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How to survive a video interview

How to survive a video interview

An increasing number of companies are using video interviews – but what if you’ve always been mind-numbingly camera shy? Don’t worry, here’s how to prepare.


Sound and lighting…

Your interviewer needs to see you clearly so don’t hide in the shadows. Take advantage of natural light by setting up your mini studio facing a window. Alternatively, position a desk lamp to softly illuminate your face. Unless you’re an experienced YouTube star ask a friend for feedback on the lighting setup. The same goes for sound; practice beforehand and use a headset if your webcam sound quality isn’t up to scratch.



Your home is probably the best place for a video interview and certainly less distracting than the local coffee shop. Having said that, avoid areas where your kids or pets can be seen bouncing around – however cute they are your interviewer does not need to see them! Pick a room where you can be assured of privacy, close the door, turn the phone off and ask your family or housemates not to disturb you. A bit of ruthless tidying up is also essential.


What to wear…

Simply wear the same clothes as you would for a face-to-face interview…and that includes your bottom half! Just because you’ll be sitting down doesn’t mean the interviewer won’t see your pyjamas! Besides, dressing professionally will make you look and feel confident, which is good. Also be aware that bright whites, very strong colours, stripes and patterns can appear rather psychedelic on camera so think well-groomed newsreader and pick toned-down colours.


The tech…

The company you’ve applied to should inform you which platform, program or app you’ll be using for the video, so download this in advance and login early so that you’re ready and waiting.


Body language…

A friendly, polite greeting and all the information you need in front of you on the desk are obvious, but what about body language? This is where preparation is vital. Feedback after a practise interview with a totally honest friend should reveal all those little quirks and habits you never knew you had, such as pulling silly faces, flapping your hands, or saying umm and ahh all the time. Finally, remember to smile, remember not to swear (you might be being recorded) and above all, make sure it’s you being interviewed!

Good luck!

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