Video Interview Preparation: How to Go About it?

Posted by IntroMagic Team on December 11th, 2021

The interviewing process has come a long way since Thomas Edison conducted the first one in 1921. In the last 100 years, no other invention leapfrogged the process quite like the internet revolution did since the early 2000s. 

The pandemic situation may have drawn eyes to modern ways of recruitment like never before but video interview preparation has been around for more than a decade. If you’ve ever made a video cover letter, video resume, or recorded a video interview, you may have noticed how quickly these get noticed as opposed to the traditional paper/word doc kind. 

A quick scouring of the internet shows that there is nascent information explaining ‘how to make a video interview’, so we’re taking it upon ourselves to clear the air. 

To begin with, let us see the major differences in the kinds of video interviews, and then explain the process of making one, essential tips, and all other necessary information.

Different Kinds of Video Interview

The umbrella term ‘video interview’ encompasses a variety of interview techniques that involve a camera and a screen. These are the difference between each other:

  • The first kind of video interview is the prevalent one where the recruiter speaks with the candidate over skype or a zoom call. This exercise is similar to the ones on talk shows, documentaries, and others, and it comes with numerous pitfalls of its own. 
  • The second kind is where the recruiter shares a set of questions and the candidate answers them via a recorded video. As the video is recorded after the questions are shared, the control a candidate has to be herself depletes quite a bit. With that said, this method has substantial benefits for the recruiter in the screening process and eliminates major hassles, as discussed further down the article. 
  • The third kind of video interview is where the candidate answers a broad spectrum of general questions that are pertinent to the industry or the specific company she/he is applying for. 

For the intents & purposes of this article, we will be taking a deeper look at the last two scenarios and understand the requirements, benefits, and everything else that falls under these categories. 

Traditional Video Conference Interview

A traditional video conference interview usually takes place between rounds 3 and 5 of the recruitment process. Upon clearing the pre-screening step and the initial rounds of the interview, candidates get to speak to HR or sometimes the pertinent lead to who you would report. 

The fundamental problem in this method is not necessarily with the video interview round but the steps before. An arduous process for the recruiter, going through dozens, sometimes hundreds of applications is tedious to state it lightly. 

Traditional methods of sharing questions and receiving regurgitated answers during the pre-screening process may allow candidates who are not fit for the job to filter through. In such a scenario, a video interview round is futile and a waste of time.

Q&A Screening Video Interview

A best-case scenario is when the recruiter is equipped with the means to ask precise questions to the candidate who has applied for a particular role. 

Eliminating the chances of a bad hire, getting answers to precise JD-related questions, whilst grasping the personality of the candidate are some of the major benefits of the screening video interview. 

When all this happens in round one, the chances of hiring the right candidate increase, and save significant time for both candidate and the recruiter. 

So the next time when a recruiter shares a set of questions that are tailor-made for you and expects a video interview in return, be ready with the necessary equipment, knowledge, and attitude. 

If you are now wondering how to create a video interview effectively, go through the expert pointers below. 

How to Create a Successful Video Interview

Known as an asynchronous interview, digital interview, or virtual interview, these are the steps to produce a wonderful video interview.

1. The Planning

Thoroughly go through the questions you’re asked and think about how you’d like to respond in the best way possible. In the process, try to be as genuine as possible as the recruiter will notice if you’re the right fit for the company and its work culture. Jot down the answers on a word doc and memorize them.

2. The Script

Simply answering the given questions won’t suffice so you need a script. It is a good idea to take points from your resume but try not to recite them to the camera. 

Remember that this is a wonderful opportunity to showcase your personality so share an experience or a quality trait that portrays your work ethic or experience instead of narrating past roles & responsibilities. 

The next step is to edit your presentation to be charming, thoughtful, informative, and genuine. Edit the script as long as you’re content with it, memorize it completely, and present it in front of a mirror. You may ask a family member or a friend to help you in this process.

3. The Preparation

The next step is preparing the equipment, the surroundings, and yourself, before beginning to shoot. It could be a point & shoot, DSLR, cellphone, or your laptop webcam, but choose the best camera you have. 

Cell Phone cameras have gotten better in recent years and you can make the most of it. It’s great news if you own a DSLR but double-check footage shot on a webcam as the video output could be murky at times. 

Place your cell phone/camera in front of a window where you get ambient sunlight at an angle just above your head. Recruiters aren’t amused when the video is shot from a lower angle as it seems like you’re talking down on them, and it gives you a confident posture when you look up to see the camera while presenting. 

We are all extremely familiar with not being heard on skype calls so do not underestimate audio. Test the audio multiple times before starting to film. 

The following step is to see what the camera sees and rearrange your room & background accordingly. Make sure there is nothing behind you that grabs attention, like a raunchy wall poster, dustbin, clothes on the bed, open closet, and others. It helps if you have a plain wall, elegant wall art, clocks, books, or something aesthetically pleasing. 

The last step in the preparation process is preparing yourself. It goes without saying that you need a clean haircut, shave, or a fresh trim. Find the most professional attire from your closet, put it on, and get ready to record.

4. The Recording

Jump into the recording process knowing that you won’t nail it the first time. Although it works out great for some, most people need multiple takes to get one brilliant shot so save the entire footage, even the mistakes. 

Begin recording while seated on a chair and present the entire script you have prepared. Ensure to present in an upbeat tone, like you’re speaking to a person, with confidence, and a smile. As you record, feel free to go off-script if it feels natural and adds value, if it doesn’t, you can always record again. 

Make sure to answer the asked questions with precision and not much fluff. Watch the recorded video and smoothen out the rough edges one by one. 

In the recording process, you may play with cinematography like adding rice lights as a backdrop or giving space for smooth transitions which you may add during the editing process.

5. The Editing

Once you have multiple videos to choose from, the editing process becomes easy as you have a variety to choose from. The internet is flooded with editing softwares but choose the easiest one that is made specifically for this purpose, like the one on intromagic.io

Adding the right music that complements the video is welcome. Search from an array of choices online to find the right music that flows easily with the tone of the interview, and this could also help make the video appear seamless.

Transition videos, B-rolls, intro/outro footages, the world wide web is your oyster if you wish to make the video interview more interesting. 

It is an added benefit if you could subtitle the video which makes it easy for the recruiter to choose if they want to read or listen to your presentation. 

Get as creative as you can while editing but remember, you are answering the asked questions and not preparing a video CV so keep it short and tight. 

Make sure to confirm the format the recruiter wants the video in or post it to youtube as an unlisted video and share the URL. If you have a website or a blog of your own, you may ask the recruiter if it is okay to upload the video to your site and share the URL. 

At last, share the video with the recruiter after tilting it appropriately.

Companies often look for best-written monolog, production quality, creativity, intelligence, personality, and effort in every step of the process so make sure to deliver.

Creating Video Interview for Yourself

Now that the smallest details to create a video interview are explained, you may follow the same steps to make a broader video interview for yourself. Excluding answering the questions asked by a recruiter, you may take the liberty, or get creative with your script, shooting, editing, and everything else you can think of. 

Remember to keep the script and other steps in tune with the job (industry) you’re applying for, as it is easy to get carried away in the process, which may dilute the essence of the video interview in the first place.

The Benefits & Drawbacks

The benefits surely outweigh the drawbacks of video interviews but here are a few pointers. 

About Us

IntroMagic is a company started with the mission of enabling every candidate to find their dream role by putting their best face forward. We also aim to help recruiters find the best candidate by enabling acceptance of professional video introductions that complement the traditional resume.