Blog and News

Video Interviews - Top Tips

  • May 20, 2020

Got a video interview coming up? … We’ve got you covered!


Businesses all over the world are making adjustments to the way they work, in reaction to the coronavirus outbreak. With many people now based from home to avoid unnecessary interaction, video interviews are more popular than they’ve ever been.  Staying safe and healthy is the most important thing for all of us at the moment.

At Kirkland Associates we’ve seen a trend towards online interviews for some time, but social distancing has made this option more popular than ever.  The obvious benefits are the money and time savings for both you and the company. It also means that the recruiter and their colleagues can watch the interview again rather than just relying on notes.

From speaking to our candidates, we know that video interviews don’t come without their own challenges: the usual connectivity problems, dogs in the background and time delays

… but this is only half of the battle! Not everyone is comfortable on camera and this may put some candidates at a disadvantage. FEAR NOT – we have got you covered! With some preparation these issues can be overcome and help you move on to the next stage of the recruitment process … and one step closer to landing that job!


  1. Prepare your surroundings
  • Choose a quiet space, ensure it’s tidy and presentable … getting rid of any embarrassing or offensive belongings lying around. Your interviewer will be able to see more than you think … so get rid of distractions that might give too much away about your personal life, or reflect badly on you … a little camera test to see what the interviewer will see is never a bad idea!
  • A table or desk will ensure that your laptop is sturdy and give an air of professionalism and seriousness to the interview.
  • Lighting – make sure you can be clearly seen, ideally with natural light – but if that’s not an option a well placed lamp just behind the camera works just as well
  • GET RID of anything that may cause distractions for you:
    • Shut down your E-Mail / turn notifications to silent
    • Phone switched to aeroplane mode
    • Let your house mates / family know you’d appreciate them being quiet for the time scheduled


… in summary: a video interview follows the same rules & format as a face-to-face interview so ensure your surroundings are as professional as they can be to create the right first impression


  1. How you present yourself
  • Pick an outfit that you’d wear to a face-to-face interview.  Not only will this help get you in the right mindset, but it’ll also show you’ve made the appropriate effort.  It’s tempting to dress “from the waist up” … (i.e. interview-appropriate clothes on top and some kind of pyjamas on the bottom) … as comfy as it sounds, we don’t recommend you do this. 
  • Think about how your clothes will look on screen and avoid busy patterns and stripes.
  • Get a good angle – the interviewer doesn’t want to just see the top of your head! A good trick is to raise the camera on your laptop or mobile, slightly higher than eye level.
  • Avoid slouching, fidgeting or moving around too much – your hair is fine … leave it alone!
  • Make eye contact, smile and show hat you’re interested by nodding and looking into the camera (rather than looking at yourself on the screen!)
  • If you’re nervous – make sure you slow down … don’t rush. 
  • Speak clearly and structure your answers
  • Be careful not to interrupt.  This is more easily done with the slight delay over the internet than during a face-to-face meeting, so make sure you leave appropriate gaps!


… in summary: as you would in a face-to-face interview, be positive, enthusiastic and speak clearly.  Ensure that you aren’t distracted and maintain engagement with the interviewer!


  1. Do your research & prep
  • Just as you would for any interview – look at the company website, their vision & values and demonstrate you’ve done your research
  • Make sure you’re aware of industry topics and what’s going on in the market
  • Check out their social media feeds and ensure you have a comment / compliment or two lined up
  • Have a good understanding of the job description – have your questions ready and make sure you have prepared what skills and experience you feel is important to highlight
  • Refresh your self on common interview questions … again DON’T WORRY – we’ve got you! … see Kirkland Associates Succeed at Interview
  • Think of examples / scenarios to illustrate your answers - providing examples makes you more credible and is more interesting for the interviewers.
  • Be prepared to answer tricky questions with regard to why you have left roles and any gaps in your CV.


… in summary: it’s so important to create a good impression.  Having question & taking interest in their company demonstrates genuine interest and enthusiasm.  You can always write questions as you go along during a video interview and ask them at the end.


  1. Technology
  • Check in advance which platform your video interview is taking place on.  The most likely ones are Skype, Zoom, MS Teams.  Downloads any apps you may need and ensure your username is professional. Familiarise yourself with the platform if you do not know how to use this it may give the client the impression you have basic IT skills.
  • A few days before the interview you should test the computer and camera. Rope in a friend or family member to do a trial run to make sure the picture is clear and the sound quality is good,
  • Check your internet connection.  You do not want to be sorting this out just before the interview starts, this will cause you unnecessary stress.
  • If you are using earphones make sure they work … and have a spare pair just in case.
  • On the day of the video interview ensure everything is fully charged or plugged in as you don't want the battery to run down.
  • Make sure you have the contact number of the interviewer in case you lose connection
  • If there are any technical issues during the interview mention this to the interviewer it may be easy to fix by ending the call and reconnecting

…in summary: it’s easy to get distracted by the many challenges that technology can bring – but with the right preparation, you can make it work for you … and land that job!