6 video interview tips to master virtual communication

Career Advice
JC Cornell

By JC Cornell
April 14, 2021

November 30, 2023

0 min read

Acing your next video interview

Video interviews have become increasingly popular in recent years, especially with the rise of remote work and technological advancements.

While phone interviews can give you a good sense if someone will be a cultural fit in your company, video interviews do an even better job. Video interviews also allow managers to start the hiring process much faster. 

Preparing for the different types of video interviews is just as important as preparing for an in-person job interview.

From ensuring you have a proper internet connection to presenting yourself professionally, preparing can be the key to your success. Confidence in this format will show your prospective employer that you are adaptable and an excellent candidate for the position.

To help you ace your video interview, we've gathered tips and best practices to make sure you perform at your best, covering technical setup, communication and presentation skills, and optimal preparation strategies.

Key Takeaways

  • Proper technical setup and a well-presented background can enhance your video interview.
  • Clear communication and presentation skills are crucial for success in a video interview.
  • Thorough preparation, including researching the company and role, can boost your confidence during the interview.

1. First, confirm what type of interview you will be attending

Here are some common types of interviews that you should be aware of:

  1. Live video interviews are real-time interviews where you interact with the interviewer using video conferencing tools like Zoom, Skype, or Microsoft Teams. It's similar to a traditional in-person interview but conducted online.

  2. Pre-recorded video interviews: In this format, you'll be given a set of questions and required to record your responses. These recordings are then reviewed by the hiring team at their convenience. It's often used for initial screening.

  3. One-way interviews: Similar to pre-recorded interviews, here, you respond to automated questions, often within a set time limit for each answer. The interviewer is not present during this type of interview.

  4. Panel interviews: These are live interviews where multiple interviewers interview you at the same time via a video call. It's a digital version of a traditional panel interview.

  5. Technical interviews: If you're applying for roles requiring specific technical skills, you might have a live problem-solving or coding session conducted over a video call with screen sharing.

  6. Case study or presentations: You might be asked to prepare a case study or presentation in advance, which you then present to the interviewers during a live video call.

  7. Virtual Reality (VR) interviews: Though less common, some companies use VR technology to create a more immersive interview experience. You might be asked to engage in a simulated environment for the interview.

  8. Group video interviews: In this format, you and other candidates are interviewed together in a group setting, often involving group discussions or problem-solving activities over video conferencing platforms.

Each type presents its own unique challenges and requires specific preparation strategies, so it's important for you to understand the format you'll be facing.

2. Setting the stage

Choosing a quiet location

Selecting the right location for your video interview can greatly impact the impression you make on the interviewer.

Interviews are stressful. Choosing a quiet, private place where you won’t be interrupted by other people, pets or noises will make you more comfortable and focused.

Ensure that the room is tidy and the background is clean and simple to keep the focus on you.

A neutral background is recommended whenever possible. This eliminates distractions and adds professionalism to your appearance.

Ensuring proper lighting

A well-lit space conveys an air of professionalism and clarity. Aim for a location with good natural light, as this will provide the best lighting conditions.

Position yourself facing a window, so the light falls evenly on your face, without casting harsh shadows. If natural light is not available, experiment with additional lamps or light sources to achieve ideal lighting conditions.

Minimising distractions

To further enhance your video interview, ensure that your environment is free from sources of noise and visual distractions. Some steps to minimise distract ons include:

  • Turning off notifications on your devices
  • Setting up a "Do Not Disturb" sign on the door
  • Choosing a room with minimal echoes or background noise
  • Informing household members about your interview to avoid interruptions

Following these steps will create a professional and focused environment for your video interview, giving you the best chance at success.

3. Technical setup

Choose appropriate technology and test it a day before and on the day of your interview to avoid surprises.

The interviewer will likely determine what video interview software you will use, and with so many out there, it may not be one that you’ve used before.

Reliable internet connection

A stable and reliable internet connection is vital for a successful video interview. Ensure you test your connection before the interview. Find the best spot in your home with the strongest signal or if needed, use a wired connection to ensure stability.

Should you encounter any connectivity problems, consider rescheduling your interview or having a backup plan such as a mobile hotspot.

Audio and visual checks

It is crucial to check your camera and microphone before your video interview. Position your camera at eye level and ensure that your face is clearly visible with minimal distractions in the background.

Test your microphone to guarantee proper audio quality. Utilise headphones with a built-in microphone for a clearer sound and to avoid echo.

Confirm that your webcam and microphone work well with the selected video conferencing software to avoid any technical issues.

Familiarising With the software

Depending on the company, various video conferencing platforms, including Skype, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet, may be used.

Familiarise yourself with the software and know how to:

  • Start and end the session
  • Mute your microphone
  • Turn your video on and off
  • Share your screen source.

Test the software before your interview to guarantee a seamless experience.

These important technical aspects give you a solid foundation for a successful video interview. Remember that communication is key, so inform your interviewer promptly if you encounter any difficulties.

4. Communication and Presentation Skills

Maintaining Eye Contact

During a video interview, it is crucial to maintain eye contact with your interviewer.

To do this, look at the camera lens instead of the screen. This helps create a connection and conveys confidence.

Try practising beforehand by recording yourself or conducting mock interviews with friends or family.

Effective Verbal Communication

To ensure your message is received clearly, speak slowly and enunciate your words. Avoid using slang, jargon, or overly technical terms.

Remember to smile and modulate your tone of voice to keep the conversation engaging. Additionally, make use of:

  • Bulleted lists to organise your main points
  • Bold or italic text to emphasise key information
  • Tables to present data or comparisons

If your video interview includes a presentation, ask the employer for guidance on the desired format, length, and audience size.

Design your slides with a clear and concise layout, and don't forget to practise your delivery.

Professional Body Language

Your body language plays a significant role in conveying professionalism. Maintain good posture by sitting up straight and planting both feet on the ground. Use appropriate hand gestures to emphasise points but avoid excessive movement.

Dress professionally for your video interview as if you were attending an in-person meeting. Make sure your clothing is neat, clean, and reflects the company's dress code.

By demonstrating professionalism in your appearance and demeanour, you signal to your interviewer that you are a strong candidate for the role.

5. Brush up on your video call etiquette

The phrase ‘video call etiquette’ may sound incredibly Victorian. Still, you wouldn’t show up for an in-person meeting without giving thought to the impression you will make. The same applies to video calls.

Maintaining video call etiquette, regardless of what happens, will allow you to make a great impression during virtual interviews.

While all of this may make sense now, it is very easy to forget video call etiquette once your video interview has started. Keeping it in mind will allow these calls to be as collaborative and effective as possible.

6 Preparation Strategies

Researching the Company

Before your video interview, it's crucial to research the company you're applying to. Familiarise yourself with their mission, values, products or services, and recent news.

This knowledge will demonstrate your interest and commitment to the interviewer. Make a list of key points in a table format:

Company Details Your Notes
Recent News  


Practising Common Interview Questions

To boost your confidence during the interview, spend time practising common interview questions.

Focus on providing relevant examples from your experience that showcase your strengths and accomplishments.

Remember to identify and address your weaknesses constructively. Keep a record of your practice questions and answers, so you can easily rehearse them:

  1. Tell me about yourself.
  2. What are your main strengths and weaknesses?
  3. Why are you interested in this position and company?
  4. How do your skills and experiences align with the job description?
  5. Can you provide an example of when you demonstrated [specific skill]?

Use the STAR technique to help you structure your responses.

Preparing Questions to Ask

An interview is a two-way process, so prepare some questions to ask the interviewer.

This will show your interest in the role and help you assess whether the opportunity aligns with your goals.

Consider asking about company culture, professional development opportunities, and team dynamics. Jot down your questions in the form of a bullet-point list:

  • Can you describe the company culture and team collaboration?
  • Are there any professional development opportunities or ongoing training programmes?
  • What are the expectations for this role in the first three months and beyond?
  • How is success measured for this role?

By following these preparation strategies, you will be well-equipped for your video interview and display a clear understanding of the role and the company.

Final thoughts

If you are really uncomfortable on camera, practise, practise. The more you practise, the more you will be comfortable with the interview process.

Even though it may be awkward at first, you can become a consummate professional with a couple of practice rounds.

Airswift often facilitates video interviews for our clients and candidates. As we recruit both locally and internationally, we know that a “one size fits all” interview mentality is unrealistic.

We help our candidates be as prepared as possible for all types of interviews. Be it telephone interviews, video interviews, panel interviews, behavioural interviews or case interviews - we have you covered!

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