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9 tips to ace that video interview

A comprehensive guide to ace your next video interview

Given the world has been shrinking and technology has advanced beyond comparison, video interviews have become more common. In fact, when the COVID-19 hit, many companies switched from in-person interviews to virtual mediums realising video interviews are just as rich with information as in-person. Take it as a boon, just a little preparation and you can use this as an opportunity to shine and impress your employers with your skills. Here are our top 9 tips to help you ace that video interview. 

Effective video interview tips 

1. Be tech prepared 

First and foremost, charge your laptop (and keep it plugged in throughout the interview) and find a place that’s close to your Wi-Fi connection. Always keep your laptop on a solid surface so it doesn’t shake during the call. If possible, use a desktop. 

Know which software is supposed to be used for the interview and download it beforehand. Do you need any special drivers or any specific requirements for its smooth operation? If yes, sort it beforehand (not 10 minutes before but ideally keep a day in hand). Give it a test run if possible.

Use a good quality headset as it is the clearest option. Try using the ones with noise cancellation so there is no ambient noise to distract you and your interviewer.

2. The right background 

If possible, find a corner where there is an ample source of natural light so the interviewer can see your face clearly. That doesn’t mean you sit in front of a window or it will form shadows and you’ll appear as a silhouette. If you don’t have a place where your face receives light, place a desk lamp. 

Choose a quiet spot in the house with no distractions and people. Request your family members to keep their tone low when you are being interviewed. 

3. Be an early bird

We recommend that you log in at least 5 to 10 minutes before the designated time, as it will keep you calm and focused during the interview. Also, keep your notes, paper CV ready nearby along with the job description. You may not need them but keeping these documents handy documents will lower your stress during the interview and help if you get stuck anywhere.  

4. Maintain a reasonable distance

It’s recommended to sit at least three to eight inches from the screen to ensure you are not ‘in-the-face’ when on a video call. You need to be sitting in a comfortable position and be at a reasonable distance from your laptop/desktop. 

5. Give the right impression 

Try to have your laptop at eye level. It is important to look straight at the camera, so you are looking ‘at’ your interviewers, not ‘looking down’ or ‘looking up’. Ensure you have a mug shot visual (your face, shoulders, and mid-chest) so the interviewers can see your hands gestures, if you make any. 

When responding to the interviewer, always look at the camera. You can occasionally check your posture and your body language. 

It’s a good idea to keep your background plain (maybe a wall); if not, then try using a virtual background if the software allows the same. Most importantly, dress formally and neatly.

6. A digital handshake is a great option

Even if you are meeting virtually or for a small session, try a digital handshake. Address everyone in the virtual meeting and greet them while looking right into the camera. A simple nod or smile always works when someone addresses you and goes a long way to blend warmth and openness in the interview.

7. Be prepared 

It’s always good to prepare well in advance just like you would for an in-person interview. 

  • Research the company you’re applying to work with. Often, an interviewer will ask you what you know about the company

  • Keep your questions to ask ready. It’s okay to ask your doubts and more about the company and your job profile. Keep answers to the most common questions ready. For instance, answers to questions like “Tell us about yourself,” “Where do you see yourself in X years?,” “What are your strengths/ weaknesses?,” “What are your expectations around the salary? ” etc. can be prepared in advance so you don’t struggle or hesitate in your interview.  

8. Prompts and practice

Try and record yourself if possible and see how you look on camera. You can also keep some written prompts ready behind and above the camera. It’s okay to refer to these prompts occasionally. 

9. Mind the delay, pause 

Always take a small pause before responding to questions. Sometimes there is a delay with visual and audio responses, so a micro-pause before answering a question means there’s no uncomfortable lag or missing information. It is a good idea to check your volume controls and microphone efficiency before the interview. 

10. Appreciate in the end, follow up

Always end interviews with a thank you note to introduce a personal touch. You Follow-up within 24 hours of appearing for the interview. In addition, it will be good if you emphasise how you can do justice to the job position by adding something you discussed with your employer during the interview. 

The more prepared you are, the more comfortable you’ll feel

An online meeting can be less stressful than a face-to-face interview. You don’t have to worry about traffic, or tripping over your own feet, or having sweaty palms when you shake hands. In fact, they speed up the time to get hired, and you can look up remote positions as well. 

Set everything up in advance, and you can go into the interview calm and cool. Remember, your interviewers are also people, and they know interviews are stressful. They also had to have an interview, or many interviews, to get to where they are. So, buckle up and good luck!


Updated on February 17, 2021

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