The job interview received a slight makeover in 2020. Now several take place over video. For the interviewee, video offers an edge over resumes. You have the opportunity to highlight your personality in addition to your skills, accomplishments, and experience.

These interviews require extra preparation. The following are five tips for video interviews.

1. Remember, It’s an Interview

Before video interviews became mainstream, phone interviews were an alternative to in-person interviews. Regardless of the method, they’re all interviews. Therefore employ interview etiquette.

Research, rehearsing, and dressing for the job you want are interview etiquette elements. Remembering to breathe, smile, and using appropriate body language are others.

Even though you’re meeting the interviewer online via a video recording device, your career fate is being determined. Keep it professional. Even if the interviewer relaxes their demeanor, you’re trying to land a job; they already have theirs.

For efficiency reasons, you may receive a pre-recorded video interview. Make your case and a solid first impression.

2. Test Your Video Equipment Beforehand

The availability of equipment is one reason why video interviews picked up steam. In most cases, the software is compatible with smartphones, tablets, personal computers, and laptops.

The year 2020 saw an increase in virtual interviews, but some industries are more prone to them anyway. Remote opportunities, technology careers, and start-ups favor video interviews. The option offers convenience, efficiency, and lower costs.

At least 48 hours before your scheduled time, test the video equipment.

Do you know how to log into the software?

Is the sound working properly?

Can you see yourself on the screen?

A great way to test the equipment is to record yourself practicing a mock interview. Then watch the recordings and listen to the sound quality. Make adjustments as necessary. If you need help, there are several tutorials online.

3. Set Up the Shot

Testing the video equipment allows you to set up your shot.

An interviewer judges everything that they see during the video interview including the background. Keep it professional and relevant. Ideally, you’re interviewing for an opportunity that’s in line with your passion or expertise. You can add industry books to show your interest in the sector.

To keep things professional, consider setting up a neutral background, such as a white wall. If you place books or posters behind you, ensure that they’re office-friendly and relevant to your future job.

In addition, set your recording device on a stable foundation. Ensure the space where you’ll sit is well-lit, and don’t sit too far away from the recording device.

Allow the interviewer to clearly see your face. If you can’t move your seat, use the zooming feature on your recording device.

4. Dress for the Interview

Although you’re not in the same room as your interviewer, don’t skimp on the attire. If you only position the camera to capture your image from the chest up, wear appropriate bottoms anyway.

Anything can happen during a live interview. You may have to stand up suddenly. Employers aim to hire employees who demonstrate solid judgment.

It’s tempting to tone down professionalism during a virtual interview. That’s when it’s better to tick it up a notch instead.

5. Prepare for the Interview

Whether your interview is taking place in-person, over the phone, or video, maintain a professional mindset. Take the appropriate amount of time to prepare, especially if it’s an opportunity you truly want to capture.

In some cases, you’ll receive a set of pre-recorded questions from the interviewer with instructions. Follow the instructions to record your answers and submit the video. This scenario turns into a take-home test, which affords you extra leverage.

If you don’t know the questions beforehand, prepare for the basics, such as:

Why do you want this job?

What are your strengths?

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Plus, prepare an elevator pitch about yourself and questions for the interviewer. It’s also wise to load up on facts about the company to show your interest.

Be prepared to discuss salary and benefits. Doctors and other professionals receive detailed contracts from the get-go. It’s wise to request a contract review before signing the documents.


It’s safe to assume that video interviews will become a mainstay, especially in some sectors. The video tech doesn’t stop there; it extends to conferencing too. Consider getting comfortable with the software and hardware for long-term success.