Video Interview Tips

Teams, Skype, Zoom, FaceTime etc. are being utilized for interviews. Sometimes for the initial call, sometimes in place of an in person meeting due to geography constraints. Here are a few tips to help you prepare and ace a Video interview.

Double-check your audio, video, and internet connection

  • Close all unnecessary web browser tabs/applications
  • Angle and eye contact are critical
  • Frame yourself from the chest up
  • Test all prior to the call

Pick a distraction-free background

  • Make sure you’re in a well-lit room and the interviewer can see you clearly.
  • Close the door if you are at home – this will ensure no one walks in/behind you (including pets).
  • Test this prior to the call

Dress for the job you want

  • Dress the way you would for an in-person interview. This helps you stay in a professional/work mind frame.

Keep your body language open

  • Stay engaged with the screen, maintain eye contact.

Listen & Pause

  • Video (& audio) calls sometimes have a delay, it is very easy to speak over another person. Pay attention, wait for the other person to stop speaking. Pause and then answer/respond.

Mute the ringer on other phones in the room. Turn notifications sounds off on your mobile and desktop.

Have something to write on and with – let the interviewer know that you will be taking notes. Have a printed copy of your resume to refer to during the call.

  • If your video or audio stops working before the interview begins, ask the interviewer for a phone number where you can reach them if you experience technical difficulties.
  • If the video cuts out, call them at that number.
  • Ask if you can continue the interview by phone or if you can reschedule.
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After briefly introducing yourself and the company—and ensuring that the candidate has the time to chat—launch into your preset list of interview questions.

  1. Are you still interested and available for the job?It makes sense to ask this question right off the bat so you can determine if the person has found another job or is otherwise out of the market. That way you have only spent a few minutes in closing the case on this applicant.
  2. Can you tell me what attracted you to apply for this position? This question is a wonderful litmus test that you can use to evaluate how your job opening ranks with the applicant. If the applicant can enthusiastically provide key details about why they applied for your role, you can bet your opportunity is one of only a handful the applicant has applied for – or cares about.
  3. Here are the (3-4) key requirements for this job. Can you confirm – with specific details – that you meet these requirements? This question gives you key insight into whether or not the applicant has the core qualities you seek from the ideal candidate.
  4. What are your biggest accomplishments related to this job? Please be specific, describing your role in achieving the accomplishment and key outcomes, quantified when possible. Because many jobseekers are not very good at tracking and recording accomplishments on their resumes, this question forces applicants to provide detailed information about what they consider most important – and what they achieved. Furthermore, as countless academic studies have confirmed that past performance is the best indicator of future behavior, if an applicant can articulate how they’ve achieved success before, you can assume that they will be able to contribute to your company’s success again in times to come.
  5. Can you tell me about where you are in your job search – and what you hope to accomplish? The answer to this question can provide many insights. First, you’ll learn whether the applicant has applied to multiple positions, whether they have had interviews – and/or job offers, and what the timetable might need to be if you want to bring in this applicant for an on-site interview.
  6. Describe your ideal working situation (work environment, hours, travel, and the like). A candidate can have the perfect qualifications for a position, but they may want a completely different work/culture/team environment than what you have. Knowing their expectations can help you determine fit. A variation on this question comes from Michael VanDervort, executive director of CUE. Inc.: “What do you look for in your employer, and what do you EXPECT from your employer?”
  7. What are your salary expectations? From my experience coaching jobseekers, I can assure you many applicants will be unprepared to fully answer this question, but the response will certainly give you an idea of their interest, insights, and self-worth. Not to mention, if their expectations are completely out of line with what’s allocated for the position, you can eliminate them from the pool.
  8. What is your availability for an interview in the next week to 10 days? This question can result in two pieces of key information. First, how hungry is the applicant? Will they push for an interview sooner? Second, if the applicant is unavailable for your timetable (regardless of the reasons), they may be need to be eliminated.
  9. Is there anything else relevant to the job and your candidacy that we have not discussed that you want to discuss? This question provides an open door for the jobseeker to make a strong closing argument/case for hire…or to say nothing more. Shannon Randlett, senior manager at Channel Marketing, the Americas, has a slight twist, asking candidates: “Let’s forget our conversation happened, what is the #1 thing you want me to remember about you as it relates to this role?”
  10. What questions can I answer for you? The response to this question is seen by many as another litmus test. If the applicant has no questions for you, it’s time to consider whether you were the perfect interviewer or whether the applicant is just not that into you. Your intuition here may be critical.