Free practice video interview zone
Privacy: don't worry, this recording never leaves your computer; it never goes to our server and we have no way of accessing your webcam or your recordings. It's completely safe because it is all stored offline in your browser's cache. Disconnect your internet and you'll see what we mean.
Try recording and playing back your answers to questions such as:
- Tell me about a time you needed to use teamwork to solve a problem.
- Describe a situation where you made an important decision that you knew would prove unpopular with certain people.
- What motivates you at work?
- Describe a time when you needed to develop an unconventional approach to solve an existing problem.
- Which achievements are you particularly proud of?
- You are facing significant resistance from a prospective client over costs. How would you win them over?
Ensure you have a webcam and microphone connected to your PC or laptop. You will also need to allow access to your microphone and camera on your phone. This will be used only to record your responses. You can then play them back to review your responses yourself. You will also need Flash installed on your browser.
About video interviews
Companies are now more commonly using video interviews in recruitment as they help employers to narrow down the pool of candidates to invite for the next stage of the application process, which is often a face-to-face interview or an assessment centre. They are increasingly taking over from telephone interviews because of the technological advantages provided by the internet and its ability to transfer different data.
As well as questions that assess how you work, and the achievements you've made, you could also be asked what previous experiences in other professional situations, any previous successes, or even failures and how you've overcome these and learnt from them.
Different types of video interviews
Video interviews will predominantly take two formats: Live interview and pre-recorded.
Live interviews are very similar to face-to-face interviews. You may be asked to take part in video interview over skype or any other video conference call platform. For these you need to be as prepared as you would for a face-to-face interview. There are no second-takes or do-overs, you will need the same flow as a conventional interview.
Pre-recorded interviews differ in that you will not be faced with someone on the other end asking live questions. Instead, you will be asked a series of questions and you will be required to record your answer and submit it. With this format, you will more than likely be given around 2 minutes of recording time for each question. It's important you are familiar with all aspects of the role and business you are applying for. Also you want to know answers to potential questions centred around your motivations, ambitions, and other common topics.
Advantages of video interviews
A video interview allows a candidate to record their responses to questions which they would expect to answer in a typical interview, but at a time and place suitable for them. The interview can be conducted from any PC, or laptop with a webcam and microphone. The software is becoming more functional with smartphones. Being able to conduct the interview from almost anywhere at anytime also reduces the need for the candidate to travel to the office. The benefits for the candidate are that they have more time, not under the stress and pressure of a face-to-face interview, to prepare their responses to the given questions. The advantage over a telephone interview is that candidates have the possibility to look smart and present themselves in a professional manner.
Companies conducting the recruitment process can interview more people in this way, as they can review the recordings from each candidate for each of the questions asked. No time is taken up by preparing a meeting room and preparing for the interview with each candidate, candidates will be under less pressure and will not be as stressed about arriving in good time for the interview. The responses are also available to replay multiple times, whereas once an interview has been conducted and the candidate has left it becomes difficult to hear the candidate's responses to questions again. The interviewer then has to rely on the notes they've taken or what they can remember.
Key considerations for your interview
There are key things you need to consider that will drastically improve the overall performance of your video interview.
It is important to make sure all the technical aspects are optimised in your favour. A poorly shot video will look unfavourably on you, it can affect the views of the employer even if the content of your video is fantastic.
Ensure the camera quality is good, now it doesn't have to be super HD but make sure its clear enough and isn't pixelated or blurry. Lighting can help with this. A well lit shot is essential, you don't want it to look dark and gloomy, especially if you're filming in your bedroom as this will look unprofessional (Conversely, be sure not too have too much light, you're not auditioning for twilight!).
Next, you need to ensure you have a suitable microphone, the in-built microphones of computers or laptops will generally be ok, or you could use a microphone attached to headphones. But test these elements before, there's nothing worse than entering a video interview and the interviewers not being able to hear you and then you spending the next 5 mins trying to fix your audio, or submitting a video with poor sound.
Finally, make sure the webcam is at a good height, your posture is good and there background is mainly plain and clean. You should be the main focus, not your messy bed!
And don't forget, be postive and smile!