Best Practices for Nailing a Video Interview

Interviews are almost always nerve-wracking, but when interviews are completed via Skype or some other remote means, the process can seem very impersonal. Besides being nervous, the candidate will find it very difficult to read facial expressions or the body language of the interviewer.



However, as working from home becomes increasingly common, video interviews are also becoming a typical part of the recruiting process. With that said, it is important to for job seekers to know how to nail these interviews.


Video interview; dress the part and smile!

The Obvious

Candidates should learn about the company ahead of time. Although they will not necessarily be working at the business's physical location, they will be representing it. This means the candidate should dress the part for the interview.

For instance, even though some telecommuters may have the option of completing all work from their homes, and therefore, they may work in their pajamas, a job interview should be completed in business or business-casual attire.

In addition to proper clothing, it is also important to ensure that the surrounding area, especially the desktop and background, is neat and orderly. The point is, the interviewer(s) should not be distracted by a cluttered desk or backdrop during the interview.

Planning Ahead

Video interviews should be planned for just like any other interview. The difference is, because these interviews are "at home," extra steps must be taken. This is especially true if the candidate does not live alone.
One of the first issues is letting others in the household know that the interview will be taking place at the specific day and time. This is to prevent family members from interrupting the interview.

Other considerations include small children and dogs. It is wise to ask a friend or family member to take care of any small children during the interview. Dogs should be fed and walked before the scheduled interview.

Practice Makes Perfect

One of the nice things about video interviews is that they can be practiced. Candidates can get friends to play the role of the interviewer and go through the "interview" a time or two before the real thing. This can help prepare candidates and take the stage fright out of being on air for the real thing.

This also helps with little things that are easy to overlook. For example, during a live interview, it is only natural to smile, make eye contact, and shake the hand of the interviewer upon meeting. During a video interview, it is also important to make eye contact and to smile.

Each person should also let the other know they are actively listening to what is being said. This can easily be accomplished by acknowledging comments with a simple "yes" or other signs of recognition.

Tips and Tricks

Another advantage of video interviews is the idea that candidates can have notes and prompts in front of them during the interview process. One way to do this is to have framed tips and notes on the desktop during the interview.

Regular photo frames make ideal displays for important interview notes. Tips could also be displayed on the wall across from the desk or even on papers on top of the desktop.

The candidate can have post-it reminders about the company's vision and mission and even about its history. This type of information can be useful in setting a candidate apart from others.


Being at home and free to use notes can make video interviews less stressful than "live" interviews.

Less Threatening and Challenging

As video interviews become more and more common, they also become less threatening. Overall, with a little planning and preparation, candidates are likely to find that video interviews are less challenging than "live" interviews.

Debbie Allen is a content writer, online marketer, and blogger with a background in organizational development. She frequently writes about small business management topics and shares information from Reputation.com.

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