Video Conference Interviews: How to Prepare for a Productive Video Interview

by in Best Practices, Trends

With advancements in technology and telecommunications, hiring has become global with more employees working remotely and video interviews commonplace. Hiring managers and job seekers can quickly have a first-round interview, saving time and travel costs, to learn more about what the other person has to offer and see if the fit is right for both parties. The key to a successful video conference interview is to be prepared and feel confident with the process. Here are a few tips to help you ace your next face-to-face video interview.

What is a video conference interview?

A video conference interview allows a hiring manager or recruiter to use a video conference call to conduct a long distance, face-to-face interview with a job seeker.

Benefits of using video conference interviews

Video conference interviews drastically cut travel costs and time waste associated with in-person interviews. And, unlike phone interviews, a video conference call gives you the advantage of seeing the person on the other end and picking up on nonverbal communication.  Things like facial expressions, posture, gestures and tone of voice often say more than an entire paragraph of sentences. 

Using a simple and intuitive video conferencing solution like Lifesize enhances the interviewing process and provides a flawless guest experience and lifelike video quality that makes it feel like you’re meeting in person.

5 tips for conducting a video interview

You’re interviewing a candidate with the intent of making a hiring decision. The candidate is interviewing you with the intent of making an employment decision. The video conference call will be the first impression a potential candidate makes of your company. Preparing before the interview will ensure the call runs smoothly and the job seeker is left with a positive view of your company.  

1. Get the Proper Lighting in Place

Think about the lighting in the room where you want to have a video interview. Too much or too little light can make it difficult for the candidate to see you. Sitting with your back to a window or bright light source can negatively impact the quality of the video call by giving you a harsh silhouette effect. Whenever possible, sit facing the window or light source to ensure your face is well illuminated and clearly visible.  

2. Use a Background That Isn’t Distracting

Job seekers will be treated to the view of whatever is behind you, so it’s important you conduct the interview in a clean and professional environment to minimize distractions as much as possible. A conference room or private office with a solid wall or simple background is a great place to conduct the interview.  

3. Find the Proper Camera Position

Because this is a face-to-face interview, it’s important the candidate can clearly see your entire face. Whenever possible, position the camera at eye level and close enough to you that your face and upper torso fills up the center part of the screen. 

4. Send the Lifesize Meeting Link Ahead of Time

Make sure the candidate clearly knows how to join the video conference call by sending a video meeting link and instructions before the interview time. To send a Lifesize meeting link to a guest, simply open the Lifesize app, click on Schedule a Meeting, choose a location and then copy and paste the meeting link into the calendar invite. 

5. Test Your Lifesize Settings Beforehand

You are selling a candidate on your company, so it’s important to do a little prep work before the start of the meeting to ensure the video interview runs smoothly. Test your Lifesize settings and equipment, particularly the camera and microphone, before the interview and make any necessary adjustments. 

3 Equipment Options for Your Video Conference Interview

Lifesize combines an amazing cloud video conferencing service together with the leading meeting room hardware to give you the absolute best quality experience possible for your business communications. If you’re conducting your interview from the office, here’s what you’ll need to get started.

1. Browser-Based Meetings

Lifesize makes it easy for your guests to join a conference call using their browser without having to download any special apps. Candidates simply click on the meeting invite link to join the video conference call. 

2. Lifesize Conference Room Systems

When recruiting top talent, it’s critical you present your business in the best light possible. Lifesize’s industry-leading video conferencing equipment is engineered to give you an amazing meeting experience with stunning video and audio quality. Setup is plug and play, controls are intuitive and the user experience is unmatched.

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3. One-Time Meetings

One-time meetings are a single-use, private meeting space that are perfect for video conference interviews. Meetings are deleted after the meeting has ended, preventing unintended use outside of the scheduled event. 

3 Video Interview Tips for Job Seekers

The key to a successful video conference interview for a job seeker is to practice beforehand and to feel confident with the video interview process. In addition to the tips outlined for hiring managers above, you’ll want to complete the following steps before your interview. 

1. Keep Your Environment Under Control

The last thing you want during your video conference interview is distracting background noise and interruptions. If you are interviewing from home, try to find a quiet, clean and well-lit room. If possible, have pets and family members in another room or out of the house to ensure they don’t interrupt the interview.  In addition, make sure your cell phone and other smart devices are off or on silent during the interview. 

2. Be Confident

Your ultimate goal during the video interview is to show the interviewer how you can be an asset to their company.  It’s important to relax enough to give them a favorable view of the “real you” and to be able to talk about your skills and past experiences with ease. You’re being interviewed for a reason, so have confidence in yourself.  Good posture, eye contact and a friendly smile give the impression that you are comfortable and confident with the video interview process and your ability to succeed at your potential new job. 

3. Write Out Responses Beforehand

Before the video conference interview, thoroughly research the company and write out responses to common interview questions for your specific industry. Practice saying the responses out loud until you can comfortably answer each question with ease.  It is also important to converse with the interviewer during the video call, so have questions prepared for them regarding the hiring process and your role in the company.

Etiquette for video interviews

Whether you’re the interviewer or the interviewee, it is important you have proper video conferencing etiquette. Here are a few best practices to ensure that your interview conference call is as effective and productive as possible. 

Sit Up Straight

Use the same good posture you would use during an in-person interview. Good posture conveys confidence, so when you’re sitting up straight during a video call, it’s that much easier to show your future employer how poised and proficient you are.

Maintain Eye Contact

There’s nothing more important than eye contact when it comes to showing confidence and trustworthiness.  It’s extremely noticeable if you’re staring down or off to the side of your screen when you talk. Maintain eye contact during the interview by looking directly at the camera, not at your computer or TV screen, when answering questions.

Avoid Excess Body Movement

During the interview, avoid fidgeting with your pen, hair, smart devices or anything else that conveys nervousness and anxiety. Try to keep your body movements calm and relaxed. When speaking you can use your hands to gesture, but avoid being overly animated. When the other person is speaking, sit still and listen attentively with an occasional head nod to show you’re paying attention.  

How Tangerine Bank Uses Lifesize to Grow Their Team with Video Interviews

High-quality video conferencing is helping companies like Tangerine Bank compete for top talent. By deploying pop-up banks using mall kiosks and other access points outside of its brick-and-mortar offices, Tangerine Bank can interview local candidates using Lifesize well before their new locations are opened to the public. “We have more time to attract the right people compared to when we had to wait to actually be on site,” says Giancarlo Palleschi, telecommunications analyst for the bank. “Now, the candidates we’re interested in can click a link for HR to interview them. Interviewers use the face-to-face conversations to assess the person’s demeanor when interacting with customers.”

Video Conference Interview FAQs

How do you nail a video interview? 

Confidence is key to nailing your video interview. Writing out and practicing your responses before the interview as well as being familiar and comfortable with the video interview format will greatly boost your confidence. Also, a smile not only shows confidence but a pleasant, friendly nature. It invites others to get to know you on a more personal level. Finally, avoid interruptions during the interview by finding a private space away from pets, family members and tempting smart devices. Interruptions and distractions during the interview give the impression you’re not taking the interview or position seriously. 

Where can I do a video interview?

It’s important to pick a quiet place to interview without an elaborate backdrop or distractions so that you can be the focal point on the screen. You can interview at home if you have a clean and private space. If this is not possible, consider going to a coworker center to ensure there are no interruptions or distractions during your video conference interview. For an interview in a coworker center make sure you arrive early so you have time to get situated. Ask for assistance if you're not sure how to use the equipment.

How should you dress for a video interview?

Conduct a video interview with the same level of professionalism and importance as you would a face-to-face interview. It’s important you look your best by being appropriately dressed and groomed. Avoid large plaids, stripes and busy prints, which may be overemphasized on the screen. The interviewer will be looking for things like the neatness of your clothing and how you carry yourself during the video conference call.