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How to WIN at a Video Interview with Examples

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How to WIN at a Video Interview with Examples

Most video interviews follow the same format as a regular interview, but are held over Zoom (or a similar application, like our patented OptyInterview which offers employers way more than Zoom). These are known as live video interviews. Becoming more common are video interview systems that ask you to answer questions via video and text and can be completed on your timeline requested.

Right now, you might be wondering what all the fuss is about – if it’s just an ordinary interview done over Zoom, surely you should answer the questions to the best of your ability, like you normally would. And it’s true, you should. But as with any other interview, there’s a lot more to it than just answering the questions.

We all know that appearance and demeanor are vital to success. In video interviews, this goes even further. As well as dressing and acting the part, you need to present yourself well on the computer screen. It’s the role of a film technician – finding the perfect picture, sound and angles to show yourself off to best effect.

Live and Recorded Video Interview Tips

  1. Use a professional screen name

If your usual email and Zoom name is informal, change it or set up a new account. Nothing fancy – just use your first name or initials, last name, and (if necessary) a number.

If the call is via web-conferencing software, you’ll probably just need to type in your name or email address before you begin. Beware of typos!

  1. Project a confident tone and body language

You never really know how you come across on-screen until you record yourself talking and watch the results. Yes, it can be painful. (“Please tell me I don’t sound like that!”) But it gives you a chance to practice and reveals any unfortunate habits.

If there are questions you know to expect, practice them specifically. Deliver your answer directly to the camera, watch the result, and adjust as necessary for next time.

  1. Video Interview Dress Code and Outfit Choice

    man-in-suit-doing-video-interview

When selecting your outfit for a video interview, the dress code is just like what you would wear for a regular interview. You can wear tracksuit bottoms under the desk if you like, but everything visible should be office-appropriate. (Just don’t stand up, haha). Using common sense, you’ll figure out the best attire to dress in for the video interview for the position you’re applying for. It also doesn’t hurt to check out the company’s social media pages and see what people wear at their jobs in the office. Try to dress for this video interview one step above daily work life. This applies to anyone looking for a job, whether you’re looking for what to wear to a video interview as a female or male.

  1. Your Background for Your Video Interview

Pick somewhere with a simple, clean backdrop – a blank wall, if possible. There shouldn’t be anything to distract the viewer. If you use your own home, don’t show anything personal, even if it’s just what kind of TV you own or family picture. The background you pick out for your video interview is really important for first impressions, you don’t want to give a potential employer any reason not to like you for un-work related reasons. 

  1. No Interruptions

Choose a quiet place and ask your family or housemates not to disturb you. Turn your phone to silent. Put a note on your doorbell. Lock your cat in the bathroom.

  1. Show a clear image of your face 

Set your webcam up for a test run. How’s the lighting? Your face needs to be well lit, but if you have light skin a direct light could leave you looking ghostly. You may need to bring in a couple of lamps and light yourself from several angles. Keep experimenting until the webcam image is impeccable.

Oily skin can develop a shine on camera, so wash your face before the interview. If you wear makeup, keep it light and simple.

  1. Get a well-balanced shot of your head and upper body

If possible, set things up so that you look like a newsreader. Your interviewer should see a little of your desk at the bottom of the shot. Your head should come almost to the top.

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Yes, this means they can see your hands. You can’t instant message a friend for help with tricky questions, or obsessively check your notes – but you shouldn’t be doing those things anyway. It’s fine to have a pad in front of you and take notes.

You certainly can’t find this video interview tip on Reddit.

  1. Make eye contact

To achieve perfect eye contact via video, you need to look directly into your webcam. In practice, in a live video interview you have to look at your interviewer’s face on the screen so you can respond to them properly. For the best of both worlds, resize the window and move it as close to your webcam as possible.

For pre-recorded interview questions, you can look directly into the camera – but experiment first to see how well this comes across, so you don’t end up giving a creepy stare. If you just can’t help opening your eyes wide and looking wooden, set up a picture of a person just behind the webcam and talk to that instead.

  1. Eliminate all technical hitches

“Sorry, I just can’t get the webcam working!” – The words an interviewer least wants to hear. Test your equipment in advance to avoid the kind of embarrassment that could throw you off balance. If possible, do a trial run with the exact application you’ll use in the interview; if it’s a Zoom interview, set up a Zoom call with a friend. This is less easy to do if the call comes via the company’s web conferencing software – you’ll just have to make sure your camera and mic work in other applications and keep your fingers crossed.

A decent internet connection is also vital. Organize a backup location at a friend’s place in case your broadband has a bad day.

  1. Capture clear audio

If the microphone on your laptop doesn’t give good audio, it could be worth investing a separate one. And again, make sure to test the set-up before the interview, giving yourself enough time to change things if necessary.

Whether it's a Group Interview or Video Interview Tips for Candidates

While this sounds like a lot of work, remember that you’re learning a very valuable skill. Videoconferencing has only increased in popularity. Ten years from now, you might make a critical presentation to your CEO via webcam – and you’ll be very glad you know how to set up the lighting. It’s good to get these tips down so that way you can conquer your video interviews in any capacity, whether they’re one way video interviews which are often asked about on Reddit, or the classic live interview. OptyInterview offers both of these amazing interview options to employers. Check us out today.

How to WIN at a Video Interview with Examples
Mike Wagner

Michael has over 25 years’ experience in the IT healthcare industry. Michael has worked for major health systems, academic physician groups, Emergency room physician group and billing company, health plans and healthcare quality organizations.

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