Worst Mistakes Applicants Make When Doing a Video Interview

Monique Mahler | June 29, 2019

One of the major benefits of the digital age is connectivity. Whether we’re reaching out to our loved ones halfway across the world, communicating with our social media followers, or even conducting job interviews, we all get to enjoy the benefits of technology.

In a previous post entitled ‘The Ways Technology is Streamlining the Recruitment Process’ we noted how video interviewing has become a major asset for recruiters. At some point in your professional life, the need for a video interview might arise. It’s a time-efficient method for both the employer and the applicant and is an aptitude test of sorts for how well a potential employee handles technology. Being digital savvy is a skill that companies look for in candidates, according to a post by Maryville University aimed at communication graduates. Being able to communicate across a variety of different mediums helps employees to circumvent certain challenges in the workplace. You have to be strategic with your use of technology and your interview is the first chance to show that.

With that said, not everyone has mastered the art of undertaking video interviews. So, here are some mistakes that you should avoid if you don’t want to hurt your chances of landing your dream job.


Having a poor internet connection during a video interview is a recipe for disaster. You don’t want to leave your interviewer hanging as you reconnect to your Wi-Fi. Make sure that your devices, especially the mic and camera, are fully functional. Even if you have to use a friend’s house or borrow someone else’s laptop to ensure your interview goes along without any hiccups, do it. Technical glitches are awkward to sit through and come off as very unprofessional. After all, first impressions count.


Because you’re in control of the set-up, make sure that you’re portrayed in a good light. Don’t have your interview in a room where you can barely be seen (or remembered) by the interviewer. Keep your webcam at eye level, even if you have to prop up your computer with a stack of books, so you’re not talking down or up to your interviewer.


Remember Robert Kelly’s interview with the BBC which was interrupted by his children? While it made for a hilarious viral video, you definitely don’t want that to happen to you. If you’re doing the interview at home, keep everyone informed so that nobody walks in during this important time. Keep the room clean, as a messy room can be very distracting and also speaks a lot about your character. It’s also not ideal to have it in a public space, such as a coffee shop, where the background noise can be very distracting.


Distractions also apply to you. Close any desktop tabs that you might have open, disable notifications and keep your phone away from arm’s reach. Pay attention to the interview—it won’t last all day.


Some applicants take video interviews as a license to dress as comfortably as they want. Even though you might be sitting on your couch, you still want to show that you’re a professional and wear the proper attire. Houston Chronicle explains that dress codes are reflective of the company’s goals and visions, so it’s very important that you align yourself with them.


Video interviews tend to seem more casual because of the set-up. However, you should still be strategic with the way you communicate. Simply Hired warns against talking too much or too fast. Try practicing your speech patterns before the actual interview and never ever talk over your interviewer.

These mistakes are all avoidable. Remember them for your next video interview and good luck!

About The Author

Monique Mahler is the CEO of interviewstream. She is an avid researcher of facts, a self proclaimed marketing geek, and an equestrian in her spare time.


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