How to prepare for a video interview

Video job interviews are becoming more common each year. How can you be sure to impress the hiring manager via webcam?  Make sure you’re prepared to get in front of the camera by watching our video interview checklist, or by scrolling down to read more video interview tips. 

Preparing for a video interview: 

Check your surroundings: Be sure to set up your webcam in a quiet, distraction free zone. Make sure the background is free from clutter and embarrassing items like laundry piles. Try to avoid too much background noise like cars passing or ticking clocks.

Equipment check:

Get familiar with the webcam and microphone and understand how they work. The audio and video must come through clearly and the camera should be set at eye level. If you have a friend or family member who can assist doing a trial run, this will help prevent potential equipment issues. You’ll be more at ease during the video interview if you do a technical trial run.

Charge your battery:

Charge your laptop or tablet the night before. If you are using a tablet be sure to set it up on a solid surface so that the screen doesn’t look shaky.

Lighting check:

If you put a light behind your computer your face will be illuminated. This will help avoid shadows.


When preparing for a video interview, appearance matters a lot. Even though you are not interviewing face-to-face, you should still wear business attire. To avoid contrast issues, stick to solid colours that aren’t too dark or too light and stay away from stripes and plaids .

Rehearse some video interview questions:

Your video camera will have a recording function. Prior to the interview, rehearse your video interview questions and answers direct to camera. It will give you some great insights to how you are delivering your answers so that you can make adjustments in advance, and make you feel more confident in the interview.

General video interview tips:

  • Keep it professional. Be sure that if you are using Skype or another video platform your user name is professional just as you would with your email address and social media accounts.
  • Maintain eye contact. Look directly into the camera, try to avoid looking into the centre of the screen. Speak directly into the microphone so the interviewer can hear you clearly.
  • Take a pause. Let the interviewer finish before giving your answers. Digital video streaming can be delayed so take a couple of seconds before responding.
  • Keep your resume close. Finally, it’s not a bad idea to keep your resume close. Just be sure not to look away from the camera too much. Having notes can be a good tool to refer to between the video interview questions.
  • Remember that they can see you. Unlike a phone interview, the interviewer can see you. It may seem obvious, but in the midst of delivering an answer, it’s easy to forget that you are on camera. Remember to smile and come across as warm and personable. You have more opportunity to connect and bond with the interviewer than in a phone interview, so use it to your advantage.

If you follow these video interview tips, you’ll be more likely to make a great first impression and hopefully score the job — or at least a second interview.

Take a look at our job interview page for more interview preparation tips and advice.

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