Tips for video interviews

Computer

What are they?

A video interview is an interview using a computer and webcam. Video interviews can be live interviews using chat software and these may be used instead of an initial face-to-face interview; whereas a pre-recorded video interview is one that uses interviewing software. In a pre-recorded video interview you answer pre-recorded questions; this usually involves you hearing the question and then pressing record when you are ready to answer, you will have to give your answer within a specified time. The employer can then review the interview.

Why do recruiters use them?

Increasing numbers of employers interview applicants via video; there are a number of reasons organisations may use this type of approach, they may use it to save time in the recruitment process, as an early sifting method or it may be for international positions where face-to-face interviews may be impractical. 

Tips

Pre-recorded video interviews

  • Look out for practice questions which video interview suppliers may allow you to access prior to starting the actual interview. They will not be the same as the real questions, but they will allow you to familiarise yourself with the process. 
  • Whilst it is important to be concise, try not to get distracted by the time limit when you are answering. 
  • Please note that you will not be able to go back and re-record your answers but recruiters can rewind and re-play your answers, so it is important you think carefully before you answer.
  • You will usually be asked fewer questions than you would at a traditional face-to-face interview. 
  • Questions tend to be a mix of standard competency based questions rather than those on career motivation. They tend to be more focused on practical questions about how you could apply your skills to the role. This are sometimes referred to as situational questions, where you will be given an example of a workplace situation and asked what would you do in that situation. The employer will be looking to see how, in answering these questions, you are demonstrating the skills that they require.

Example question one:

A pupil is persistently disrupting your lesson despite the warnings you’ve given. What is your next action? (Teacher training interview)

Example question two:

A high street book retailer wants to move the majority of its business online. What would you advise? (Graduate management scheme interview)

For advice on how you would answer please see our interview index page for more information.

Pre-recorded and live video interviews

  • Make sure you have a reliable broadband connection
  • Before you start your video interview ensure that you are in a suitably quiet space and that you are not going to be interrupted. 
  • Have a look around you, is the space tidy and uncluttered?
  • Dress as you would for a face-to-face interview. 
  • If you have never had an interview via video before and you are unfamiliar with online chats it might be helpful to practise with friends using Skype or Facetime for example.