Video skills make the interview star

April 15, 2021

How do you prepare for a video interview? It’s one of the questions I’m often asked. For many people, talking in front of a laptop rather than in-person can seem a bit scary. But at Nomad HR and Recruitment our award-winning advice can help make you a stand-out star candidate.

The restrictions caused by the Covid pandemic have meant the use of video interviews has become an essential part of the recruitment process for many companies. There’s no travelling involved, no social distancing worries and the time saved can be beneficial for both the candidate and the recruiter.

Although it’s a new concept for some firms, I’ve been using video interviews to hire people since 2012. Nomad’s use of the technology has been recognised with an award from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development for the way we helped streamline the recruitment process.

There are no geographical boundaries with video interviews. So far this year, I’ve seen candidates from across Europe, including Italy, France, Germany and Belgium. These days, it’s widely accepted that recruiters need to be open to new ways of hiring people who they may not have met in person. It’s a subject explored in a special report.

Personal Profile

To get to know people initially, I really like to see them. That way, I can get an idea about their personality and build-up a connection. Facetime works really well for that first meeting. It can seem a lotless formal and easier to chat that way. Then the formal interview could involve Microsoft Teams or Zoom.

One candidate learned the hard way about being well prepared for a video interview. He discovered he was locked out of his laptop just before the interview was about to start. Working from home, he had to contact his employer’s IT department without admitting the real reason for the urgent need for technical help.

Eventually, when the interview started, this candidate was in no state to perform well in front of a prospective employer. He was so stressed by what had happened. It’s a bit like your car breaking down on the way to an interview.

Sometimes you need a back-up plan. What happens if your computer dies at the last minute? Have you got access to a tablet or smartphone as an alternative?

Video Tips

There are various things to think about if you’re asked to take part in a video interview. Consider the background, the lighting and what you’re wearing. Remember it’s still a job interview, so a T-shirt is not a great idea, even if the interviewer is in their weekend clothes.

Be sure to have a practice before the real thing. You will then have a good idea about what the interviewer is seeing. It’s an important aspect I can give one-to-one coaching for. One candidate I saw just couldn’t sit still. He was moving backwards and forwards, or side to side. It didn’t look good at all. Here are some more tips on how to ace a video interview.

On Camera

Even before the pandemic, BBC research showed that a large proportion of employers were using video as part of the interview process. That included candidates recording answers to specific questions on camera, as demonstrated in a BBC report.

As a first step, I ask candidates to record a short pitch video about themselves. I’m not looking at someone’s acting ability or expecting a polished presentation. You don’t need to be a technical whiz-kid. But by adding this recorded element, it can really bring a CV to life. It also helps me identify candidates who genuinely want the job and aren’t simply applying for the sake of it.

Like other aspects of life that we have adjusted to due to the pandemic, I firmly believe video interviews are here to stay. There will always be a place for face to face, in-person interaction, but on-screen selection will continue to be a key part of the recruitment process as we face the future.

If you need help being that candidate in front of the camera, Nomad HR and Recruitment has the know-how to make you a success on-screen. Get in touch for a chat.


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