4 Ways to ACE the Live Video Interview

Written by Brian Fink, Sr. Technical Recruiter, RentPath

Inevitably, part of the interview process of nearly every job is the phone interview and then followed by a face-to-face interview. As I was reminded while speaking with my cousin in Spain via FaceTime this morning (or in the afternoon if you’re her or if you are also in Spain), you should always treat your video interview like a regular in-person interview and prepare accordingly.

In truth, the only difference between video and an in-person interview is the prep.

Job interviews can be nerve-racking, especially if you’re meeting the hiring manager for the first time via webcam in your living room. Since video interviews are typically faster, easier, and more cost-effective than an in-person meeting or long phone call, many companies are now using them to expedite the hiring process.

Companies are implementing video interviews more and more, and people are actually getting hired faster now, because it’s less time and less aggravation on both ends. The key problem with video interviews, though, is that job seekers don’t know how to do them.

Not to sound like a broken record, you’d be surprised that so many candidates squander this opportunity. Just like any other interview, the video interview is your chance to use your subjective qualities to separate yourself from the pack. This is your foot is in the door. It’s time to make the right impression. It’s a real interview. This is your chance to let your words speak volumes about your personality and to prove you are the best person for the job.

Rather than rant like I did this morning with my cousin, I’m going to give you the 4 ways to ACE your next video interview:

  1. Testing! Testing! Sound Check!

Just as you would plan your route and print out your resume ahead of time, do the same with your video interview. Check your internet connectivity in advance, make sure you know how to use whichever program the interview will be held on (Skype, Google Hangouts, GoTo, etc.), and refresh your memory on how to turn on your sound.

Taking these simple things for granted can cause you to be late for an interview and make a bad first impression. Make sure to do this the night before. Just to be on the safe side, 30 minutes before the interview, call someone else using video chat to make sure that everything is ready to go.

Don’t forget to turn off notifications for things like Facebook, Messenger, Snapchat, or Twitter to avoid awkward interruptions.

  1. Knowing RentPath Means Knowing What You’ll Ask

Take some time to learn more about RentPath as well and be prepared to talk about the space as a whole. Asking interesting questions in an interview can set you apart from other candidates and demonstrate your interest and experience in the industry or in the company overall.

While listening is more important than talking, you need to have some questions prepared in advance, and I’d recommend that you try to come up with a couple of more relevant questions during the conversation.

Research us. Use LinkedIn. Use Google. Use Instagram. Write out 4 questions. Make sure that you’ve got them in front of you for the video interview.

  1. Be Early, Enthusiastic, and Focused on Eye Contact

When it comes to arriving early to video interviews, 5 minutes is a good rule of thumb. It’s just like any other interview.

Make sure everything is working and ready to go so you’re ready to begin as soon as the hiring manager connects. Greeting your future manager early is a great way to show us that you are eager to be a part of the team. It’s important to make good eye contact, smile, and be enthusiastic when on a video interview. Although you aren’t meeting in person, it is still essential to build a positive rapport with your hiring manager.

Eye contact is extremely important for forming connections with others; in fact 43% of our attention focuses on other people’s eyes during interactions. According to research, people make eye contact between 30 and 60% of the time during the average conversation.

In a video interview, it’s essential to make proper eye contact with employers so you can build a connection. Eye contact while using tech devices can be tricky, since looking into your interviewer’s eyes isn’t always intuitive. Strike a balance between looking directly at the image of your interviewer on the screen, and addressing yourself directly to the camera.

Resist the urge to look at yourself if your image is visible somewhere on screen.

With many laptops’ built-in webcams, you may have to direct your gaze upwards to the top of the screen. While it might not feel natural, it’s one way to simulate in-person eye contact.

  1. Body Language

Closed body language cuts off the conversation, whether it’s crossing your arms or adopting a stern expression. You want to seem professional, but you don’t want to appear hostile during the video interview. This is why many experts suggest interviewees should subtly mirror their interviewer’s body language

Mirroring, or limbic synchrony, is something we all do unconsciously when interacting with others. We often mirror the body language of those we feel closest to, from colleagues to family members. Whether it’s posture, a gesture or a smile, mirroring can help you feel closer to the person with whom you’re communicating.

Closing – Always Be Closing

Whenever you have a video interview it’s important to remember these 4 ways to ACE the interview. You want to bring your A-game because the video interview is your chance to use your qualities to separate yourself from the pack. While you are engaged in using these 4 practices, it’s also important to remember to close your interviewer and ask for the next appointment – just like you would in an in-person interview!


We’re Hiring! Check out our open positions at workatrentpath.com.


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