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3 Ways to Prepare for a Video Interview


What’s more nerve-wracking than a job interview? A job interview that involves technology and all of its potential for failure — a.k.a. the video interview.

video interview 

(Photo Credit: senjaopettaa/Flickr)

That doesn’t mean that video interviews are destined to be disasters. In fact, if you feel comfortable and know what you’re doing, video interviews can be a great way both to show off your skills and remind interviewers than you’re a candidate of the 21st century. In any event, we’ll all have to get used to them: The Aberdeen group found that 10 percent of companies used video interviews as part of their hiring process in 2010, and that number jumped to 42 percent for some roles in 2011.

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“I’m a big fan of video interviews and I’ve interviewed and evaluated tons of candidates that way,” writes former recruiter Jaime Petkanics at The Prepary. “I expect that video interviews (especially for 1st screens) will start to replace phone calls and in-person interviews.”

Petkanics offers a few tips for folks embarking on video interviews. If you’re one of them, here’s what to keep in mind:

1. Do everything you would do for an interview.

Read up on the company. Practice answering common interview questions. Make a list of questions you’d like answered about the company and the role. Dress as if you were interviewing in person.

2. Do a practice run.

Make sure you know which program your interviewer wants to use, and try it out with a friend ahead of time. That way, you’ll avoid any last-minute technical glitches and be used to using the system. (In other words, you won’t do half the interview with only your forehead showing, or spend the bulk of the time staring at your tiny head in the corner of the screen.)

3. Eliminate distractions.

Make sure all dogs, cats, babies, and kids are being cared for in another room. Turn off alarms, cellphones, and other beeping devices. Remind your family or roommates that you have an interview, and ask them to steer clear of your space.

Comb the camera’s field of vision so that there’s nothing distracting to the interviewer showing while you’re doing your interview. Clean up clutter and anything that might draw their eye away from you.

Tell Us What You Think

Have you ever done a video interview? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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Spark Hire

Nice post, Jen! We give our customers similar advice about using our video interviewing platform. We also encourage treating a video interview the same as an in-person interview. Just because you’re not physically in the same room, doesn’t mean it should feel less formal or important. We especially stress the importance of checking your equipment prior to an interview. On our website, candidates and employers are able to go into the interview prior to their meeting time to test their… Read more »


Great article, Jen! Digital interviews are definitely on the rise, and I absolutely believe that recruiters will begin to use them to replace the traditional screening processes. I also agree that it’s important for modern job seekers to understand how to handle video interviews so they can achieve the best results possible. You touched upon some great tips – practice is definitely a key part of acing the interview. At RIVS, we believe dressing professionally, minding your body language, and… Read more »

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