How to pass video job interviews

In this article we will answer some of the most common questions about Video Job Interviews:

  • What is a Video Job Interview?
  • How are Video Interviews different to a traditional interview?
  • How to prepare for a successful Video Interview?

What is a Video Job Interview?

Video Job Interviews are becoming increasingly common as tools for company’s recruitment process across all industries – such as P&G, Barclays, Civil Service and many more. They give companies the ability to sift through candidates quickly, cost effectively, whilst also being convenient for those that apply. This means that graduates and professionals alike must learn this new skill of responding to questions via webcam. It is critical that you are prepared for your video interview, as this is the only way to keep up with your competition and get the job first time.

Video Interviews differ to traditional interviews mainly due to the method of assessing the interviewee that is used in video interviews – which takes place through an online platform rather than in-person or via telephone.

Video interviews can vary in style and length and there are two main forms; automated video interviewing and live video interviewing. In automated video interviewing, you are typically given a set amount of time to answer a series of pre-recorded questions. There is an allotted time for each response and you may be given one or two attempts before submitting each answer. Once completed, the recruiter receives the recording and can play back the interview responses. In live video interviewing, the interview is simply conducted live between the candidate and the recruiter or recruiting panel using platforms such as Skype or FaceTime.

There are several types of Video Job Interview:

  • Live with a member of the HR team, line-manager, or manager
  • Pre-recorded questions
  • Interactive, with other tasks in-between questions

And there are different styles of questions that you could face:

  • Competency-based questions
  • Strengths-based questions
  • Industry-knowledge questions
  • Technical questions

How are Video Job Interviews different to traditional job interviews?

1. Record your responses as opposed to a real-time conversation with interviewer

 There are many more similarities between the video interviews and traditional interviews than there are differences. One major difference is that in a video-interview you will not meet your interviewer in person and will therefore have to make good impression through the video recording of your responses. It presents both advantages and difficulties.

2. Answer the same questions as other candidates; you will be assigned a strict time limit

The format of the questions would be identical to what you would expect from the interview if it were conducted in the office. The only difference is time allowance. With Video Interviews you are almost always given a strict time allowance, after which your recording will be cut and the response automatically uploaded. Pay attention to the timer and make sure you manage to finish your point before the time runs out.

3. Fixed preparation time before answering interview questions

In both types of interviews you have time to prepare your answers, however in traditional interviews candidates usually feel shy to take a moment to plan their response, with a Video Interview candidates are given a time slot, usually 30-60 seconds to think of their response before the recording starts.

4. Make sure the space behind you is clear and professional

Your video interview will be circulated within the company you applied to. Make sure there is nothing in your surroundings and background that would look unprofessional or distracting, such as posters or simply a messy room.

How to prepare for a successful job video interview

  1. Practise. Practise!
  2. Dress smartly
  3. Prepare notes and keep them around
  4. Use the STAR Technique in your answers
  5. Show Enthusiasm
  6. Use GF Video Interviews platform to practise and improve

1. Practise. And practise even more!

This first tip is worth repeating, as it is ESSENTIAL to success in a Video Interview. Video Interviews ask something so unfamiliar of people: speaking directly to a webcam as though it were a face to face conversation. It takes time to perfect the technique, but there are a few ways that you can begin to get familiar with this experience and grow in confidence. It is vital that you are prepared as regardless of interview style, these are recorded and shared among the company’s team. Use your laptop rather than a smartphone for better quality.

We offer an AI-powered Video Interviews platform used by many universities to help their students practise for Video Interviews. You can sign up enjoy unlimited number of recordings with GF Video Interviews. Use GF Video Interviews to understand and answer the sort of questions that may come up in your interview (CBI, Strength-based, and typical questions in 10 most popular industries like banking or consultancy).

Practice talking about your experience.

Ultimately, a video interview should be treated in the same way as a face to face interview, and to be successful in any interview, practice is key. Practicing can help you become more familiar and comfortable in an interview setting.

There are several types of interview questions that we recommend to get familiar with.

Check out our competency based interview page on how to structure your answers in the STAR format to make them clear and easy for an interviewer to follow.

2. Dress smartly

You want to impress your interviewers whether they see you live or recorded on a video. While this is not a face-to-face interview with someone from the company you are applying for, first impressions still count. Alongside the unfamiliarity of talking to a webcam, you may get the odd feeling of dressing smartly in your house. The best way to gauge how to dress is to act as though you are going on your first day on the job. Think about the company you are applying for, and what they will likely expect from candidates.

3. Prepare notes and keep them around

For Video Interview you can prepare notes and reminders on sticky notes to put around your laptop so that you remember your strong points, experiences or key points to cover answers to most typical interview questions. You need to be able to scan through them quickly so be succinct.

You can leave some cards to remind you of your strengths and competencies that you would like to cover or write the STAR acronym to help you structure your responses.

4. Use the STAR Technique in your answers

Whatever style of questions you expect to face, your answers must be clear and relevant. In order to achieve this precision, try using the STAR Method for structuring your responses. STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action, Result. Recruiters typically use a form where they mark whether they observed all 4 elements of STAR method.

5. Show Enthusiasm

Think about the tone you take and the language you use too. This is important as it shows the employer that you are interested in them. The people from the company watching your Video Interview want to see that you are excited and passionate about the company and its missions throughout. Try looking at the company values and current initiatives on their website or social media. Then, make sure to embrace these throughout your video interview. Also, try to remove some of the surprise, by using the Question Identifier Tool provided by GF. This will allow you to get a sense of what questions you may be asked, and hence how to prepare.

6. Use GF Video Interviews platform to practise and improve

To perfect your Video Interview Technique, you must make the most of GF’s Video Interview reports. You can do this by:

  • Watching your recordings back after you have finished practising. Think about how fast you talk, and how clearly your responses come across. Use this to make note of improvements needed for next time. Be prepared to keep recording until you are happy and confident the video interview format.
  • Look at what facial expression is most prominent in your interview, which is generated through AI by GF Video Interviews. Also monitor your language, body movements and eye contact, as these can also indicate your confidence and overall personality to the viewer. Adjust your expressions and movements accordingly each time you retake the Practice Interview until you get it right!
  • On the GF Video Interview reports page, you can share your responses with friends or family. Ask them to provide feedback on your responses and take note as they may spot things you were not able to.

Good luck!