Video Interview Walk-through: Tips for Candidates

Video interviews are a real trend in the HR industry in recent years. Many companies are leveraging technology know-how through platforms to select professional candidates for positions of responsibility with attractive salaries.

How to prepare for an interview if on the way to your dream job you need to do an online interview and record a video instead of sending a standard resume? And why should you agree to a video interview?

Why is the video format convenient?

The video interview format is convenient for both parties because it saves time. How many companies will you visit per day if you move around the city on your own? In the best case, fill out three or four questionnaires and talk to the same number of HRs. And if you get into a serious traffic jam, even less. Not to mention the fact that in some cities today such a way of getting a job is almost the only one in a pandemic.

It is enough to shoot one video about yourself and it’s in the bag. The material can be sent to dozens of companies every day. Of course, provided that there are so many worthy offers on the market for your specialty.

Imagine the reaction if you send a video resume to a company that doesn’t ask candidates for a video interview. In this case, the entry is guaranteed to be seen by the guide. Take note of this trick if you want to take a profitable job.

One more point. Even where video interviews have already become a mandatory stage in the selection of candidates, the majority of video messages are viewed by directors and top managers. Therefore, the adoption of the new interview rules increases the chances of finding that very decent job with a good salary.

How to overcome stress and decide to record your first video?

In fact, even the usual offline interview is another test for the nervous system. And if you need to record a video for the employer, the rates are doubled. Therefore, it is important to collect your thoughts, choose the right moment and prepare yourself in the most calm and conducive environment for productive self-presentation.

Consider how to design the interview in a separate room, where there will be no background noise, no distractions, and you can focus on the questions of the recruiter.

A good way to cheer up is to explain to yourself that you have already won because you did not take public transport or a car to the other side of the city and do not sit in line with other candidates, each of whom seems more professional, competent and confident.

Even if you get unusual interview questions and the first video isn’t the best one, it’s not a disaster. Be sure to inform the employer that you are ready to do the second take.

In most cases, HR managers willingly respond to such a request and send a repeat invitation. The situation can always be corrected if you have something to say and there is an opportunity to demonstrate your best side.

How do I prepare for a video interview?

First, let’s figure out in what format the video interview takes place. As a rule, a unilateral order is chosen. It is possible to send a video resume and not even get an answer.

Usually, a recruiter makes a list of questions on one of the video services. And a potential applicant receives a link to record responses within a certain time frame.

Sometimes the questions appear a few minutes before the answer, in some cases the applicant is told what time to meet. The final format depends solely on the desire of the HR manager to obtain certain information from the applicant.

What to do at the very beginning?

What to do at beginning


Inquire about the employer’s company, make yourself as professional as possible, turn on good lighting and set the camera in front of your face. All other angles look less advantageous. Imagine that the recruit is you and wonder what a promising candidate for a specific position should look like?

Technical equipment

To create a good video, it is critical to have an uninterrupted Internet with a stable speed. Ideal if you can use an HD webcam and a microphone with volume control. Noise and poor audio will easily cancel out the effort, just like sending a bland resume in a traditional format.

Pay attention to intonation and voice

Your job is to sound presentable and natural. The good news is that there are many tutorials on YouTube for creating a confident and clear voice. It is convenient to copy the manner of speech from popular presenters. Try to repeat them and the result will be your own unique style.

Control the time

Give specific answers to the questions posed. Avoid long lyrical digressions and far-off visits. Otherwise, the recruiter will think that you do not know the hardware well and avoid answering. Time is always short and it is very important to remember this. List the highlights and bring them to life during the video.

What mistakes are best avoided when recording self-presentation on video?

Mistakes to be avoided

Get rid of active gestures

It works well for live communication, but looks disgusting on video. Hand waves cover the face and distract the recruiter from speaking. If it is very difficult without hands, try to transfer the movements of the lower part of the monitor.

Look into the camera

We repeat: not into the monitor, but into the camera. At first, difficulties arise with this. Especially at the moment of communication with oneself. But if you imagine that the camera is the eyes of an HR manager in an interview, things will go faster.

Clean up the room

The ideal backdrop is a white or any other solid color wall in the back. A kind of impromptu chroma key. We do not recommend recording a video interview on the background of a carpet or posters with the heroes of your favorite TV series. Well, if in the background things are scattered in a chaotic manner, you are unlikely to be able to convince a potential employer of your exceptional accuracy by nature and other positive qualities.

How to competently answer questions during a video interview?

Prepare in advance the answers to the questions that the recruiter is likely to ask. Think about how to play around uncomfortable moments in an elegant and positive way. Use constructive language and write down and keep the best ones handy.

It is important that the cheat sheets do not fall into the frame. It is also not worth clicking on documents with answers to questions – this is not only visible, but also perfectly audible in the frame. Such behavior in the recording looks as if during the interview you are checking instant messengers or reading messages on social networks.

If before that you went to interviews a little and have no idea what answers to prepare for a conversation with an HR manager, we advise you to study the list of the most common questions from recruiters on the website. For example, HR managers often ask candidates to introduce themselves. It is important to maintain the time frame here. Even five minutes of self-presentation is considered an impermissible luxury, but if you talk about yourself to your beloved for all ten minutes, this is a guaranteed failure of the video interview.

Try to talk more about the benefits that you will bring to the employer. Tell us about how you worked on a similar project and why you are suitable for this particular position. For marketers, this method is called “getting into the head” of the client. What in your case means putting yourself in the shoes of the employer and trying to build a monologue on the video from the position of an ideal employee in the best sense of the word?

The world’s most popular video hosting YouTube will come to the rescue when preparing for a new interview format. It is easy to find on the resource not only voice training lessons, but also practical tips for passing video interviews.

It is difficult to predict the answers to unexpected questions. But it’s very good if you manage to mentally tune in to the non-standard development of the plot. Many HR managers try to deliberately confuse the candidate in order to look at the reaction and peculiarities of a person’s thinking.

How to convey your expertise to a recruiter?

Convey your expertise to a recruiter


A true professional is a self-confident person. Even on video. Regular training will help you remove such a video. Record a 15-minute interview with answers to classic and non-standard questions. Do it for yourself and look at the result of the work from the outside. Try to keep within the allotted time, write down and try to correct any mistakes made.

Exercise until your video looks like the posts of popular bloggers. Try to evaluate your creativity objectively, and the efforts you make will not be in vain. It is through these challenges that the path to your dream job lies.

Watch your gestures

Many potential candidates do not pay attention to the non-verbal: they rotate in the chair, blink too often, sniff or twist a curl. From the outside, it looks as if a nervous person with an unstable psyche is applying for a vacancy, who finds it difficult to control his emotions.

Watch your facial expressions

During unpleasant or unexpected questions, people often have an expression of anger, irritation, or complete indifference on their faces. Even if you think about something unpleasant for a moment, the emotion is likely to be reflected on your face. And an experienced HRC considers this information in a second and draws conclusions.

Operate with facts and figures

Tell us about your achievements, notable results and the most successful projects in which you participated. Verified and specific information characterizes any candidate as a professional in his field and a competent specialist. Video interview is not a casting or even a negotiation. It will not be possible to leave here due to personal charm or communication skills.

An important point that many job seekers overlook. Just in case, before the interview, re-read your resume and review your portfolio. It often seems that you know everything about yourself and your work. But in times of limited time and stress, the most important details are often lost in the depths of memory. Therefore, once again go over the key points will definitely not be superfluous.

Work on your speech

Keep in mind that not only the recruiter will look at the interview, but also the head of the department, possibly future colleagues and even senior management.

The optimum is the ratio of goodwill and business style. Stay with dignity, keep your distance, but at the same time try to be sincere, smile and endear future viewers to your person.

Stick to the same tempo and tone of speech. Demonstrate that you understand the seriousness of the situation and focus on the main points.

What you should definitely not do is speak with a bored intonation, allow yourself excessive familiarity or, conversely, arrogance. HR managers do not accept overly fussy, flirtatious, relaxed, or slow candidates poorly. Being embarrassed, avoiding an answer, and trying to smooth things over with an overly positive attitude is guaranteed to turn against you.

Many recruiting specialists evaluate not only the answers to questions, but also the behavior of the applicant, as well as the ability to complete the first task: “record and go through a video interview.”

Formulate informed, thoughtful responses

Before writing down the answer to the next question, think about what impression you want to make in your own words. Try giving multiple answers to the same question. Write down the material and see which option looks more convincing. Many obvious things will become noticeable when you decide to look at yourself from the outside.

The HR manager expects the job seeker to demonstrate a set of useful skills for the job. These are logical and critical thinking, determination of cause and effect relationships, emotional intelligence, the ability to work in a team, solve problems, manage time and show leadership qualities.

With careful preparation for the video interview, all this information can really be included in the answers to the questions. It is better to say indirectly: “I worked at ABC Ltd “and made friends with all the employees, because I am sociable”, but give specific examples: “At the new place of work, I managed to increase the level of motivation of subordinates in such and such ways and unite the team on a solution specific tasks thanks to such and such steps and actions”.

Tactics of behavior in difficult situations

If you feel that the answer to the question does not work, you come to a dead end and it will get even worse, there is nothing wrong with taking a short pause. Stop the flow of speech, collect your thoughts and come up with new wording for a competent and informed answer.

But the pauses shouldn’t be too long. Remaining silent during a video interview is just as bad as saying too much. Try to find the “golden mean” and demonstrate yourself as a competent, and most importantly – adequate employee with whom it is comfortable to meet and interact every day.

How to earn bonuses

Additional points are awarded for the ability to take responsibility, healthy ambitions, as well as a sincere desire to develop in the professional field.

It is very important not to seem overly helpful and docile. Typically, such employees are assigned the lowest possible salaries, are fully loaded with work, and are rarely offered a promotion.

Regardless of the content of the video, the HR manager still compares the candidate with other applicants. Therefore, it is very important not to play a fictitious role for 15 minutes, but to try to demonstrate your real best qualities.

Some questions seem too uncomfortable and as if provoke the applicant to “blurt out too much.” To avoid falling into an impromptu trap, elegant formulations will help: “I will not go against my business principles even in such a situation and the decision made will definitely benefit the company.”

How to find balance

When several employees are watching the recording, each of them makes a subjective opinion about the applicant. Ambitiousness appeals to TOP managers, but repels future colleagues who are on the same step of the career ladder with you.

The cost of recruiting specialists is an expensive pleasure for every company. Therefore, it is especially important to show interest in joining the company seriously and for a long time, and not to show himself as a demanded specialist who will switch to more favorable conditions at the first convenient opportunity.

When setting your core values and priorities, focus on those people who make decisions about employment. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to record an interview that everyone will enjoy.

For example, if you are interviewing for the position of a programmer, the decision in some cases is made in two stages. The initial recommendation is voiced by the HR, and the final decision remains with the team lead. Consider these points when recording your video interview.

What questions exactly will be and how to answer them?

Why did you choose our company?

A classic, but immortal because every HR or executive wants to scratch their CSM and listen to compliments. It’s also the easiest way to embarrass a job seeker.

Show why you are interested in working in a specific area and a specific segment. Study in advance the company’s products and services, the specifics of the organization’s work, and explain why you are interested in doing professional activities in this format.

Wrong answer: “It is prestigious to work for you, an office near the metro, there is free coffee, an opportunity to play on a console and make new acquaintances.”

Correct answer: “You are launching a unique project that will change people’s lives for the better. It is a powerful additional motivation, a great way to develop valuable skills and feel the value of your work. I have been striving for a long time to find a company that works at this level.”

Why do you need this particular position?

Applicants know less about this issue, and the likelihood of an awkward situation is even higher. Although in practice, there is nothing difficult. Think in advance at what points the previous job intersected with the new vacancy and show how deeply you understand the topic.

Demonstrate that you have a good understanding of what the department is doing as a whole and what tasks will be solved personally. It is important that the answers are in line with the interviewer’s expectations, and not your subjective ideas about the ideal job.

Incorrect answer: “In my previous job, I held a junior position with no career prospects. But I have already gained enough experience to swing at the middle. I need a higher salary and a certain social status.”

Correct answer: “Participation in the previous project stopped due to reasons beyond my control. When looking for a new job, it is important for me, first of all, to find a company that will provide an opportunity to get involved in work on an interesting, socially significant project and continue the active process of professional development.”

What skills do you possess?

Tell only about those that will be useful in your future work. Do not use common phrases like “I know a programming language such and such as the back of my hand?” Clinches demonstrate ostentatious, overconfident, often hiding indecision and incompetence. Never mention skills that you don’t know at all or have only a general idea. All the secret will definitely become apparent. Ideally, you can add a simple and understandable example from real professional experience to each skill.

For example, the same programmer does not have to tell the HR a set of “duty” qualities of a candidate for any vacancy. With experience in programming from a year or more, stress resistance, sociability and the ability to solve complex problems in a team are included by default.

It is much more important to tell about the programming languages and software with which you worked as a specialist, to describe the specifics of the tasks entrusted in the framework of several recent projects.

What if they ask a question that I’m not ready for?

If you thoroughly prepare for the video interview and take into account all the recommendations from this article, such a development is unlikely.

But if such a question comes up, do not get lost and remain yourself. At the end, recruiters like to ask about salary expectations and future plans. In such a situation, you should definitely not worry.

Show yourself as an expert who knows the real value of his labor, objectively evaluates the market situation and is confident in the future. Formulate your answer in clear, logical phrases and, perhaps, the video interview will soon become a powerful springboard for a rapid career takeoff.

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