3 tips you haven’t heard to prepare for a video interview

With the majority of office workers working remotely, having to take a day off to attend an interview in your (hopefully) future work location has become a thing of the past. 

And with this, we’re seeing an increase of pre-recorded interviews becoming part of the screening process. 

Companies will usually use software like HireVue or their own recruitment system (ATS) to record the interviews but the decision will be made by the person watching it. 

I’m sitting on the fence about video interviews. 

It’s one sided and you miss the chance of having a proper conversation but it’s a good way to speed things up as you don’t have to get diaries to align since the videos can be recorded and reviewed at any time. 

Regardless of whether you like it or not, pre-recorded interviews are here to stay. 

And if you’ve been asked to submit yours for the first time, you might be wondering how the hell you should prepare for it. 

So let me give you my top 3 video interview tips.

1. Stage your stage

Before you even get started, find somewhere in your home where you want to do the recording. 

That’s just a bit OTT! 

Choose somewhere with a good wifi signal, decent lighting and a neutral background. 

Seriously, you’re not here to show off your interior design skills. A white wall is much better than a bookcase if you want the viewer to focus on what you say rather than what books you read. 

But you should also pay attention to what you can see. Tidy up the kids toys, put your favourite plant in front of you or light a candle if it makes you feel good. 

Pick a comfortable chair (avoid the swivelly one, it’s annoying to watch) and set your phone or laptop to film your face and shoulder and to avoid any unflattering double chin angles. 

2. Get used to the sound of your own voice

Unless you’ve become a ‘lockdown influencer’ and got used to talking about nothing and everything on your IG handle, you’ll probably find this a bit intimidating. 

It’s normal. 

No one likes the sound of their own voice. Actually, I know a few people who do… 

Moving on.  

The only way to get over it is to practice and get used to being recorded. 

Let me tell you something, filming myself is still stressful (even after some practice) and one thing I do when I get stressed is to pick or bite my nails. But if you’ve seen my videos, I bet you’ve never seen me do that. 

You probably also have some annoying habits too, like touching your hair when you don’t know what to say or making a loud sniffing noise at the start of each sentence.

Watch your body language in your recording and become aware of what it looks like to the viewer. 

3. Prepare for the unexpected

If you know me, you’ll know I’m a prep queen.

But too much preparation can make you sound scripted and robotic, especially if you’re reading from your notes. 

I’m not gonna tell you how to be natural because I haven’t mastered this one yet. 

But I’ll tell you the best way to prepare your answers. 

A good way to do it is to pick 10 interview questions you haven’t prepared, or even better, ask someone to do it for you. Pick one at random and record yourself answering it. Then move on to another question.

But that’s not it. Your answers will be timed and when the time’s up you’ll have to move on to the next question. 

Michael J Fox Waiting GIF by Back to the Future Trilogy - Find & Share on GIPHY

Pretty hardcore. 

If you’ve ever tried to record a Reel you’ll know what it feels like. Your attention will shift to watching the timer rather than what you’re talking about. 

So again, the best way to get comfortable is to practice with the blooming stopwatch. 3 minutes per question should do the trick.

PHEW! That was full on! 

That’s right, that’s how you’ll feel when you submit your recording.

And I doubt it will be the highlight of your recruitment experience.

But hey, the silver lining is that you didn’t have to pull a sickie or waste a day’s leave for it. 

What do you think?

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