How to Succeed in Video Interviews

Following on from my post about getting rejected at video interviews, and given that we’re all in the thick of interview season right now, I wanted to share with you some of the tips and tricks that we use at Harrison Careers to help our clients succeed at the video interview stage.

Typically, by this point, candidates will have passed initial screening and some pretty tough online tests (numerical, verbal, cognitive ability etc.). However, before they can move on to the assessment centre/superday and actually get face-to-face with the potential employer, the video interview is a hurdle that must be overcome.

In the video interview, a candidate sits in front of their webcam and records their answers to pre-set questions. Generally, these answers will be reviewed by Human Resources people, who are often sub-contractors and not actually employed by the company.

But how should you present yourself in the video interview to enhance your chances of succeeding? Here’s some of the advice that we give our clients at Harrison Careers:

  1. Do a Google search to see if anyone has posted the latest questions used by the company you’re interviewing with – if yes, prepare bullet points answers to these questions beforehand so you’re thoroughly ready for what’s going to be thrown at you.
  2. Always use concrete examples of your achievements to support your answer.
  3. Follow the format of how to present your achievements. We encourage clients to use this format – Introduction; Why was it difficult; Why was what you did impressive; then a Wrap-up explaining clearly what it all means.
  4. Do not take more than 2 minutes to answer any one question.
  5. Speak clearly and slowly (particularly if you are not a native English speaker).
  6. Pretend you are talking to a real person. Don’t be boring! Smile, change the tone of your voice, convey your excitement for the role and the answers you’re giving. Use your hands to show you are excited.

The key, as always, is in the preparation. Below are some of the more important questions that we advise our clients to prepare (there are of course many more questions they may ask but these are a good start):

  • Why do you want this particular role?
  • Why this company?
  • Why would you be good at this role?
  • What are you most proud of?
  • Example of teamwork
  • Example of when you solved a difficult problem

At Harrison Careers, in addition to thoroughly training our clients for video and face-to-face interviews, we often have them practice by recording an interview on YouTube and sending us the URL so we can review it and make comments. Perhaps you could do something similar – and remember your three p’s: Prepare, Practice, Perform!

Hope this has been helpful – good luck with smashing that video interview and, as always, I’d love to hear from you with any questions or if we can give you any other advice!

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Peter is a true careers expert, and a leading authority on getting hired. He has worked for some of the world’s most prestigious employers including Goldman Sachs, McKinsey and Deloitte. At Harrison Careers, he runs an elite team with a 15+ year track-record of helping clients to win thousands of job offers from the world’s leading companies in Technology, Finance, Banking, Consulting, Accounting, Law and other industries. When he’s not coaching clients, he’s giving presentations, running, biking, or hanging out with his 5 teenage kids.

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