How to be successful at Video Interviews – Tips for students


 (From Michelle Poole Birmingham City University)


What is it?


The use of video interviewing is becoming increasingly common amongst graduate recruiters.  You will receive a set of questions that you must record responses to in video format. This different to a live connection with the interviewer, you will be presented with pre-recorded questions.

The specifics may change, but in the main, employers set questions or tasks, then use specialist video companies like webrecruit, Sonru, LaunchPad Recruits and InterviewStream to conduct the virtual interview. All the candidates get asked the same questions, and the recruiters can replay or review anything that catches their eye.

Employers say that candidates benefit by starting the session at their own convenience without having to travel or take time off from another job, if they have one. The video companies offer opportunities to undertake practice interviews, but once the real interview begins, you can’t rewind or review your answers. It’s just like a face-to-face interview but with none of the feedback you’d expect from a person-to-person experience.

Video interviews are sometimes being used where telephone interviews might once have been, allowing bosses to assess a candidate’s manner and knowledge before inviting them to a face-to-face interview.


Quick Tips to improve your video interview:

  • Choose a bright room with soft background light
  • Move around with the camera to find a simple background; make sure it is nice and tidy
  • Do NOT use your monitor as a light source
  • Have the camera at eye level and look directly at the camera. Resist temptation to look at yourself, you want to be connecting with the employer.
  • Move lights around so your image is clear and bright in the camera
  • If you wear glasses, turn down monitor brightness to minimize glare
  • Speak loudly and clearly.
  • Look at your outline in the camera view – get close enough so you mainly see your head and shoulders

By creating a good light environment and following these simple tips, you do not need to spend a fortune on a good webcam.


How to prepare

You should treat this interview like any other making sure that you prepare well beforehand. Think about questions that you are likely to be asked and prepare some answers. Research the company; find out what their mission statement or objectives are, look at their history, what issues are they currently facing, who are their competitors etc. Book yourself in for a mock interview with the careers service.

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