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Online video interview advice

Written by: Sarah Hobbs
Published on: 6 Aug 2021

Over the last 18 months the recruitment world has changed significantly. More and more individuals are going through the process of finding a new position without meeting face-to-face. 

Instead, online video interviews have become common place in the recruitment world – with Zoom and Teams the go to platform of choice for most companies. 

We thought we would take the time to check in with our third-party partner, Bright Network and their Marketing Director, Ben Triggs, to get their top-tips on candidates participating in video-based interviews: 


  1. Check the software 

Test your equipment in advance to avoid the kind of embarrassment that could throw you off balance. If possible, do a trial run with the exact application you’ll use in the interview; if it’s a Skype interview, set up a Skype call with a friend. 

This is less easy to do if the call comes via the company’s web conferencing software – you’ll just have to make sure your camera and mic work in other applications and keep your fingers crossed. If you’re doing a presentation and have slides, it’s best to have it on Microsoft Powerpoint, which is well set up to share virtually on any platform. 


  1. Making notes 

One possible advantage of a video interview is that you can have notes to ensure you remember to mention key information or competencies. However, a word of caution with this. If you’re visibly looking around the room at lots of notes and clearly reading off them, it can come across as being unprofessional - we recommend practicing beforehand with some Q&A’s.   

It might be worth having a few notes in a notebook or on your screen, but don’t go over the top. Trust the research you’ve done and if you’re well prepared often, you’ll find you don’t even end up using them. 


  1. Eye contact and body language 

To achieve perfect eye contact via video, you'll need to look directly into your webcam. In a live video interview, you'll have to look at your interviewer’s face on the screen so you can respond to them properly. 

For the best of both worlds, resize the window and move it as close to your webcam as possible. It’s definitely worth practicing this before your interview. When it comes to body language, make sure you’re sat up straight, like you would be for a normal interview, and try to have the laptop webcam close to eye level (this might require a few books to put it on!) to ensure you’re looking professional. 


  1. Appearance is important 

Think about what you will wear – research the company, look at their website and see what the individuals are wearing in their images. Most importantly do not leave it until the day to choose your outfit, do this the night before. Be prepared; it’s one less thing to concern yourself with on the day. 

> Discover Bright Network 


Anna Boast, Recruitment and Student Development Manager at HAT Group Accountants, one of our employers have provided us with their dos and don’ts for video interviews: 

  • Check the technology works – so many interviewees can’t work out how to switch on their cameras/microphones. Also, make sure your device’s battery is fully charged. 

  • Ensure you are suitably presented – don’t look like you have just rolled out of bed. 

  • Think about the view behind you – no messy bedrooms please/lighting too – no spotlights on, etc. 

  • Prepare the area – put a sign on the front door, shut the dog away, put the mobile on silent, etc. – I’ve had mums walk in, dogs barking, etc. 

  • Be professional, treat it like a real interview – think about the chair too – a chair that moves doesn’t work, the nerves kick in and you will be swinging around a lot. 

  • Talk to the person on the screen – stop looking around the room or trying to read your notes. 

  • Prepare fully - just because it’s a virtual interview spend as much time preparing as you would if it was face-to-face. 


Feel ready for your next opportunity? 

Take a look at the latest opportunities available to you on ICAEW Training Vacancies


Good luck with your forthcoming interviews – we know you’ll be great.