Ready (or terrified) for your video interview?

Pre-Covid, approximately 22% of employers used video interviews versus 79% during the pandemic.

In the future, it’s estimated over 50% of employers will use video platforms for hiring. Perhaps you’ve not yet had the experience of a video interview; the thought of it might fill you with dread, and you’re not alone. The good news is that through preparation and rehearsal, you can have a phenomenally successful video interview.

Historically, most interviews, unless for remote working roles, have involved face to face interviews. The reason for this comes down to our natural human instincts. Trust is very much based on the ability to shake a hand, seeing and feeling body language in its entirety, and in real life. This may sound strange but think about the times you’ve met someone in person after months of virtual interaction. There’s an element of distortion from seeing somebody over video which doesn’t always translate as well as you’d like or expect.

How you look and sound is important

As you can imagine, hiring decisions are based on not just body language, competency and experience, but also trust and intuition, that a candidate can fulfil the role. Gaining trust comes from three elements of communication – visual, verbal, and vocal – the words we use (verbal), how we say them (vocal) and how we look when we say them (visual). In fact, visual is the strongest element of communication skills at 55%, followed by our vocal tone 38% and with the words we say accounting for just 7% of effective communication. So, video or face-to-face interviews will always be more effective than just telephone, so embrace it, if this is what’s offered.


Some interviewers can and will expect the candidate to have made provisions to allow for an effective interview environment. You should try as much as possible to avoid any type of distraction. Interruptions could be judged and impact your confidence. Embarrassment and feeling flustered will invariably impact your train of thought and ability to bring the discussion back to its point.


Something else to consider is your environment. Nobody is going to be impressed by a messy room behind you. In addition, it’s difficult to see your face if the sun is behind you or bouncing off a window onto your spectacles. If possible, try to have your phone or laptop screen (whichever will be videoing you) with the sun behind it.

Here are some more essential tips to help your video interview more successful.

  • Have a trial run with your recruiter using the chosen video meeting tech. This is especially important if you’ve not used it before. Every meeting tech is different. Microphone issues arise frequently; preparation can help avoid this.
  • Prepare your environment. People will look and judge your environment; make sure whatever is behind you is not distracting. Use the video meeting tools backgrounds instead.
  • If you have to use your mobile phone (some candidates only have work laptops, and so are unable to use them) then make sure you’ve invested in a mini tripod and sit back from the phone so you can be seen from the waist or chest up.
  • Have notes beside you, a pen and piece of paper and a glass of water.
  • Be ready for the meeting. Not on the dot ready, at least five minutes before ready. You never know when the interviewer will join the room, start the meeting etc. They’ll expect you to be there before them.
  • Instant messaging and email alerts should be turned off, including any other potential distractions (children, animals, partners, doorbell, deliveries etc). Most interviews are planned in time for the candidate to avoid the vast majority of interruptions. If there’s potential for disturbance, the candidate should advise their recruiter, who in turn would advise the interviewer. Again, better to be prepared on both sides.
  • Prepare your face. You need to smile. A smile can be heard and seen, and it alters the tone of your voice, making it more welcoming, friendly, and positive. Get those eyes crinkling at the corners to make it more believable. A genuine smile generates the feel-good hormones Dopamine and Serotonin, helping the body relax. Smiles are generally contagious; a candidate will feel more at ease when the interviewer returns the smile.
  • The right voice inflection is important, too. If there are delays in the video transmission and the candidate speaks quickly or with an accent, it can be difficult for the interviewer to understand. Speak at an even pace and avoid monotone delivery. Practice your pace and get feedback from your recruiter as part of your preparation.
  • Don’t forget body language. Just as you would in a face-to-face interview, use your hands, head, body to emphasise your speech. Ultimately, your body language needs to communicate the following:
    • Approachable
    • Confidence
    • Patience
    • Calm
    • Interested
    • Not dominant
    • Not defensive
    • Not frustrated/intolerant (even if technology fails)

To become a highly attractive candidate, or if you’d like more information on performing well on your video interview, chat with our team.

See our eLearning course ‘ Get noticed and get the travel job’.