Expert Video Interviewing Tips For Virtual Interviews

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Video interviews were on the rise even before COVID-19, and now video interviews are more common than ever. Video interviews are a lot like in-person interviews, but there are some factors to consider if you want to excel in video interviews.

Pre-Video Interview Prep

You should prepare for a video interview just as you would an in-person opportunity. Practice your “tell me about yourself” or opening few lines. Be sure you have questions to ask the interviewer that will help you figure out if this job, team, company, and way of work are right for you. Here are some good questions to ask:

  • What have others done to be successful in this job?
  • How does this particular team like to celebrate big successes and wins as a team?
  • What do most people do after this position? Do they move up within the company or move into different areas?

If you’re interviewing for virtual work, it’s important to ask more questions related to leadership, management, frequency of check-ins with your supervisor, and what are the cultural norms around working nights and weekends. All of these questions help you figure out if you want the job and if you want to work for that company. 

During the Video Interview

Come early. This is one of my favorite video interviewing tips. It may feel a bit weird to sit on a virtual call 2-3 minutes early but do it. For in-person interviews, you want to arrive about 15 minutes early, but I think that’s a bit too long for virtual. For virtual interviews, a solid 5 minutes early arrival time shows the employer you are prepared, excited to interview, and respect the team’s time to start the interview promptly. 

Don’t jump on right at the start time or even 1-2 minutes late. Trust me, those couple of minutes matter! When you get into the interview it’s always best to speak a little slower than you normally would, to ensure the folks interviewing you can understand even if there’s a slight technology lag. Consider a solid 2-3 seconds before answering a question, just in case anyone else on the interview panel wants to jump in or the video is lagging.

After the Video Interview

Be sure to follow up! Make a digital thank you card on Canva (free) and brand it with the company colors. Include a thank you message and something specific you talked about in the interview. Send that as an image in the body of an email and boom – that is your thank you card sent!

I’m honestly considering making the move towards custom thank you images for in-person interviews too because sometimes the mail takes too long or the hiring rounds move very quickly. So to be able to interview, follow up, and get a thank you out in the same few hours is gold. 

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Actionable Steps

Here are some additional video interviewing tips:


Prepare to Answer Common Questions

Write out and practice responses to commonly asked behavioral questions like “Tell me a time you failed and what you learned from it,” or “Tell me about a time you lead a team,” etc. Do your homework on the company! 

You can learn a ton from LinkedIn or Glassdoor or by reading a company’s website/blog. This helps you better understand what type of work the organization is engaged in and what matters to them socially. 


Make an Impression During the Interview

As with in-person interviews, you should be dressed professionally, have your resume and the job description printed out in front of you, and have a small glass of water and pen and paper to take notes. Sit close enough to the screen that the person can see you clearly, but not so close that all they can see is your face. Consider turning on more lights in the room you’re in so the interviewer can see you properly, or even getting a ring light for your computer.

Make good eye contact and close all other browser windows and tabs on your computer and anything that makes a noise, like your cell phone or email. Be sure you’re in a controlled environment where you cannot be disturbed, and where outside noise is minimal.


Follow Up After the Video Interview

Make sure to send a thank-you note and connect with folks who interviewed you on LinkedIn. Also, reflect on what went well during the interview, what was a challenge, and what are things you could improve on for the next interview. Having that immediate feedback reflection keeps it authentic and real. If you wait too long, you will forget!


Get More Video Interviewing Tips

Related Guide: Check out my Job Search Action Plan on sale now! Grab other career-related guides and LinkedIn banners from my Etsy store, The Career Coach Shop! You can also work with a Career Coach to provide personalized help.

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About the Author

Nadia Ibrahim-Taney

Nadia Ibrahim-Taney

Career Coach

Nadia Ibrahim-Taney, M.Ed., MA is the founder and principal career coach for Beyond Discovery Coaching. Her mission is to help you design and build a happy and fulfilling career that makes you want to get out of bed every day. She is an experienced higher education administrator with a prestigious tenure working with students in the United States and the United Kingdom.

She has spent the past 15 years working with students in different roles across academia. In addition to career coaching, she is an experienced tutor who has helped students at some of the most elite universities in the US including Harvard, MIT, Tufts University, and Boston University. Contact Nadia if you need a career coach, or if you are a student looking for help with time management, academic planning, assignment planning, and accountability partnering.

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