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How To Hold Great Video Interviews

Woman on a video call
Video calls to conduct interviews have become integral to businesses

The use of video calling to conduct interviews is widely used but since countries have been going into lock-down, use has spiked dramatically.

Although you would expect that home based interviewing isn't any different to in-person interviewing, new challenges can crop up and have a negative impact on the interview. Next time you line up a video call with a candidate, take a look at our top tips for success. 


1. Plan the questions.

As with anything, practice makes perfect. It's easy to assume  that everything will go according to plan but especially if there is more than one of you conducting the interview, from separate places, it's a good idea to set up and test the technology together first.


2. Look at the camera, not the screen.

Eye contact is as critical as in a face-to-face interview, and it adds a nice touch on a video interview as well. Pretend your webcam is the candidate and keep looking at the webcam as you would be looking at the candidate in real life.


3. Dress appropriately.

Be careful if you are considering dressing “business on top and casual on the bottom.” We recommend dressing professionally from top to toe. If you shift in your seat, you don’t want your pyjamas showing! Dress in light colours against a darker background or dark colours against a light background. Plan ahead so you look professional.


4. Take care to set up the recording environment.

Make sure your recording space is lighted appropriately and doesn’t cast unwanted shadows on your face. Move a lamp or light source nearby and use the practice questions to adjust your lighting and make sure you can see yourself. As for the background, keep it conservative or plain. The candidate wants   to see you, not your room, so set yourself up so that the video  will show you from the shoulder up.


5. Think about timing.

Don't rush the interview because you are conducting it virtually, allow the same amount of time as you would for a real interview


6. Avoid interruptions.

You might have children, pets or housemates who create noise or disturbances. Plan around this in advance to minimise interruptions.


7. Calm your nerves.

Your candidate is more nervous, so don’t worry. Focus on speaking slowly, and smile. Putting them at ease will help you feel calmer.


8. Be prepared.

Prepare everything you need for the interview in advance and have it close by so if you need it, you don't have to get up or move the webcam to reach it. Remember that rustling paperwork, whispers and chewing can all be picked up on the microphone so try to keep quiet and still so you don't put the candidate off.

Video interviews provide the opportunity to interview someone in a place of trust and comfort - their home, which gives them the chance to really shine and showcase their personality alongside their skills and knowledge.


You can download a PDF of these tips here

About the author

Rebekah Frost

A champion problem solver; whether it’s a board game or a tricky computer conundrum, Bekah's attention to detail is second to none. Her interesting and varied work experience across different sectors means she always has a story to tell, a love of people and a way to fix any issue.