How to master a video job interview

Video interviews are increasingly seen as a more efficient and cost-effective way to vet potential new employees – and with remote / hybrid hiring also becoming more commonplace, it’s worth understanding how best to maximise your chances if you’re invited to a video interview.

It’s important to familiarise yourself with some video interview etiquette. Avoid the pitfalls and navigate your way to on-screen success with these tips for making the most of your virtual interview:

Test your technology

Do a technical check before your online interview begins to make sure that your internet connection is stable enough to avoid dropouts and poor sound and picture quality. Test out your webcam and headset to make sure your mic is not muffled. Have a list of links to a resume or work examples ready to copy and paste if required.

Practice makes perfect

Do a quick ‘mock interview’ run-through with a friend beforehand and you’ll feel much more confident when the time comes. This is a great chance to test out your technical set-up too.

Turn off other applications

Before your online interview begins, make sure you switch your phone to silent and turn off other applications (such as Facebook), so that message alerts don’t intrude and distract.

Dress appropriately

This is no time for a T-shirt and sweatpants – you need to treat this like a face-to-face interview. Dress as you would for any normal interview and be well groomed, so you really look and feel the part.

Make eye contact

It can be harder to create engagement and connection with your interviewer through video – so be sure to counter this by looking directly into the camera as you speak, rather than at the screen or the picture of yourself. This can be tricky to sustain, but if you accomplish this you’ll be way ahead of your competition.

Avoid distracting backgrounds

Position yourself to minimise distracting background clutter. Piles of laundry or mess behind you are distracting and will send the wrong message. Frame yourself in the best light and in the best surroundings to convey an image of calm, order and professionalism.

Minimise background noise

Whether it’s a screaming baby, a blaring TV or the roar of the nearby freeway, background noise can interfere with your concentration and distract your interviewer. Make sure you’re somewhere where you won’t be disturbed – and remember that your mic will also potentially pick up the sound of shuffling papers or drinking from your coffee cup, so be careful to minimise those types of noises.

Watch your body language

Physical cues can be even more noticeable on virtual interviews – so avoid crossing your arms or hunching your shoulders. Adopt a posture that is relaxed and open, remember to smile a lot, and try not to slouch in your seat or rest your head in your hand.

Ask the right questions

As with a face-to-face interview, be ready when you’re asked if you have any further questions. You’re likely to leave more of a lasting impression in the mind of your interviewer if you do ask some incisive questions.