10 Video Interview Tips To Help Make a Good Impression

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 2 August 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

As remote work becomes more popular and hiring managers work to save time, video interviews are becoming more common. This interview format gives companies the opportunity to meet with candidates from many locations, rather than professionals within their local vicinity. Likewise, video interviews cut down on commute times for candidates, making it more convenient for them too. In this article, we explain what video interviews are and why preparing for them is important and share 10 helpful video interview tips.

Related: How To Succeed in a Virtual Interview

Why review video interview tips?

A video interview is a common way hiring managers can assess candidates. Rather than meeting in-person, video interviews allow you and an interviewer to meet using video conferencing software. While it's common for video interviews to happen in real-time, some hiring managers may ask that you record your responses so that they can review them at a later time. When getting an interview offer, the hiring manager is likely to give you detailed instructions about what kind of video interview it is. Reviewing tips ahead of time can help you prepare for this experience.

Related: Job Interview Tips: How To Make a Great Impression

Why is it important to prepare for a video interview?

Preparing for a video interview is important because it's your chance to make a lasting impression on a hiring manager. By understanding how to use this technology, hiring managers can see that you have basic technology skills and can follow directions. Since there are many variables that can affect a video interview, preparing can help you ensure you're able to meet in a quiet, distraction-free space with a strong Internet connection. Likewise, preparing can help you craft effective interview question responses, which are how hiring managers are going to evaluate your abilities as a candidate.

10 video interview tips

Follow these video interview tips to ensure you make a good impression on a hiring manager:

1. Test your technology

Rather than waiting last minute to turn your computer on, prepare for your video interview by testing out your technology. Ask a friend if you can practice using the video software with them to ensure you have a clear connection. Have them tell you what your video and audio quality is like so that you know if an interviewer can clearly understand your responses. If you're doing a recorded video interview, email yourself the file first so that you can ensure it plays back correctly. This preparation shows that you're a responsible and tech-savvy candidate.

2. Plan for common interview questions

During a video interview, employers may ask questions that evaluate your skills, background and overall expertise. When preparing for your interview, do some research to find out what employers typically ask people interviewing for a specific job title. Practice your responses to common questions, planning which talking points you need to address. Here are several interview questions an employer might ask to get a general sense of your personality and interest in their job opening:

  • Why are you interested in this role?

  • How would you describe yourself in three words?

  • What do you know about our company?

  • What value can you add to our team?

  • What do you hope to accomplish in the next five years?

  • How did you get into this industry?

  • What is your greatest strength?

  • What is your greatest weakness?

3. Dress formally

Even though you aren't meeting in person, it's still important to dress to impress for your video interview. Research the company culture before your interview so you have a good idea of what's appropriate. While it's likely that the interviewer only sees your upper half, it's still a good idea to wear professional pants or a skirt in case you need to stand up for any reason.

To look your best on camera, avoid bright colours and patterns and opt for softer colours instead. If you're wearing a tie, wear a solid colour rather than a patterned one. If you wear glasses, adjust the lighting in the room to reduce glare from the lenses. Position the camera so that you are looking up slightly and centred on the screen.

4. Find a quiet meeting space

When choosing where to have your video interview, find a closed-off area of your home that's free from loud noises and distractions. Consider a room with a door that you can close, so that you have complete silence when it's time for your interview. This way, you can ensure your interviewer can focus on what you say rather than the surrounding sounds.

5. Use inviting body language

Eye contact is very important during an in-person interview, and you want to convey that same level of connection during a video interview. Avoid the instinct to look directly at your interviewer on the screen while you're answering a question. Instead, when you speak, you want to direct your gaze at the webcam. When you do this, your eyes are more likely to align with the interviewer's eyes on the other end. When you're listening, you can look back at the screen.

Throughout the interview, keep your mood upbeat and convey optimism with your body language. One way to achieve this is to have good posture. Sit in your chair with your back straight and your shoulders open. Rest your feet on the floor and your arms on your lap or on the desk. When you're listening, nod and smile when appropriate to communicate that you're giving them your full attention. Use hand gestures when it feels appropriate and keep your movements close to your body. Avoid fidgeting or letting your gaze drift away from the device.

Related: Body Language Tips for a Job Interview

6. Communicate with your household

Make sure you let your family members or roommates know about your interview. Let them know that it's important that they stay far away from your meeting space and remain quiet during the entirety of your interview. If you have young children, figure out who is going to address their needs during your interview. You want to ensure you can solely focus on the interview rather than what's going on in your household.

Related: How To Prepare for an Interview

7. Prepare your area

Before your interview, get your meeting space set up. Situate your webcam in front of a tidy, plain background. It's best to sit in front of a blank or sparse wall so that your interviewer can solely focus on you. You can also prepare your space by grabbing a notebook and pen in case you need to write any information down. Having a copy of your resume next to you can also be helpful when thinking of talking points.

8. Log on early

Logging on at least 10 minutes before your video interview can help you make any last-minute adjustments. You may realise you need to do little things like plugging in your laptop, closing all your tabs and muting your notifications. Being on the video call before your interviewer shows that you're a reliable and prepared candidate.

9. Focus on your responses

When meeting via video call, you may want to look at yourself or what's going on in the interviewer's background. Rather than doing this, be mindful of what you're saying. By focusing on your responses, you can make a good impression on hiring managers. After they ask a question, take a moment to think of which skills, experiences and other qualifications you want to highlight in your answers. It's perfectly fine to ask the interviewer to repeat their question if you need to rehear it. This shows that you want to come up with a thoughtful response.

10. Ask thoughtful questions

At the end of your video interview, the hiring manager may give you the chance to ask a few questions of your own. Having a few prepared shows that you're interested in learning more about the role. When asking questions, choose topics that the hiring manager has yet to cover in the interview. Here are several questions that can get you started:

  • What is the company culture here?

  • What is your favourite part of working here?

  • What are some challenges the company is currently experiencing?

  • Who would I report to in this role?

  • Would you say this is a social working environment?

  • What are some professional development opportunities here?

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