Ready for your close-up? Video interviews, your chance to shine on the small screen.

Does the idea of a video interview fill you with dread or are you secretly excited by the prospect? However you feel, they are becoming increasingly more popular with graduate recruiters. Don’t panic they’re not looking for the next movie star – actually they are just saving themselves some effort!

So what is a video interview?

A video interview is an interview that you record and send to the recruiter to view at a later date.

So why are video interviews so popular with graduate recruiters?

Time efficiency:  Trust me, having been a graduate recruiter, attempting to organise a phone interview in just two people’s diaries can be a nightmare, times this by 30 or 40 potential candidates for just a handful of positions and it adds up to several days’ worth of back and forth rescheduling. Video interviews do away with this. Recruiters set up one interview, send it to an unlimited number of candidates and give them a deadline to complete. You get to conduct the interview when it suits you and the interviewer can watch them at a convenient time for them.

Personality: Recruiters can’t read a candidate at the end of a phone, but on screen body language and personality come across. So make sure you are engaging and remember to smile.

Consistency: Every phone interview is essentially a different conversation, in comparison a video interviewer asks all the questions in exactly the same way to all candidates. This means that there is a more balanced evaluation of all candidates via this method, so it works in your favour.

Review and sharing: It’s easy with this format for recruiters to take a second look or share your interview with others if they want a second opinion. This is really helpful for them, so they are not just relying on their notes.

However remember, once the interview starts you can’t rewind or review your answers – it’s exactly the same as a face to face interview, without the interaction. So here are some tips to help you get it right first time:

Top Tips

  1. Check your background, take down the posters, remove that 3 day old mug and pick a room with clear bright lighting.
  2. Silence the house, warn your flatmates, silence your phone and close the door.
  3. Look presentable, just because you are in your bedroom this is not an excuse for PJs.
  4. Look into the camera, not the screen to ensure you are making eye contact.
  5. Timing: there may be a delay in the questions so make sure the ‘interviewer’ is completely finished before responding to avoid talking over them.
  6. Practice: see how you come across on video, do you fidget or wave your hands around, try to limit distracting gestures.
  7. Like a scout: be prepared. Are you using a laptop, is it plugged in with enough power, test every aspect of the equipment.
  8. Clean the camera lens, the slightest smudge can be very distracting for the interviewer.
  9. Sit still, be aware that the microphone picks up all the noise in the room so don’t tap your pen or shuffle papers.
  10. Have notes in bullet format to prompt you and place them at eye level, so you are not constantly looking down or reading from them.

As always the Careers Service is here to answer any questions or help you to prepare for your interviews so get in touch if you need more help or advice.

Good Luck!

Claire Wrixon, Careers Adviser

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