Video interviewing is now a common recruiting practice, and it’s especially useful for hiring remote workers. After all, having the right skills is more important than being physically in the same building as the rest of the team. Video interview platforms help entrepreneurs find jobs and connect with other entrepreneurs anywhere in the world.


Thankfully, with a little preparation, video interviews can actually be much less stressful than in-person interviews. If you’re an entrepreneur or freelancer, here are some tips to ace your next video interview.


Types of Video Interviews


When preparing for a video interview, you’ll want to consider: the hardware you’ll be using, the location where you’ll record the video, and the way you present yourself on camera. It helps to know what you’re getting into beforehand, so first find out if the video interview will be live or pre-recorded.


In live video interviews, you’re interviewed by one or more people face-to-face without being in the same room (similar to Skype, Zoom or Facetime). In pre-recorded video interviews (also known as one-way or on-demand video interviews), you’ll be shown questions one at a time and then you’ll record your answers solo. The recruiter will receive a notification once you’ve completed the recorded interview, signaling it’s ready for review.


Prevent Technical Difficulties by Testing Hardware


The last thing you need is technical difficulties during your interview. To complete your video interview, you will need: a laptop, desktop computer, tablet or mobile phone.  Whatever hardware you decide to use, make sure it has a built-in, functional webcam and microphone.


Some video interviewing systems will send you a test page to run on your device before starting the interview, but it can be as easy as Skyping a friend to test the video and sound on your computer before your video interview takes place.


If you hear an echo when testing the sound (this is common in large, open spaces) you can either find a different room to perform your interview, or use a headset or earbuds with a microphone. The microphone will limit the amount of echoing in the room, picking up only the sounds closest to it.


This should go without saying, but perform these tests with enough time to find an alternative if your hardware doesn’t work.



Find a Secure, Stable Internet Connection


You will also need a reliable internet connection for your video interview. Having multiple devices or users on the same internet connection can slow down internet speed, interrupting video quality or sound during the interview. Use an internet connection that doesn’t have too many users connected to it.


Minimize Programs and Software Running on Your Device


You should also make sure you have any other software or tabs which aren’t related to the interview closed so the device you’re using can focus all its power on the video interview software.


Disable Distracting Notifications


Stay focused. You don’t want to distract the interviewer and you definitely don’t want to lose your train of thought while answering a question. So, before the interview begins, turn off all notifications on your phone and/or computer. Set your phone to the Do Not Disturb function and disable any notifications that pop up on your computer screen.


Dress Professionally


See if the company has a dress code you can abide by or play it safe and go with traditional business attire. Even if you position the webcam so it only shows your head and shoulders, a recruiter will still notice if you’re wearing a sloppy sweater to your video interview. Dress for the job you want—from head to toe. You never know when you might have to stand up, revealing your full attire.


Keep Pets and People Out of the Room


Before the interview begins, lock all your pets out of the room and tell people around you what you’ll be doing so they know not to interrupt you until it’s over.


Record the Interview in a Bright Room with Minimal Clutter


You want the recruiter or hiring manager to see you clearly, so make sure you complete the interview in a well-lit area. If the picture looks dark, you should move to a brighter location, or add lighting by turning on lamps or opening curtains.


Anything in the frame that isn’t your face can be a distraction for anyone watching your video interview. A pile of clothes on the floor or a messy desk may make you look unorganized and unprofessional. To ensure the focus stays on you, choose a location with your back to a blank wall. If the wall behind you is a light color, this will reflect more light than dark walls, illuminating your face for the interviewer.


Keep the Camera Steady


Shakiness is a distraction for hiring managers, so don’t hold the device in your hand throughout the interview. Instead, position your device on a stand so it will remain steady during the entire series of questions.


Make Eye Contact with the Interviewer


Even though you’re doing a video interview, eye contact is still important. Most webcams are positioned at the top of a screen, so staring directly at the screen can make it look as though you’re looking down or have your eyes closed. This doesn’t exactly scream confidence. When speaking, look at the webcam instead of the screen.


Practice, Practice, Practice


The best way to get comfortable with video interviewing is by practicing. You can practice recording yourself on your own, do mock video interviews with friends and family, or simply practice in front of a mirror.


The #1 piece of advice to ace your next video interview is this: act like you would in any interview! Be professional, smile and use open body language. Video interviewing is a great opportunity to showcase your personality and the “soft skills” that aren’t always evident in a text-based resume or CV.


Best of luck!

Author's Bio: 

Jessica Newman is a skilled wordsmith, an innovative marketer and a passionate entrepreneur. She’s the Chief Content Creator at The Word Wiz and staff writer at VidCruiter.