you've not visited before (and would most likely spend 10-15 minutes looking for when you arrive at the address provided). But this doesn't mean you should look unprofessional and join the video interview in your marvel onesie. We recommend playing it safe with formal or smart casual clothing (at least on the top half) to feel ready to ace your interview.

5. Be visible

Unless you want to be overshadowed, avoid sitting in front of a window for your video interview. Sure, natural light is great, but you don't want to turn into a mysterious silhouette or give your background scenery a starring role. If you must face the sun or window, roll down the blind or draw the curtains to make sure your interviewer can see you clearly. Test your setup beforehand to ensure you're well-lit and clearly visible throughout the interview.

Next time you've got a video interview lined up, remember to avoid these four blunders to ensure you sail through to the next stage and ultimately secure your new role.

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Updated February 15 2024


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The CVMaker platform offers a complete career platform for jobseekers with handy tools and valuable information. Are you ready for the next step in your career? Start here today!

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