How to prepare for a video interview

Interview Guidance

The coronavirus pandemic taught us that positive change can come from adapting to new circumstances. One of the changes that will remain part of the recruitment process here at St. Modwen is the use of video calls for some interviews. Video interviewing enables us to increase the accessibility of our recruitment process, increasing flexibility for candidates and hiring managers alike.

Whilst nothing can replace the interaction of a traditional face-to-face interview, we feel that video interviewing has its place, particularly within the initial interview stages.

As a candidate, preparing for this brave new world of remote interviews presents some new considerations alongside the traditional punctuality and performance-based ones.

To help you unlock your potential we highlight 5 key tips for preparing for a video job interview to improve your success rate:

Location and background

It’s important to set up ahead of the meeting time in a quiet, well-lit room. Be sure not to set up in a busy area of the house where other people are likely to walk past or there are distractions. Focus and engagement are key to any successful job interview.
Be sure to check what is behind you too, or use one of the background filters included in Microsoft Teams or Zoom. As we saw multiple times throughout the coronavirus pandemic, video call participants can sometimes forget that their backgrounds are visible on camera. Make sure the room is neat, tidy and professional.

Dress appropriately

Even though the interview is via video, it’s important to dress appropriately. Smart casual is our standard dress code, however, feel free to ask when you get invited to interview what the dress code will be.

Make sure your internet and tech work

One of the worst things about online video communication is a patchy, laggy connection. While this is one of the more difficult things to plan for (we’ve all fallen foul to a sudden unexpected downturn in internet speed or connection), try your best to mitigate against this by removing other devices from the network. If you’re downloading a huge file at the same time as your interview, bandwidth might suffer and your connection might be unstable. This is the last thing you want when you are trying to describe who you are and your experiences.

As well as the internet connection, be sure to test all audio-visual devices before the start time to make sure they’re loud, clear and working well. This will allow you to dive into the interview straight away.

Preparation is key

This rule applies to job interviews whether via video or in person. Make sure you rehearse the key points you want to get across and be sure to read the job description several times to familiarise yourself with the role and anticipate what experience-related questions you might face. It’s OK to make notes, make sure they are concise, bold and stand out, so you can glance at them quickly during the interview to remind you of your key points.

Eye contact and body language

Video interviews are difficult in this regard because if you’re looking at the interviewer’s image on the screen, you aren’t making eye contact. Practice looking directly into the camera to create the illusion of eye contact, but don’t stare uninterrupted – you wouldn’t stare at the interviewer without a break if they were in the room, after all.

As a final point – be on time! A video interview conducted from the comfort of your own home office allows for even fewer excuses for being late than traversing a busy city at rush hour to find an office you’ve never been to before. If in doubt, log on early.

​By following the above tips, you can be sure to break through the barrier of distance and demonstrate the same professionalism, confidence and enthusiasm that you would in a traditional face-to-face meeting.

If you have any further queries about interviews or opportunities at St. Modwen, don’t hesitate to get in touch at

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