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5 Mistakes to Avoid in Your Video Interview

Video interviewing is an increasingly popular method used by companies to assess talents. They are simple, efficient and saves you and human resource (HR) managers from the hassle of scheduling an interview.

There are two common ways of doing video interviews:

  • two-way dialogue: You access a live interviewer via webcam
  • one-way interview: You video your responses to pre-recorded questions

In a two-way video interview, HR will request a video from you that shows you answering pre-scripted interview questions. You will usually be given about 30 seconds to read the question and two minutes to respond. Your responses are recorded through the microphone and webcam device on your laptop or phone. Be prepared, as you are likely to be unable to rerecord your response.

Here are the top five mistakes that jobseekers commonly make in video interviews, and how you can avoid them.

Picking a bad location

You heard us right. While it seems obvious, choosing a bad location for your one-way interview is a common mistake and a sure way to make you seem disinterested in the job role. Avoid noisy environments, poor lighting and places with frequent distractions. This includes taking the video interview while:

  • Driving a car or taking public transport
  • Having young children or pets around
  • In a shopping mall/café with background noise

What you should do: Pick a closed-door environment or office space that is free from noise and disruptions. Ensure that the room is well-lit and with a stable internet connection.

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Being caught unprepared

Similar to a live interview, you should be suitably prepared by doing prior research on the job and company. Being unprepared can mean:

  • Forgetting the job that you are applying for
  • Not preparing an elevator pitch
  • On-the-spot googling and reading your answers off a computer screen

What you should do: Read up on the top common interview questions and prepare your answers to them. Keep a pen, notebook and your resume within reach if you would like to refer to past achievements or working experiences.

Low or no energy

You can appear low on energy in videos, which means you have to be more intentional to convey your enthusiasm and excitement for the job. Low energy levels can be interpreted through:

  • Speaking in a robotic or monotonous voice
  • Looking bored or disinterested
  • Looking away from the screen or camera

What you should do: Maintain eye contact, sit upright, remember to smile and maintain a conversational and friendly tone. Let your personality shine through the video!

Dressing inappropriately

Jobseekers are inclined to think that a video interview is more casual than a live one. It isn’t! A casual attire conveys a lack of interest and sincerity in the job position. Dressing professionally also means avoiding:

  • Overly bright colours
  • Distracting prints and jewellery
  • Sweatpants or casual clothes from waist down (you might stand up!)

What you should do: Dress professionally as you would if it was an in-person interview. Read Dressing for Job Interview Success for more grooming tips.

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Didn’t test your tech

One of the interviewers’ greatest pet peeves is experiencing technical failures on the candidate’s devices. These technical faults can come from:

  • Poor audio and sound
  • Bad camera angles and framing, either being too far or too near the computer
  • Unstable internet leading to disconnections

What you should do: Set up the camera (eye-level), and test the microphone. Check the internet connection, and make sure your laptop battery is charged.

Looking for a suitable space to record your video interview response? Head down to WSG’s Careers Connect to access a conducive space and a suitable laptop to conduct your interview with employers!

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