Interview via video - Tips for a successful job interview online

The coronavirus has changed a lot in regards to how businesses work and one of those is how interviews are now conducted virtually. Going virtual during a job interview has become the norm and we see why. They are convenient for all participants and easy to execute. Traditional forms of phone interviewing or meetings have now been replaced by technology that gives one the best of both worlds: being face to face, at the click of a button without having to travel. Seeing your interviewer via camera on your screen is a different experience than talking to them via phone or in person. There is a lot to consider before going on and during a video call. Check this article out to know how to succeed in a job interview via video. 


What is a video job interview?

A video job interview simply is part of the hiring process and instead of sitting in front of your interviewer, it takes place remotely and both parties use video technology to communicate. There are different types of video interviews. A way of video interviewing is the live interview, in which the hiring manager invites you to join a conference via link or calls you via a video conference provider such as Skype or Google Hangouts. The pre-recorded video interview is often requested in an early stage of the hiring process, where the applicant is asked to record a handful of questions and the employer is able to review them later on. Some companies might also invite you to take part in a Virtual Assessment Center. 


Why did they ask for a job interview via video?

Getting a response back after applying for a job is already a great feeling. But what does it mean to get an invite for a job interview via video? Does a virtual-only invite for several rounds mean that the interviewers are less interested in your candidature? Not at all! Nowadays, it is an increasingly common way of interviewing. We put together a few reasons why they asked you do to do a job interview online: 

  • Location is not relevant: Recruiter or HR managers of companies are often looking for talents both nationwide and globally. 
  • Big number of applicants: If 1000 people apply for the position and 20 of those get into the next round, a video setup is much easier to execute. 
  • Common practise during COVID: Keeping distance and continuing business related tasks has never been easier via video. 
  • Convenience: Neither the hiring party nor you have to leave work/home and no time is being wasted finding a conference room or having to brave the rush hour commute. In addition, it’s an opportunity for you to put your best foot forward without leaving the comfort of your own home.


How to prepare for a video job interview

Video job interviewing is not rocket science. With a little bit of preparation, you will do just fine. You might wonder what you can do in advance to ace a job interview via video. We put together a list with some tips. 

Tip #1 Location and surroundings are key. We will go into detail later on, but keep in mind, there would not be any interruption during an in-person interview, so make sure you find a quiet and suitable space for your video interview. 

Tip #2 Appearance matters. Yes, we highly recommend getting out of those sweatpants and jumping into something more professional that shows you are serious, motivated and committed. Don’t go overboard and try to still feel comfortable in your own skin. 

Tip #3 Do your research. Please prepare yourself before getting on this call. Go through the company’s website, look at press releases or find their social media profile. Just put time and effort into getting a closer picture of the philosophy and structure. You will thank us later, we promise.

Tip #4 Review your tech setup. Make sure your internet, camera and audio are working. Additionally take a closer look at the sources of light in the room and adjust if too light or too dark. 

Tip #5 Prepare yourself. Think of what you might need during the interview. We suggest a pen, a notepad, a glass of water and a copy of your CV. Furthermore, it is advised to run through a handful of common interview questions, for example about your strengths and weaknesses.

Tip #6 A practice call helps. Ask a friend or family member to do a test video call with you a few days before the interview. This way you can troubleshoot and have a better feeling getting on the call with your potential employer. 

Tip #7 Stay calm, be honest and put your phone on silent mode!


How to conduct a job interview via video

You got the surroundings ready for a successful job interview online. Nonetheless, you might ask yourself “What does a video call job interview actually look like?” What is the procedure, what to say when and so on and so forth. No worries – we got the answers for you. 

How to start a video interview 

In most cases, potential employers share a link with you to be able to join a web conference at a specific date and time. Get yourself familiar with the platform they are using. Make sure you have an account in case you need one. Open the link a couple of minutes before your designated time slot. This way you got a little buffer to see if the link actually works. Generally, if you are early, you will be asked to wait in a virtual waiting room until they start the video conference. In the case of a pre-recorded interview, you can be given a specific time slot to enter the video recording – if not, open the link and show them how awesome you are! 

How to introduce yourself in a job interview via video

Alright, you made it into the video call. Your nerves are high. Do they see and hear me? Am I looking into the camera, are my hands doing weird movements? Don’t worry, breathe in and see what happens. It is likely that the person in charge (the HR manager) starts the conversations and introduces himself and everyone who is on the call. Let them talk and just pay attention (Tip: Try remembering people’s names). In every single interview the moment comes in which you are asked to introduce yourself and that is your time to shine. Some people like to do impromptu introductions of themselves to avoid sounding staged. If you are not one of those, there is absolutely no shame in preparing some notes about yourself, which you would like to share with the employer. We recommend speaking naturally instead of reading off a paper. 


Where do you do a video job interview?

Does a perfect setting for a video job interview exist? Yes, it does. We put the facts together for you. Find a quiet room with good internet connection. Make sure the background is neutral and avoid bright light sources. Additionally, let others know not to interrupt. Pets and kids definitely have to stay outside of the interview room. We recommend getting earphones and mic ready, in case there is an echo. Last but not least, look around the room and consider removing little things in the room such as ticking clocks etc. 


Frequently asked questions during video job interview

We picked two questions, which you will most likely get asked in a video job interview: 

Why should we hire you?

That’s a valid question. What makes you special? How do you stand out in a video job interview? To be honest, finding the right response for this question is all up to you. Ask yourself why you could succeed at this position. Be real and brave. Get inspiration in the article “Why should we hire you?” to be confident in answering this cheeky question.

Do you have any questions for us? 

This question usually comes up during the last minutes of the call and we highly recommend contemplating about this before the video conference starts. Additionally, you have the opportunity to get answers to questions that came to your mind during the interview. Make sure to take notes to remember them. In case you need some extra help finding questions to ask in an interview, check out this article about how to star as a candidate. 


A few quick reminders to ace a job interview via video

  • Read the invite carefully. Generally, all online job interviews give clear instructions. 
  • Are you seeing the call’s participants in the email invite? We recommend researching who those people are. The more information you have on your side, the better. 
  • Turn on alarms to avoid missing the appointment.
  • What to wear for a video job interview? Professional-casual and nothing striped or patterned. Record yourself in what you are going to wear to make sure the camera does not do weird things. 
  • Charge up your gear. Test it. 
  • Body language and eye contact are key. Look into the camera – don’t focus on the screen.
  • Pay attention and take notes during the call.
  • You are not leading the call, let the hiring party be in charge
  • Be yourself and smile


Alright, we covered a lot of ground about how to succeed in a job interview via video. You are now ready to ace that video job interview. We talked you through what to prepare for before the interview, how a general video call interview runs and handed you some helpful tips in order to make sure you get on this call with confidence. Now it is up to the hiring manager to see your potential. Good luck in negotiating your salary 😉 

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