Video Interview
Practice

Video Interview Practice

Watch and Learn

One-way video interviews are growing increasingly popular in Singapore. At the 2018 NUS Internship Day, 50% of companies in attendance reported that they use video interviews to assess prospective interns and full-time hires.

While video interviewing affords one the chance to interview in the comfort of your own home, candidates often report feeling awkward and uncomfortable when staring at a screen with no-one on the other end. Some also report feeling rushed seeing the countdown timer ticking away unforgivingly in the corner of the frame.

To navigate these unique challenges of one-way video interviewing, it is crucial to know how video interviews work, how to set up your tech and space optimally, look great, and practice wholeheartedly so that you enter these interviews feeling confident and comfortable.

01

Understand Video Interviews

Video interviews are videos candidates record of themselves answering interview questions set beforehand by employers. Understand how Video Interviews are used and how they are evaluated to prepare for your Video Interview effectually.

Networking

Ins and Outs of Video Interviews

Why do companies use Video Interviewing?
  • Video interviews increase the efficiency of the hiring process and utilise time effectively for hiring managers and candidates thus allowing recruiters to interview many more candidates
  • Video interviews are cost-effective as they allow candidates from other geographical locations to talk more easily (Appliqant, 2018)
  • According to the Harvard Business Review, video interviews are also used to reduce human bias in hiring. AI can be trained to ignore points of bias like gender and focus instead on signs of competence, potential, and emotional intelligence (Chamorro-Premuzic, 2019)
How are Video Interviews evaluated?

There are two ways video interviews are evaluated:

  • Most commonly, video interviews are reviewed personally by HR managers. The video interviewing platform is used by HR managers as a repository to view candidate submissions.
  • Alternatively, video interviews can also be evaluated by Artificial Intelligence (AI) on the video interviewing platform used. According to some video interviewing platforms creators, the AI can be trained to assess thousands of data points from a single video submitted. The AI would then rank the candidates against the required skillsets and prepare a shortlist for the HR managers to invite for a formal interview.
  • We would recommend you find out how companies use video interviews through speaking to recruiters at Career Events or Industry Talks.
How do Video Interviews work?

Typically, you log in to a video interview platform chosen by the employer using a computer with a webcam. You are then guided step-by-step in recording their answers to interview questions selected by employers. There is a limited time to answer each question, which can range from an average of 1.5 to 2 minutes. After you complete your video interview, the employer is notified and will review your submission.

6 Common Challenges for Video Interviews

Challenge 1: There’s so little time!
  • Prepare to answer succinctly by using appropriate interview frameworks
  • Record your voice during practices and play it back to see which portions you took too long over, or unnecessary parts. Remove these lines so that your answer can fit within the time limit.
Challenge 2: I finished, and there’s still a minute on the clock
  • Understand how to practise to formulate sufficient answers
  • Research thoroughly on information about the company you are interviewing for to further supplement your answers with relevant inputs about them
Challenge 3: I look so dark onscreen
  • Interview in a setting with options for both natural lighting and artificial lighting so you can adjust brightness as necessary to make sure you are well-lit onscreen
  • If possible, purchase an external webcam which would have better video quality and lighting effect.
Challenge 4: It’s so weird, staring at myself on the screen!
  • Direct your gaze instead to the webcam so that it appears as though you are maintaining eye contact with the employer who will review your video interview
  • Take a deep breath and project a confident and assured disposition on camera by having engaged and enthusiastic posture
Challenge 5: My internet is too slow
  • Use a LAN cable to directly connect your computer to the internet router to improve speed levels
  • Turn off any message or email alerts on your phone or computer that might interrupt your video interview
  • Close unnecessary applications that might reduce internet speed
Challenge 6: I made a mistake!
  • If you make a mistake on camera, take a moment to settle your nerves, and continue. Just as in a regular interview, it’s alright to make mistakes. Treat this hiccup as an opportunity to showcase your ability in being calm and professional.
  • In case of any unexpected technical difficulties or interruptions, apologise and move on. If necessary, mute the microphone if you call for help.

03

Prepare Your Essentials

Ensuring your environment is free of distractions allows your employer to focus on your interview answers and tells them that you have made an effort to be prepared for the video interview. Familiarising yourself with the technology you use during the video interview will help you to feel more confident, and lower the chances of any disruptions to your interview.

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Prepare Your Environment with CFG Interview Room

What do selfies and video interviews have in common? They require a neutral backdrop and good lighting. If you have an interviewing coming up, book CFG’s interview room that is set up perfectly to put you in the best light.

If you are not using CFG’s interview room, ensure that you interview in a location with a neutral background so that you are the main focus in the interview. The room should be neat, clean and clutter free.

CFG Interview Room

Book an interview room at the CFG office – our room is specially designed for digital interviews.

To book a room, log in to NUS TalentConnect and select the following functions:

  1. Click “Career Services” in the menu
  2. Choose “Career Advisory/Digital Interview Room Booking”
  3. Request new appointment
  4. Check availability of your preferred timeslot
  5. Choose timeslot and click “Submit Your Request”

Prepare Your Tech

Camera
  • Position your camera so that it is at eye level, to allow for eye contact and a more flattering and clearer view of your face
  • This way you create the impression that you are looking the interviewer in the eye – this conveys sincerity and confidence
  • Avoid using filters which manipulate facial features so that you have the same appearance as meeting the interviewer live in person
Microphone
  • Ensure you use a microphone of good quality to transmit the enthusiasm and clarity of your voice, which is essential for persuasion and presenting the best picture of yourself
  • Avoid using earphones or headphones as they may get in the way of you expressing yourself through gestures and open body language. Where possible, use the inbuilt speakers of your computer
Internet Connection

Wi-Fi: You need a speed of at least 10 Mbps for a good video connection

Battery

Ensure your laptop is connected to the power outlet with a charger to avoid any disruptions due to battery issues

 

During the video interview, keep your resume handy in case you need to refer to it. You can also prepare writing materials in case you need to take notes or jot down your thoughts.

04

Look Great on Camera

Appropriate dress for a video interview conveys your seriousness about the interview and your respect for your employer. Interviewers also look out the communication techniques of your answers to evaluate your sincerity about wanting the position. Here are some tips to help you prepare yourself.

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Presentation Tips

Dressing & Grooming
  • Dress as you would for a regular interview
  • Choose rich, solid, and professional colours over patterns, which can be distracting (e.g. narrow pinstripe patterns cause a strange blurring effect on camera)
  • Appear neat and professional by avoiding tops that appear to be not ironed and are wrinkled
Body Language
  • Sit up straight and lean forward slightly to show interest and remain engaged
  • Limit your hand gestures
Smile and Speak with Energy
  • When you speak on video, you might appear less energised, so it is important to speak with higher energy levels
  • Speak with extra rigour and diction to ensure that you articulate your points clearly and accurately
  • Use varying tones and smile often to provide a natural rhythm in your responses and interest the employer listening
Lighting
  • Interview in a setting with options for both natural lighting and artificial lighting so you can adjust brightness as necessary to make sure you are well-lit onscreen
  • If possible, purchase an external webcam which would have better video quality and lighting effect.

05

Use Frameworks

Keep your answers coherent, structured, and engaging by using proven interview frameworks

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Commonly asked questions in video interviews

Video interviews tend to include more direct and targeted questions due to the strict time limit and the inability of employers to ask follow-up questions.

Commonly Asked Questions include:

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What are your career goals?
  • What do you know about our company?
  • Why do you think you’d be a good fit for this position?
  • How did you deal with a big mistake, and what did you learn?

 

(SparkHire, 2019; Crowley, 2018)

Common Interview Frameworks

  • Research on commonly asked questions during video interviews for the company and industry you are interviewing for. Find out how to effectively prepare answers to interview questions using the interviewing frameworks.
  • These frameworks like Present-Past-Future and 3-Points will allow you to produce succinct yet comprehensive answers appropriate for video interviews that showcase your preparation and depth of thought.
  • Watch out for the allotted timings for answers! Concisely deliver your answers to maximise the allocated time for each question.

06

Get Practice

Productive practices for video interviews allow you to gain crucial insights on how you can improve for your real video interview. More importantly, the more you practice, the more comfortable you feel, and the better your answers will sound!

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During Digital Interview Practice Sessions

Allow yourself to polish your digital interviewing skills by practising with CFG’s Digital Interview Practice Tool. You can choose to practice with questions from various question banks and can look forward to receiving written feedback from your Career Advisor within 7 working days. 

Read the instructions for the video interview software carefully to proceed with the correct steps. Each video interview system comes with practice questions. Use the practice questions to familiarize yourself with the system and to note how much time is given for each answer. Prepare your rehearsed answers to common questions with that timing in mind. 

  • If the system allows you a minute and a half for each response, use at least a full minute. When practising, aim to complete your answer 5 seconds before the allotted time.
  • Record yourself multiple times and review the recordings to see what unconscious habits you have; You might notice that you use verbal fillers such as ‘uh’, ‘like’, ‘right’. You may also tend to exaggerate some physical actions such as swaying from side to side or fidgeting.
  • Analyse your speech patterns and see how you can vary the volume, tone, stresses, and pauses to be an effective and articulate communicator.
  • Keep calm and interview. Be confident and natural. 

Digital Interview Practice Tool

Practice makes perfect! CFG’s Digital Interview platform allows you to practice interviewing with your webcam then receive helpful feedback from a CFG Career Advisor.

To get started, log in to NUS TalentConnect and select the following functions:

  1. Click “Resources” in the menu
  2. Choose “Digital Interviews”
  3. Select “Record New Attempt” under one of the mock practices
 

After the interview, follow up with an email to thank the hiring manager.

Would you like to start practising?

References

  • Icons by flaticon and thenounproject.
  • Appliqant. (2018, July 30). The Cost of an Interview. Retrieved from https://appliqant.com/2018/07/30/the-cost-of-an-interview/
  • Beagrie, S. (2015, January 28). Video interviewing: The future of recruitment? Retrieved from https://www.hrmagazine.co.uk/article-details/video-interviewing-the-future-of-recruitment
  • Burgess, C. (2017, January 13). What to Wear (and Avoid!) When Presenting On Camera. Retrieved from https://photography.tutsplus.com/tutorials/what-to-wear-and-avoid-on-camera-part-one--cms-27655
  • Chamorro-Premuzic, T. (2019, June 10). Will AI Reduce Gender Bias in Hiring? Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2019/06/will-ai-reduce-gender-bias-in-hiring
  • Crowley, J. (2018, November 8). Top 10 video interview questions and why you should ask them. Retrieved from https://www.peoplehr.com/blog/2018/03/14/top-10-video-interview-questions-and-why-you-should-ask-them/.
  • Cullison, R. (2019, June 18). 7 Deadly Sins of Video Interviewing. Retrieved from https://www.interview4.com/7-deadly-sins-of-video-interviewing/
  • Doyle, A. (2019, May 16). How to Have a Successful Video Job Interview. Retrieved from https://www.thebalancecareers.com/tips-for-a-successful-video-job-interview-2061348
  • Graduatejobs. (2019, June 04). The ultimate guide to video interviews. Retrieved from https://www.graduate-jobs.com/gco/Booklet/video-interview-guide.jsp
  • HireVue. (2019, April 16). How to Prepare for Your HireVue Assessment. Retrieved from https://www.hirevue.com/blog/how-to-prepare-for-your-hirevue-assessment
  • Indeed. (n.d.). Video Interview Guide: Tips for a Successful Interview. Retrieved from https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/interviewing/video-interview-guide
  • Kosinski, M. (2016, January 22). Top 9: Video Interviewing Platforms. Retrieved from https://www.recruiter.com/i/top-10-video-interviewing-platforms/
  • OfficeTeam. (2012, August 30). Survey: Six in 10 Companies Conduct Video Job Interviews. Retrieved from https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/survey-six-in-10-companies-conduct-video-job-interviews-167973406.html
  • SparkHire. (2019). How To Answer Popular One-Way Video Interview Questions. Retrieved from https://www.sparkhire.com/video-interviews/how-to-answer-popular-one-way-video-interview-questions.
  • Seow, B. Y. (2018, December 12). Virtual recruiters keeping an AI out for talent. The Straits Times. Retrieved from https://www.straitstimes.com/business/virtual-recruiters-keeping-an-ai-out-for-talent
  • Skillings, P. (2018, May 11). The Ultimate Guide to Acing a Video Interview. Retrieved from https://biginterview.com/blog/2014/11/video-interview.html
  • Thomas-Aguilar, B. (2013, July 24). Online Interview Infographic: Body Language Secrets for Recruiters and Job Seekers. Retrieved from https://www.pgi.com/blog/2013/07/new-infographic-the-secrets-of-a-successful-online-interview-for-recruiters-and-job-seekers/
  • Zaikis, L. (2016, October 24). 11 Tech Tips for a Stress-Free Video Interview. Retrieved from https://skillcrush.com/2015/01/14/video-interview-tech-tips/