You are applying for a job and the employers offer a video interview? If it’s your first time entering this kind of interview, you might be confused and don’t know what to do and what to prepare. Here are some of the most popular video interview questions and guides to help you overcome this.
When do you have to enter a video interview?
A video interview is simply a job interview which takes place remotely and uses video technology as the communication medium, unlike traditional in-person interview.
Nowadays, video interviews is very popular since we can still get face-to-face time between candidate and the employer while cutting travel out of the equation. It really saves so much time for both sides and is very convenient.
Normally, video interviews will be used in order to:
- Save time: The recruiters want to save time and interview through video
- Remove geographic constraints: The interviewee is quite far away from the interviewer’s office (in different city or even different country)
Video interviews can be used at many stages of the hiring process, but more often in early stages.
There are two types of video interview:
- Live video: the more common type (which this post is mainly about) is conducted live over the internet with both the interviewer and the interviewee in attendance. This is almost like face-to-face interview.
- Pre-recorded interview: The recruiters might pose a set of video interview questions and ask us to record our responses in a video at any convenient time then send them. The video also can be rewatched and analysed later.
The most popular video interview softwares at present are Microsoft Skype and Apple FaceTime. Which software will be used is usually decided by the employers and we – candidates need to follow.
Video interview etiquette
1 What to wear
Just like any normal face to face interview, you should dress professionally. In order to look best on camera, remember to avoid bright colors and strange or too unique patterns. Basic shirt, suits with soft colors is good enough. If you wear glasses, prevent glare from the lenses by adjusting the lighting in the room. Take a research if the company has any special rules in outfits if needed.
2 Body language
Eye contact is the first thing you need to pay attention. Don’t be shy, but still avoid the instinct to look directly at the screen while you’re answering a question. The right thing to do is looking at the webcam, which will make your eyes more likely to align with the interviewer’s eyes on the other end.
Throughout the interview, your body language should be confident, comfortable (but still looks professional somehow) and convey optimism. This is the perfect posture for you: sit in your chair with straight back and shoulders open. You can rest your arms on your lap or on the table. You can also use the same good posture you would use in in-person interview.
When the interviewer is asking and talking, nod and smile naturally sometimes when appropriate to show your full attention. Fidgeting or letting your gaze drift away from the screen will make bad impression.
3 Practice and tech set up
You can always practice video calls beforehand with friends to make sure everything is ready.
On the day of the interview, review this checklist:
- Position the camera so that you are looking up slightly and centred on the screen.
- Make sure that in the time of the interview, there won’t be any interruption nearby (knock at the door, background talking sound, screaming children, etc). Lock the door and alert others that you can’t be disturbed (just by a note on the door is enough).
- Clear the desk and background space. Make your room look neat. You may only need a notepad, a pen to take notes and a copy of your CV.
- If needed, prepare water for yourself.
- Check your webcam, micro. They should be in good condition.
- Charge your laptop/computer fully or at least nearly fully in case the interview will last longer than expected.
- Close windows, tabs and applications on your computer that you’re not using. They may slow down your computer/laptop.
- Check your internet connection. (Useful tips: Use a wired internet connection instead of Wi-Fi because it is faster, smoother and much more stable)
- Silent the phone.
- Adjust the lights in the room. The light should not be too bright or too dim. For example, bright light can make your makeup looks scary.
As we said above, body language is super important. It reveals so much about you. This is the main reason why the interview is being conducted by video, not by the phone. Try hard to get rid of any nervous tics or fidgeting habits and always check your posture carefully before the video call is connected.
2 Repeat rehearsed answers
Parroting word-for-word answers you’ve prepared before is a very big mistake. Some people even read off a sheet of paper or words on the screen. The interviewers can easily know. The right way of practice in note-form using cues. Let the actual words come out naturally.
3 Be Afraid to Ask to Repeat the Question
There might be times when you can’t hear clearly or understand what the interviewers just asked. Some people is quite shy to pause and ask, “Can you please repeat that?” This unnecessary shyness can lead to wrong answers or confusion and of course, it’s not worth it.
Sample video interview questions and answers
1 Questions about yourself/your background
What is your weakness?
Just like everyone, I also have a couple of weaknesses. Maybe my biggest weakness is that I’m not very good at estimating how long it will take me to finish a task. I frequently underestimate the time it will take to do small jobs. The result is that I don’t delegate enough time to larger, more important tasks. Then I have to rush to get things done. In the past, I missed deadlines sometimes. Although these missed deadlines have never lead to any big problem, I am trying my best to improve my time management skills by taking a course at a local community college.
What is your strength?
One of my greatest strengths which many ex-colleagues have praised is that I am a very good problem solver. When anything wrong happens, I can still stay calm and have the ability to see the situation from different perspectives. I think not many people, especially young people nowadays can be like that. No matter how big the obstacles are, in the end I will always can make the work done. Besides, my communication skills also helped me so much in my career. I feel just as comfortable presenting to director board as I do mediating a conflict between junior team members. As I know, my ex-colleagues and employers respect me so much for that.
2 Questions about the new job/your expectation/your future plans…
Why do you want to join our company?
Well, I have a great respect and have been using your company’s software products for a long time. As a programmer, I of course would hope for the opportunity to work with the best ones in this business. Moreover, I have friends in the industry told me that your company has very good environment which encourages creativity and has respect for employees. I always think that my proactive style would fit in really well here — especially in this particular role.
Where do you find yourself after five/ten years?
5 years from now, I see myself as a successful manager or even director. I will master my profession within ABC (company’s name) because I see this job as a perfect opportunity to become a talent in my field. I will surely take every chance to learn, to enhance my professionalism and skills with excellent people in this company.
Other common video interview questions you should expect:
- Why should we hire you?
- Interpersonal skills questions
- Why do you want to leave your current job?
- What is your motivation?
Overall, video interview questions are quite similar to in-person interview that we have been used to. What we really need to prepare is how to present confidently and professionally in front of the camera – which gives strange feelings to many people.
To practice well for video interview questions, the best way is learning through sample videos like we listed above. Now is the time to use eJOY GO! You can easily and rapidly search for videos including exact words you want with eJOY’s Word Hunt, like this:
We hope that this post will help you know how to deal with video interview questions to successfully market yourself as a top candidate to your dream job.
If you want to improve your English at work skills, let’s take a look at eJOY Blog’s other posts and features. There are many things to explore!