HireVue game based assessment. Woman in boardroom on video call.

Video Interview tips

Welcome to our Video Interview tips – digital Skills page.

* Content updated August 2021 * *

Graduate Video Interview tips

  • Firstly, remember that many of the good practices you’re familiar with for face-to-face interviews will still apply. In particular, you will need to dress smart and to appear well-groomed. Also, ensure that you maintain eye contact as much as possible with the camera.
  • Secondly, answer the video interview questions as concisely as possible. Make the most efficient use of the time available for each question. There will be a countdown timer, so use it as your guide!
  • Finally, show some consideration for your video interviewing company. If it is a reputable, research-driven video interviewing company (such as HireVue) there will be software analysing your changes in facial expression and body language. Plus, content analysis software to analyse your interview answers.

Before conducting your video interview, remember to…

  • Keep your camera steady
  • Have your head and shoulders positioned square on to your camera
  • Rest your camera on a flat surface
  • Ensure that the room where you are conducting the interview is well-lit.

– – – Online Video Interview Skills – – –

How companies create video interview questions

Five metrics are typically used when creating video interviews:

1. Personality

Personality is critical for customer-facing roles.

In the age of social media, a single bad experience with a disgruntled employee can result in long-term customer loss. Employees that “mesh” well with their organizations are:

  • More satisfied with their job.
  • Less likely to quit.
  • More oranizational committmend to the organization.
  • Higher performance.

2. Communication Ability

The ability to communicate is consistently rated as the most valued “soft skill.” Employees who are able to effectively organize their thoughts and succinctly present them will be valuable in any role. Identifying the best communicators with on-demand video interviewing allows you to fast-track them through the hiring process before your competitors know what they’re missing. 

Many organizations are also starting to tackle the issue of data “siloing,” a problem that arises when departments do not share data with one another and are unable to make comprehensive decisions as a result. New hires without pre-existing departmental bias and stellar communication skills will play a huge role in dismantling these data silos.

Graduate Video interview Skills

3. Thinking on the Fly

Crisis happens; they are an unfortunate fact of life. Filling your talent pipeline with candidates who are able to quickly react to these situations as they occur will do wonders for the long-term health of your organization. At the end of the day, organizations need problem solvers.

4. Interest in the Position

It should come as no surprise that applicants with only a passing interest in the position probably won’t be the best performers. Applicants who do their research, digging into the responsibilities of the role and where it fits in the structure of your organization are far more likely to produce results.

Gauging interest is also beneficial when it comes to ranking applicants for pursuit. Candidates who are already employed and are only passively looking for work should be prioritized below those who are actively searching (and will be off the market quickly).

An employee who is passionate in their work is almost always preferable to one who is not. Like the other metrics on this list, industry passion is not something that can be learned from a resume but is critical when predicting a candidate’s long-term performance.

Graduate Video interview Skills

Top tips for video interviews

  • Firstly, remember that many of the good practices you’re familiar with for face-to-face interviews will still apply. In particular you will need to dress smart and to appear well-groomed. Also, ensure that you maintain eye contact as much as possible with the camera.
  • Secondly, answer the video interview questions as concisely as possible. Make the most efficient use of the time available for each question. There will be a countdown timer, so use it as your guide!
  • FInally, show some consideration for your video interviewing company. If it is a reputable, research-driven video interviewing company (such as HireVue) there will be software analysing your changes in facial expression and body lanaguage. Plus, content analysis software to analyse your interview answers.

How should you conduct your video interview?

Remember to:

  • Keep your camera steady
  • Have your head and shoulders positioned square on to your camera
  • Rest your camera on a flat surface
  • Ensure that the room where you are conducting the interview is well-lit.

Online Application Tips

We aim to cover a few of the common online application mistakes.

If there’s a company you want to work for, follow them on LinkedIn and check their website; you may be able to sign up to any email alerts for new vacancies. Or send a speculative email or letter (research the name of the person to send it to) expressing why you want to work there.

Still, whilst the internet has revolutionised the way we find and apply for jobs, it’s certainly not the only way.

Graduate Video interview Skills

You’ve kept your search too narrow

You may have a favourite jobs site, but don’t limit yourself to just one. Some companies advertise on websites that are industry-specific, or may prefer to post vacancies on LinkedIn or their company website (check the “Careers” or the “About Us” section of the site).

More companies are asking candidates to fill out online application forms, and thanks to job sites that allow you to upload your CV and apply for numerous roles at once, the days of posting your CV and a handwritten covering letter are becoming a thing of the past.

While the average job hunter is well practised at using the internet to apply for jobs, there are still pitfalls to avoid. If you’ve been applying without much success, could you have made one of these common mistakes?

Too much waffle

Online application forms limit the amount of text you can enter for each response, so it’s vital to choose your words carefully.

Make sure to answer each and every question that the form asks, and to use your responses to highlight how your skills and experience match the job profile

Before you fill in your online application form, read all the information that comes with it – for example, job description and person specification. If you have limited space, give priority to the ‘must-have’ skills and experience.

Graduate Video interview Skills

Avoid buzz words

Recruiters and hiring managers want to see that a candidate meets their key criteria – if your application form doesn’t get a tick in each box, it may be instantly dismissed.

Remember that people ‘scan’ online data more than printed material, so keywords need to be obvious. Use a marker pen to highlight keywords and phrases in the person specification and job ad – these might be competencies, e.g, team leader with strong problem-solving skills, or experiences – editor with five years experience.

Pay attention to detail to avoid online application mistakes

Check and check again before you click ‘send’. You don’t want an unfortunate spelling mistake to land your application in the reject pile.

It is good practise to save the text in any case – you can reference it to help fill out other application forms and will need a reminder of your answers should you get an interview.

Graduate Video Interview questions

Since there is no interviewer to ask follow up questions, each question must be strong enough to stand on its own. When putting together your on-demand video interview, consider these questions to measure the metrics that matter.

Prepare for unconventional video interview Questions

Mercedes Benz’ internship ranks among Vault’s Top 25 Most Prestigious. So when they continue to ask their internship candidates questions like: “If you were an animal, what animal would you be?” you know they must be onto something.

Entirely unexpected questions like these are great gaugers of personality and the ability to think on the fly. If an interviewee relishes the opportunity to examine the intricacies of the ostrich, chances are you’re watching a candidate who would thrive in a customer-facing role.

But if the interviewee shows palpable disdain for the experience, how well do you think they would handle incidents in the workplace? Unexpected questions like those used by Mercedes Benz offer another unexpected upside: they provide much-needed breaks in the monotony of candidate screening.

Graduate Video interview Skills

Prepare for scenario-driven video interview questions

Questions that present a candidate with a given scenario and ask how they would respond are incredibly useful for measuring their ability to communicate and think on the fly. During on-demand interviews, HireVue provides each candidate with thirty seconds to prepare their response.

Interviewees who put together comprehensive solutions in those thirty seconds and communicate them in a way that makes sense are going to be your star achievers. When asking questions like these, many organizations use video to present each scenario.

Providing a visual element to these questions makes each scenario seem more realistic, and helps more visual learners align their thoughts.

Some expert video interview tips

Do your research. Know the company you have applied to. Find out what their most recent achievements or challenges are and see if you can ask questions around that. Although this might become a bit tricky if you are preparing for a few interviews. In that case, make sure you set a Google Alert for the company or keywords within your field of expertise. There are many aspects you could find online about a company. A good place to look for information on anything from the interview process to the popularity of the management team is Glassdoor. Showing that you’ve done your homework is always impressive.

Show your passion. Showing enthusiasm for technology is great. Your interviewer might ask questions relating to how you stay up to date with your field. Elaborate if you can on events you have attended. Online courses you have undertaken recently, or even groups or discussions you follow online or in print. This all in order to gauge your level of interest and commitment to the field.

Display your cultural fit. You need to have a feel for the company where you will be working. Not only that, they need to make sure you will be comfortable and happy within the company. Recruiting the best potential employee can be an expensive exercise. They need to make sure you will be happy within the company and its culture.

Be a softie. Even in the tech world, soft skills are appreciated.

Show your worth. Get your geek on. Show them what you are made of by impressing the interviewer with your portfolio or examples of previous projects. For a technical interview, see below.

Video interview tips

Top tips for a technical interview:

  • Focus on the fundamentals. These are where the main questions will be focused on. Make sure you are comfortable with your fundamentals. There will not only be questions on the fundamentals like data structures, algorithmic complexity analysis, class design, and so on. There will also be questions where you will need to use your fundamentals in problems presented. You should be comfortable with things like strings, arrays, basic syntax, data types, linked lists, trees, graphs, stacks, queues, and hash tables. Be sure you can answer the Fizz Buzz Test
  • Be ready to solve problems in different ways. This is where the interviewer might move away from fundamentals to see if you can apply them. These will most likely involve open-ended questions. A sample question might be something like: You’re given an arithmetic equation as a string. This equation will have single digits 0-9, addition, subtraction, multiplication, and parentheses. Write a function that takes this equation and calculates the correct answer. Example inputs include “1+1” and “2*(1+9)-((2+5)-9”). 
  • Make sure to think out loud throughout. This will give the interviewer an idea of how you think.
  • Practice, practice, practice. Imitate the interview environment. If you are doing a phone interview, practice on Stypi or Google Docs. If you are doing an in-person interview, make sure you practice on paper or a whiteboard. Get a friend to ask you questions and explain it to them in as much detail as possible. Make use of prep tools available.

Our Top Tech Interview tips

You might have just graduated or had years of experience with an impressive CV. However, finding the right job can be quite challenging. Companies use different recruitment processes. These usually involve some form of psychometrics and one or more rounds of interviews. For a tech job, you will most likely be subjected to a technical interview to show your work and knowledge base.

Interview tips for best tech jobs.

Psychometrics would usually consist of a Verbal and/or Non-Verbal reasoning tests and a personality assessment. For more on Passing Verbal Reasoning tests or Non-Verbal Reasoning tests, have a look at Brilliant Passing Verbal Reasoning Tests and Brilliant Passing Numerical Reasoning Tests by Rob Williams. Everything you need to know about verbal or numerical reasoning will be covered in those.

Once you are past the Psychometrics and possibly a phone interview, it’s time for the big day.

What can you expect and what should you focus on? How can you stand out from the crowd?

Tech jobs most commonly hired by UK tech companies

Tech Job TitleOpen Jobs at Tech Companies% of Open Tech Roles
Software Engineer1,18911.4%
Product Manager4684.5%
Software Development Engineer3673.5%
Solutions Architect3613.5%
Web Developer3163.0%
Software Developer3153.0%
Data Scientist2912.8%
Systems Engineer2142.1%
DevOps Engineer2092.0%
Business Analyst1931.8%

Graduate Video interview Skills

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