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How to prepare for your online video interview

In the era of hybrid and remote working, there’s a good chance your next job interview may be conducted over Zoom, Skype, Teams, or another video conferencing service. This quick checklist from our specialist recruiters is tailored to help you excel in your video call. 

Whether you find video software slightly daunting or see yourself as a tech-savvy pro, this advice will help you refine your digital approach – from the fundamentals to our bonus tricks.

Once the date for the call has been agreed on

  • Accept the appointment invite. This is good etiquette to let the interviewer know the email has been received. In the invite, you may also be able to see who else has accepted and will be attending.
  • Book a practice run-through with your dedicated recruitment specialist. This will give you a good idea of what to expect and how to use the video platform.

Before the interview

  • Test your tech. Around an hour before, make sure your video conferencing app or software is up to date, your camera and microphone are in working order and your internet connection is stable. Using headphones rather than your computer speaker and built-in mic will allow you to hear the questions clearly and for your answers to be heard with minimal background noise.
  • Dress as you would during an in-person interview and sit up straight to project confidence.
  • Create a space. A space with no distractions will make your interview better for you and the interviewer. Make sure pets, children, partners and so on are in another room during the interview. Try to remove any objects or clutter in the background that may be too eye-catching.
  • If you have other people in the house, consider putting a “do not disturb” sign on the door to prevent any interruptions.

During the interview

  • Place some reminders around you. Keep tips and prompts for yourself on post-it notes around the screen. The joy of this is that you can put them at your eye level so you aren’t always looking down at your notes.
  • Keep a notepad near or use your device’s notepad app to write down key information or questions you’d like to ask. This gives you something to reference if there’s a lull and keeps the conversation flowing.
  • Be prepared for tech hiccups. In the event of a connection delay between you and your interviewer, you may end up accidentally talking over each other. Take a second to address this and let them know that it isn’t intentional. You may even find a chance to spin it into a relatable event – if they have conducted a lot of interviews online, chances are they have their own experience of this and will understand.
  • If you wish to simulate eye contact in a video call, our pro tip is to move the window of your interviewer to the top of your screen, so that they are as close to your webcam as possible. This way, when you instinctively make eye contact with their video, you will be looking closer to the webcam. Another method is to place a target next to (but not covering) your webcam, such as a piece of Blu-Tac to remind yourself to look up at it whilst speaking.  

Work with Distinct

We hope you found these online job interview tips helpful. 

Sometimes the search for a new role can feel like a full-time job in itself. As recruiters, we can match you with opportunities that are most suited to your skillset and ambitions. This can make all the difference in staying motivated, on track and positive in your search. If you’d like a hand with your job search, contact us today.


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