How to video interview – the new face of interviewing

What’s new, what’s the same, how to get to the next step in your career.

Do you remember your first time preparing for an interview? Picking out the right suit, the hair cut that was professional but made you stand out, and making sure you knew exactly where you were going to ensure that you would not be late!

Cut to your most recent interview, an employer sends you a link and instructions, “Please complete this video interview within 7 days.” How times have changed! The new face of interviewing is on your own computer screen. Some companies may have a pleasant actor ask you to “tell them more about yourself,” or in the case of a school, an endearing student asking you, “Why are you interested in teaching?” but in reality, you are speaking to your computer.

This new approach can present an ideal opportunity; you can do it from anywhere and stage the perfect interview! There is just one thing. You might have never done this before! No worries, here are five tips to turn your computer into the best interviewer you have ever had.

  1. Set the stage:

One would think that this is the best way to interview: on your own terms, in your pajamas and in your living room if you would like. Think carefully, though, about where you stage your interview. Choose the space in your home with the best lighting, away from noise and other distractions. This may sound like common sense, but with most video interviewing interfaces, once you start rolling you cannot stop. So think about a space where you will face NO INTERRUPTIONS for a least an hour.

  1. Technology—the gift and the curse:

Test your tech before you begin your interview. The moment you begin your interview is NOT the best time to check if that weird dot on your computer is actually a camera. Record a few test videos and watch them back. Does it look good? Does the microphone work right? The last thing you would want to happen is to begin your video interview and have a tech glitch throw you off of your game.

  1. Practice makes perfect:

For many, the experience of conducting an interview with you is not too common. And for most of us, with the exception of rising YouTube stars, watching ourselves on tape is not something we do regularly. So try it out! Record yourself answering some practice questions. Practice talking about yourself, your interests, your accomplishments and goals. Watch it back and pay attention to everything. Do you trip on certain questions? Do you take long pauses? Do you use filler words? And remember practice makes perfect.

  1. Be prepared:

If you’ve landed an interview, it means recruiters believe you possess some of the qualities they seek, so it is your job now to confirm their beliefs. Re-read the job description before you begin. Think about the position’s responsibilities and how your past experience lends itself to you being the right person to carry out those duties. Highlight tasks or anecdotes from your work history that mirror the duties of your desired position.


  1. Be yourself!

The recruiters that watch your video interviews are likely reviewing a massive number of interviews every day. So be sure that you bring a flare and enthusiasm that is not already reflected in your résumé. Though you want to practice, try not to come across as overly rehearsed and inauthentic. Do not forget to have a little fun with this, after all the ball is your court. You are literally in your house with a blazer and pajama bottoms on. Win, win situation!



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Jazzmine is an elementary recruiter at KIPP New Jersey. To connect with her, find her on LinkedIn.

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