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The Video Interview - What To Expect

Picture of Woman Doing a Video Interview


If you are facing a video interview you may be feeling a little daunted.

Not that long ago, interview preparation worries focused on finding the right building rather than whether your broadband would drop out.  Fast-forward to today and most parts of the application process are moving online.  


In a world where video is becoming the favoured medium online, it makes sense that employers are moving more towards video interviewing as a part of their process.

Video interviewing offers obvious benefits to employers including greater access to global talent through the ability to interview people in any geographical location; more flexibility with scheduling; the ability to revisit an applicant’s performance; reductions in travel costs; and the opportunity to strengthen impact with the applicant through a carefully designed multi-media interview experience.

Whilst most people accept video as a new aspect of the application process, this doesn’t mean we are any less nervous. Interviews are nerve-wracking in any setting, and fear of the unknown is always at play. What can I expect?  What will I be asked?  What could go wrong? 

The good news is like all skills, with practice, video interviewing becomes much less scary and much easier.  In fact, handled well it can become an ideal opportunity to really stand out from others vying for the same role.  The best thing to do is to learn as much about the video interview process and then prepare well. 


There are two main types of video interview experience that can be encountered by candidates, each with their own challenges and opportunities. These are live interviews (two-way interviews) or on-demand interviews (one way interviews).

Live interviews are typically an online version of a normal interview where an employer and a candidate interact via a webcam in real time.  These interviews may be with just one interviewer or a panel of interviewers and they enable interaction between both parties just like a normal interview. Live interviews can be conducted using simple technologies such as Skype or video conference applications or may use modern, custom-built video interviewing platforms.

On-demand interviews or one-way interviews are a newer form of video interview. In these automated forums a candidate typically logs in and answers a pre-recorded set of questions. The video recording is then watched by the hirer at a later point.  On-demand processes offer greater scheduling convenience for both parties and are becoming an increasingly common tool for employers particularly for initial screening.

These new automated interviewing solutions enable hirers much more flexibility than previously experienced and your interview experience may vary dependent on what competencies or behaviours the interviewer is looking to observe. Questions in these automated forums may be given in writing onscreen, by audio or video, or even present a video scenario or case study.  Some video interviews will give the option for you to record their answers multiple times whilst others will only allow one ‘take’ to provide a response.  Some video interviews may give a set time allowance to prepare their response and then a specific time frame to complete their answer.

Quality video interviewing, like any form of interviewing, requires solid preparation and an investment of time. To perform well you need to make the medium work for you (read our article Setting Up for a Video Interview) and to hone your skills in pitching, presenting and responding to questions online (read our article Performance Tips For A Video Interview).

The best presenters look at home in front of a camera but the truth is this natural air is actually the product of hours of practice and experience. 

Article originally written by Outplacement Australia and published in the Australian Career Practitioner Magazine

Related article: Kick Interview Nerves Doing These Five Things

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