Video Interviews A Career Preparation Activity


What is a video interview?

A video interview is a job interview that takes place in different locations and uses video technology as a means to communicate and connect.

Video interviews are becoming a popular way for employers to save time and money. Unlike traditional, in-person interviews, video interviews can be done anywhere, allow more people to be involved in the hiring and decision-making process, and are easier to fit into busy work schedules.

Video interviews are used at many stages of the hiring process. For example, in the early stages, the hiring manager might pose a set of questions and ask job seekers to record their responses in a video. This enables the employer to screen candidates quickly and select which ones will proceed to the next stage.

Types of Video Interviews

There are two main types of video interviews: synchronous and asynchronous.

Synchronous interviews are conducted live over the internet with both the interviewer and the candidate in attendance and are often used as an alternative to an in-person interview. You might join a video conference from a link that the employer shares with you, or you might receive a call via Skype, Google Hangouts or another video conference provider. Once connected, you’ll be able to see and speak with an interviewer on the other end.


If you’re using a personal Skype or Google account, make sure that you have a professional username and check your privacy settings. If you have any concern about whether your username is professional enough, you may want to set up a new account for your video interviews just in case.

In contrast, asynchronous video interviews are recorded by the job seeker at a time convenient to them. There are times when an employer may use pre-recorded video interviews. In this format, the employer will give you instructions on how to join the interview. Instead of being connected with a person, you’ll be prompted to answer interview questions that have been pre-recorded or appear in writing on the screen. You’ll record your answer to each question and the employer will review the recording later. There is often a time limit for your answers, and you may be given more than one chance to record each answer.

Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance

Make a list of questions that you could ask during your interview to show serious interest in the job.

Do online or library research about the company you will be interviewing with to learn more about the company's mission, history and expansion plans.

Based on your research, prepare a few probing questions specific to that company. This will prepare you to demonstrate your knowledge of the company during your interview.

"Success occurs when opportunity meets preparation." - Zig Ziglar

Write common interview questions on index cards, shuffle the cards and have a friend pull a card at random. As you answer the selected question, ask your friend to evaluate and score your performance on criteria such as confidence, believability, pacing and clarity.

To further improve your ability to answer questions, ask your friend to respond "why?" to each answer you give. Tell your friend to keep repeating "why" and force an extension of your answer as many times as possible.

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” ― Benjamin Franklin

Pretend you are the employer and make a list of five to 10 questions that might be asked during the interview. Check websites for sample interview questions, and avoid questions that can be answered with a simple "yes" or "no."

Sit in front of a mirror and practice reciting your answers, emphasizing your skills and experience whenever you can.

Then ask a friend to pretend to be the interviewer and role-play an interview. Record your mock interview, then review your performance.

  • Did you project confidence?
  • Did you hesitate on any answers?
  • Were your answers too brief or long-winded?
  • Were you speaking clearly and not too quickly?

Revise your answers if necessary and rehearse in the mirror again. Then ask your friend to pretend to be the interviewer and role-play the interview again.

"Practice like you've never won. Perform like you've never lost." - Bernard F. Asuncion

Professional Dress

For your video interview, you should dress professionally—the same way you would for an in-person interview.

To look your best on camera, avoid bright colors and patterns and opt for softer colors instead. If you are wearing a tie, wear a solid color rather than a patterned one. If you wear glasses, adjust the lighting in the room to reduce glare from the lenses.

Position the camera so that you are looking up slightly and centered on the screen. While it’s likely that the interviewer will only see your upper half, it’s still a good idea to wear professional pants or a skirt in case you need to stand up for any reason.

Body Language

Eye contact is very important during a video interview. Therefore, avoid the instinct to look directly at your interviewer on the screen while you’re answering a question. Instead, when you speak, you want to direct your gaze at the webcam. When you do this, your eyes are more likely to align with the interviewer’s eyes on the other end. When you’re listening, you can look back at the screen.

Throughout the interview, keep your mood upbeat and convey optimism with your body language. One way to achieve this is to have good posture. Sit in your chair with your back straight and your shoulders open. Feet can be planted on the floor and arms can rest in your lap or on the desk.

When you’re listening, nod and smile when appropriate to communicate that you’re giving them your full attention. Use hand gestures when it feels appropriate and keep your movements close to your body. Avoid fidgeting or letting your gaze drift away from the device.

Let's give it a try!
  • Find a quiet, private, well-lit place, free from possible interruptions.
  • Ensure your internet connection is stable.
  • Check that your computer’s audio is working.
  • Test your computer’s webcam.
  • Close any unnecessary web browser tabs and applications.
  • Dress professionally and avoid bright colors.
  • Have a pen, notepad and copy of your resume on your desk.
  • When listening, nod and smile to show you are engaged.
  • Use hand gestures when appropriate.
  • Place your phone in silent mode.
Created By
Alliance For Education


Created with images by Sergey Zolkin - "Work on notebook" • Unknown - "web developer, conference room, coding, meeting, business ..." • Unknown - "Ingyenes stockfotó ebben a témában: asztal, beltéri ..." • Belo Rio Studio - "From the Creatives Working collection. Full collection at kellybrito.com" • JESHOOTS.COM - "untitled image" • Medienstürmer - "two businessmen having a meeting in the park " • Christina @ wocintechchat.com - "untitled image" • Unknown - "handsome-young-asian-in-a-suit image - Free stock photo ..." • Unknown - "Beautiful business Woman in black suit image - Free stock ..." • Michael Geiger - "Laptop displaying a pirate flag / jolly roger on a red screen, possibly indicating malware, hackers or a different computer problem." • AllGo - An App For Plus Size People - "Plus size person at work in bright, open office workplace" • Cytonn Photography - "untitled image" • Unknown - "Free illustration: Success, Key, Gold, Gold Colored - Free ..."