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How do I prepare for a video interview?

Student Career Placement Consultant

There are two types of video interview that you might be asked to complete when applying for a job, and the preparation is fairly similar for both of them—although the experience of participating in each type is quite different.

One type involves having a specific appointment to talk with someone via some form of video messaging system. The interview itself is likely to be very similar to an in-person interview, with opportunities for the candidate to both respond to and ask questions.

The other type of video interview involves responding to pre-recorded questions via an Internet connection using a webcam and microphone. In this instance, there is no opportunity for true interaction as the candidate cannot ask questions.

For either type of video interview, prepare by doing the following:

  • Do research about the company so that you are ready to answer any questions about why you want to work for them.
  • Review the job description to see which requirements you meet so that you can talk about how you are suited to the position.
  • Take time to develop good examples that demonstrate your relevant skills and experiences. Use your 1stGig profile as a resource for some of those good examples!
  • Practice answering some of the most commonly asked job interview questions. You can find a list of questions in the Resources section of this site. In the case of the interview with pre-recorded questions, you may have an opportunity to review the questions ahead of time and practice your answers.
  • If you’re going to be talking to an actual person in real time, prepare several questions to ask about the company or the position. It’s okay to have them written out and available in front of you.
  • Set up in a space in your room/home that looks professional. Be aware of what is behind you. You don’t want the interview to record dirty dishes piled on the counter or clothes tossed on a bed or sofa.
  • If you have a pet, ensure that the animal won’t interfere with your interview by jumping up on your desk or lap or making a lot of noise.
  • Have a copy of the job description, your resume, and any other application materials in front of you. You don’t want to be searching on your computer for information while you answer questions.
  • Dress as if you were going to an in-person interview. You can find tips on what to wear for the interview in our Resources section.
  • Test your equipment ahead of time.
  • Turn off your cell phone before you start the interview.

Although pre-recorded question interviews seem to be gaining in popularity, there are many human resources professionals who disapprove of them, so it’s hard to know if that trend will continue. The possibility of video interviews, however, is likely to continue as it represents a significant saving in both time and money for everyone concerned.

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