Man sitting at computerIncreasing numbers of employers are using video interviews as part of their selection process. With this in mind we have come up with some tips to help our students with this stage of the process. 

A video interview uses online video technology to connect applicants and recruiters earlier in the hiring process. In a video interview, questions are either asked through text or sound or both. You are then given a certain amount of time to think about your answer and another set of time to answer. Video interviews are used by companies as they are less costly than face –to-face and telephone interviews. These interviews can be difficult as you cannot pick up on cues from the interviewer listening to your answer and asking follow-up questions. This lack of personal communication has to be ignored and try to remain calm in giving your answers.

During a video interview, it is important that you do the following:

  • Prepare and present yourself as you would for an in-person interview.
  • All companies have a brand which is determined by their core values and missions. Familiarise yourself with the brand before your video interview. Remember to research the company and research the sector.
  • Get as much information as possible about the recruiter. Know your CV inside out and be honest about the information you give because you could be asked questions based on what you stated in your CV.
  • Check that your device and audio is in good working order. Check the sound before you start.
  • Practice your interview before hand; a good way to do this is by making a video which you can watch to see where improvement is needed. Record yourself answering interview questions on your mobile phone.
  • Control your body language and gestures (non-verbal communication) as much as you possibly can. Avoid moving too much: Try not to tap your fingers, move your hands around a lot or shake your legs as that could convey that you are nervous.
  • Speak clearly.
  • Find out what questions you will be asked by looking on student forums. Prepare your answers in note or bullet point form. Do not write out full answers as your answer will not flow and may sound stilted. In a telephone interview it would be easy to just read your notes but a video interview requires more than this
  • Have light facing you: In a one-way interview, if light shining behind you hits the webcam, it can make you look like a shadow. It is therefore advised that you position the light across the room from where you are sitting.
  • Time keeping: Keeping to time is very important but looking down the bottom of your screen or behind to check time can make you clumsy. One tip is to stick a watch on the top left/right hand side of your computer to avoid the temptation to look down or around for a clock. Sometimes video interviews give a clock saying how much time you have used/have left.
  • Establish and maintain eye contact: As much as is possible look into the camera not the screen. Videos will be looked at by the people who set up your interview and you do not want to look disinterested in the tasks you have been given.
  • The good thing about a video interview is that you can do it at a time that suits you. It is always best to do it at least a day before the deadline though in case of any technology issues.
  • Sit up straight: A good posture is very important and position yourself in the centre of the webcam.
  • Smile: A smile makes you seem approachable and is also a great way to hide nerves and insecurities.
  • Have a glass of water available.
  • You might wish to have a piece of paper to write down points for more complicated questions and answers.
  • When completing a video interview find somewhere where you will not be interrupted. You can wear headphones/earphones if this is useful to you.
  • Make sure you are alone and that your environment is clean and tidy.
  • Make sure your background is professional- e.g. no inappropriate posters
  • Dress professionally and sit up. Do not lie in bed in your PJs!
  • If you have time left at the end of a question then act natural- do not pretend that the screen has frozen!


Further information on types of questions asked can be found in the Video Interviews document and Interview Advice section on the Economics Employability Moodle page.