Best Practices for Successful Video Interviewing

Gentleman participating in a video interview via his iPadWith travel budgets disappearing and the increasing use of technology in the workplace, video interviewing is a popular option for companies wanting to bring in new talent. Not only does it save time and money, it also can expedite the interview process, bringing interviewees and organizations face-to-face, regardless of geography.

Video interviewing can be intimidating for the interviewee and interviewer, but there are some best practices to get you camera ready. Preparation is key, regardless if the interview is in person, over the phone, or via video. Study common interview questions in advance and research the organization, the job position, and plan your attire. Even though the video interview is facilitated online, you’ll want to be dressed professionally. And take care to ensure that your background appears clean, organized, and is a setting that reflects your professionalism.

Unlike an in-person interview, the interviewer will be able to see into your home, office, or school through the Web camera. To portray your good image, set up your Web camera in the area where you plan to do the interview. Examine the image on the screen and make note of what you see. Is there clutter? Are there odd pictures? Use a plain background if possible, but if you don’t have a blank wall, ensure that the items around you create a professional atmosphere. If the room does contain artwork or photos, make sure they’re mostly neutral and are not distracting or possibly offensive. Clean up or organize objects on the desks or tables in your background. If you say you’re organized, but there is clutter behind you, the interview will make note.

For a quality interview, it’s recommended that you invest in a good Web camera and headset rather than use your phone or computer’s mic. This will ensure that you’ll be providing the best quality audio and video. The benefits of a headset, rather than your speaker or phone, will help cut out background noise and allow you to speak more clearly. Video interviewing can take a lot of bandwidth on your computer, so you’ll want to test your connection with a friend or family member prior to your interview.

Good lighting helps too. While on video—do you appear dark with a light background? Do not sit in front of a window. The outside light will create a silhouetted image of you. Dim bright lights if the color is washed out. It’s recommended that you have lights angled at you from the left and right at 30 degrees. To ensure a quiet setting, ask that others stay out of the room you’ll be using and limit the noise level in other rooms if there is no door. Put animals in a separate area—nothing interrupts a good interview more than a barking dog when the doorbell rings. And avoid having windows open or fans operating, as this can affect your audio quality.

Following these steps and practicing before your next video conference will help you deliver a confident and memorable job interview. If you’re seeking assistance to help prepare for your next interview—a university career coach will be happy to help you. Contact one today at

Contributed by Courtney Bousquet | Senior Career Coach & Resource Specialist

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