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Video Interviews: What You Need to Know


A recent report by Software Advice indicates that 60% of the surveyed recruiters use video interviewing technology. Why are video interviews on the rise?  Video interviews reduce expenses associated with recruiting, including staff hours and travel costs. One-way video interviews can triple the efficiency of recruiting activities so companies can screen more candidates and decrease placement time. Some recruiters increase the number of screened candidates tenfold. Multiple decision makers can view the recorded interview, so it may remove the need for organizing panel interviews or numerous early-round candidate visits. Considering the accessibility and affordability of video interviewing software, it’s easy to see why the prevalence of video interviewing will continue to rise.


There are upsides for candidates too. It saves the candidate’s time to commute to an interview. It often eliminates the need to time off work for interviews. Because the hiring process is quicker and more efficient, the waiting time is reduced.


Video Interview Types & Settings

In a one-way video interview, you will be prompted to answer interview questions through a video recording. These questions may be recorded or may appear on your screen. After viewing or listening to each question, you record your answers. Generally, there are some constraints. Think time is the amount of time you can consider the question before the recording starts. There may be a limitation to the number of attempts for each answer and there is a defined maximum duration of a video answer to each question.


The live interview is like a face-to-face interview, except that you are communicating through a webcam. The great thing about the live interview is that you can model the interviewer’s tempo and see their reaction to your answers.


In most cases, you will perform the interview at your location. There are times when the video interview is held at a target employer’s office. You may live in Seattle and interview at a local office for a job in the New York headquarters. In this situation, you will be assisted with the interview set-up. If you are left alone to complete the call or recording, be sure you know how to reach the company’s technical assistant just in case you run into technical difficulties after they leave the room.


Information to Obtain Before the Interview

Identify the means of communication. The employer may utilize one of many video conference applications, such as Skype, Zoom, or Google Hangouts. There are also numerous options for one-way video interview. Be sure that you have complete instructions for whichever process the employer indicates, including URL and passcode. Have a phone number and email for the interview contact handy. If there is a technical failure on either end, you must be able to reach your contact immediately.



Conduct a trial run to be sure your webcam, headset, system, and Internet connection are functional. An internet connection with speed of 1 mbps per second or greater is advised. Create an uncluttered visual background and eliminate background sounds. Adjust lighting and the camera angle to look your best. Activate “do not disturb” settings so that you do not receive incoming calls or message. Mute reminder and notification alarms. Close other web browser tabs and applications. Arrange your table or desk with your resume, brief talking points, a pen and note paper.


Appearance & Conduct

Just as you would for an interview, dress professionally. In a video interview, avoid bright colors or patterns that give a strobe effect. Just as you would for an in-person meeting, make eye contact. There is a temptation to look at the screen rather than looking into the camera. Focus on the camera. Practice active listening by nodding and making short affirming phrases. Use hand gestures as little as possible. Large sweeping gestures can be a distraction and fidgeting may indicate nervousness.

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