How to impress in your video interview


Interviewing for a new role via video is only increasing, according to recruiting experts Hays, as our world of work evolves in rapidly changing times.

According to Jack Leung, Regional Director at Hays Hong Kong, “Video interviews are incredibly useful ways to keep your job hunt going without disruption, particularly in challenging times like these. Moreover, they can also give candidates a ‘home’ advantage, as they say in the world of sport.

‘But for some, the perceived lack of real interpersonal interaction during a video interview can be a cause for anxiety. It’s important that you counter this and other unconventional aspects of a video interview by making some necessary adjustments to your interview style.”

Here, Jack lays out his three top tips for impressing a potential employer in a video interview.

1. Prepare everything in good time

“Make sure you avoid any embarrassing technical difficulties by installing the necessary programs and software in good time - and that you also know what to do if it goes wrong”, suggests Jack. “Test your connection and video software plenty of times beforehand by making some practice calls to check sound and picture quality. Your interviewer will likely have a busy schedule and won’t be very impressed if you have to keep re-dialling in.”

“A good recruitment consultant will help you prepare for the interview and advise you on the kind of questions you are likely to be asked, but it’s really up to you to make sure the technology doesn’t falter.”

2. Get comfortable over video

“It’s important that you’re comfortable looking into a camera and speaking into a microphone”, says Jack. “Avoid the temptation of looking at your own image on the screen, and instead look into the camera to make eye contact with the interviewer. Don’t forget to smile too - it goes a long way to building rapport.”

Jack also recommends making the interview format suit you: “If you get stuck on a question, ask if you can move on and come back to this when you have gathered your thoughts. Silences can be difficult when you aren’t in the same room, so try rehearsing with a family member or friend to minimise awkward pauses when you are delivering your response.”

3. Project confidence and stay calm

“Remaining professional, staying relaxed and keeping calm will help you to answer the questions accurately. Where video interviews may cause a delay in the flow of conversation, it is best to wait and ensure your interviewer has finished their question to stop any confusion and keep your interview on track.

When it comes to confidence, body language is key, according to Jack. “Confidence is even more of a decisive factor in video interviews than it is during regular face-to-face interviews. Without the encouragement of your self-assured body language, the interviewer might have difficulty reading you. Leave them in no doubt by trying to communicate confidently at all times.”

Finally, Jack advises jobseekers not to panic if your video interview is disrupted, your signal breaks up or you lose connection. “In this instance, it is usually best to restart the call. Quickly contact your interviewer to update them- they’ll understand it is out of your control, so try not to worry and keep your composure.”