The 6 Best Video Interview Tips (for Candidates)

Caroline Chessia | May 26, 2022

Put in the time to be thoughtful and intentional about creating a video-friendly environmentVideo interviews are convenient for both candidates and recruiters. They follow the same basic principles of an in-person interview with the same ultimate goal: To discover if you and the company are a good fit for each other. You should follow the same etiquette for a video interview as you would for an in-person interview – wear nice clothes, send a follow-up email, research your interviewer, and come prepared. Here are some more video interview tips for candidates.

1. Research The Company (And The Interviewer)

Look up the company you are interviewing for – check their LinkedIn, their website, and their reviews on sites like Glassdoor and TrustPilot. In the interview, they will most likely ask why you want to work for their company, so if your answer is “I need money”, get to work researching their company culture and initiatives. Additionally, make a list of things you could learn from the company and things you can bring to the table.

If you are going to do a live video interview (rather than a one-way video interview), research your interviewer. Look into their background and the companies that they have worked for before joining their current company. Asking questions about your interviewer’s experience before they started their current position is how you stand out in a video interview (or an in-person interview)

2. Choose a Location that is Video-Friendly

Put in the time to be thoughtful and intentional about creating a video-friendly environment. (Trust us, your interviewer will notice.) A park bench, parking garage, or loud coffee shop is not appropriate. Here are a few tips to set up the right environment for your video interview.

  • Find a comfortable, private and quiet area of your house (or a friend’s house if they have a better internet connection). 
  • Be mindful of your background. Try to find a spot with neutral colors. Avoid patterns and mirrors. We also recommend making sure wall hangings, like those posters from your college dorm, are not in view of the camera.
  • Eliminate all possible distractions and interruptions. Keep pets, roommates, and kids out of the room where you are interviewing. Close your windows so you aren’t interrupted by sirens, birds, or rowdy neighbors. 
  • Make sure that the background light is the brightest in the room, with natural light in front of you, not behind you. Turn on any available lights and check to make sure there is no glare on your monitor (or your glasses). 
  • If you’re taking the interview on your phone or iPad, prop it against something! Recruiters do not want to get vertigo from you moving the camera around.

3. Don’t Ignore Tech Requirements

You have never been more reliant on a strong internet connection than when you are in the middle of a video interview. Perform a speed test of your internet connection to ensure that you won’t encounter frozen screens or delays. If the recruiter needs to wait through a delay every time they ask a question, they will form a negative opinion of you. So put emphasis on your connection speed.

  • Double-check that your device meets the hardware requirements with appropriate supporting operating systems and that your device is up-to-date on all software updates. 
  • Test your camera and speakers on your computer, if they are not working correctly you can always take your interview on your mobile or an iPad (where I took my interview!). 

4. What To Wear For A Video Interview

We’ve all seen the Zoom Bloopers on the internet where someone in the meeting isn’t wearing pants, or someone has to go lock the door to keep the kids from interrupting (again) to accidentally reveal that they matched gym shorts with a shirt and tie – err on the side of caution and dress the part from head to toe. As you’ve already done your research on the company you are interviewing for, you should know how you should dress (ex: for an interview at a start-up you aren’t going to want to wear a three-piece suit). A safe bet is a nice shirt and jacket for men and a blouse and blazer for women. 

5. Where Do You Look In A Video Interview?

Think about where you will place your camera. Your webcam should be at eye-level from you so you can look straight into the camera without odd angles.  Try to maintain eye contact with your interviewer. This means looking into the webcam instead of at the video of your interviewer/yourself onscreen. It feels awkward doing this (or maybe not, if you’re into the dances/makeup videos on TikTok), but it makes a huge difference. They will feel like you’re looking at them instead of looking down – and the same goes for a one-way video interview. 

6. Video Interview Etiquette

For live video interviews, sign in a few minutes early to make sure your interviewer is not waiting on you to begin. Use professional language and stay on topic. If you are taking a one-way video interview, you are usually able to practice beforehand and take multiple attempts. We recommend using your first or second attempt at the interview. You can get hung up on listening to yourself say the same thing again and again and you’re probably doing great anyway!

Make sure everything you may need is easily accessible. When using interview connect, you will be able to digitally share documents in your chat window with the interviewer. Make sure these documents are in a folder on your desktop – not in a subfolder 15 clicks away. 

More tips for video interviews with interviewstream

When you receive an invitation for a video interview you need to internalize that you are going in for a real interview. Video is becoming more and more common, especially for those who are looking for remote jobs. For those who haven’t yet completed a video interview or those who need a refresher, we have a training site dedicated to helping you make the most of your video interview and a 24/7 support line.

If you’re interested in learning more, let us know! We would love to help you adopt interviewstream. Give us a shout here.

About The Author

Caroline Chessia is the Marketing Operations Specialist at interviewstream. She loves color-coordinated graphs, hiking in the mountains, and every dog she meets—especially the Golden Retrievers.


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