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Online job interview: Tips for the perfect video interview

Increasing numbers of companies are turning to video interviews as an alternative or addition to the traditional job interview. There are many reasons for this: Saving time, saving money and the additional applicant selection flexibility are just some of them. However, even though a video interview may be more convenient and time-saving, applicants should still be prepared to make a professional impression. You can also make an impression in virtual space with our tips for successful online job interviews.

What is a video interview, and what are the special types of video interview?

A video interview is a type of job interview in which the applicant talks to a recruiter via video chat. The conversation can take place either in real time or after a time delay. The synonyms for a video interview include online job interview, online interview, digital job interview, online job talk, digital interview and virtual job interview.
In a time-delayed video interview, the applicants are provided with a list of questions beforehand and have a certain amount of time to record and transmit their answers.
Another alternative is the so-called video pitch. This is a short presentation which the applicant records and sends to the company. It is a question of presenting yourself concisely and convincingly within a short time, and highlighting your own skills and experience. The video pitch is frequently used as a supplement to the CV and cover letter method, and can help applicants to be shortlisted more quickly.


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The 5 best tips for your online job interview

Our five tips for a video interview will show you what you need to do to increase your chances of getting your dream job.

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  2. Tip 1: Prepare everything in good time

    You can avoid unpleasant technical problems during a video interview by installing the programs and software systems (Skype, Zoom, Microsoft Teams etc.) that are required in good time, and finding out what to do in the event of technical problems.

    Test your connection, your camera and your video software several times prior to digital interview by making test calls to check the sound and the picture quality, for example. Your conversation partner probably has a busy schedule and won't be too impressed if you have to keep dialling in repeatedly. You should make sure that your background is professional and tidy. Our free career services will help you to prepare for the digital job interview and structure the content. However, it is up to you to ensure that the technology doesn’t let you down.

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  4. Tip 2: Carry out a test run

    Good preparation for the video interview may be decisive for getting the job. Consider beforehand which questions might crop up during the interview, and how you will reply to them. To optimise your replies, discuss them with an acquaintance or carry out a test interview with a camera. Don’t be afraid of dealing with uncomfortable questions, so that you can check whether your replies are appropriate.

    As well as optimising your replies, you should also think about your public image. What effect did your behaviour have on your discussion partner, and did your replies sound plausible? Here too, a feedback session with an acquaintance may be useful. It is also important not to over-rehearse your replies and sound natural. Think about the arguments you want to include in your replies beforehand. This will make you sound authentic and convincing during the interview.

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  6. Tip 3: Be self-confident and calm

    A particular difficulty during video interviews is making the interviewer aware of your attention, interest and motivation using your natural body language. You should therefore ensure that you reflect all of this with your words, and are always conscious of your body language.

    You should remain professional, relaxed and calm. This will make it easier for you to reply to the questions. Delays in the flow of conversation are natural during video interviews, and are nothing to worry about. Simply wait for a moment in order to ensure that the interviewer has finished asking the question. This will avoid confusion and unnecessary misunderstandings during the video interview. Clear and concise replies also help to pave the way for a harmonious and coherent conversation.

    Self-confidence can be more important during a video interview than a traditional job interview. Your body language conveys self-confidence. If this isn’t evident, it can be difficult for your interviewer to get an impression of you. Be confident, and don’t let the interviewer have any doubts about you and your capabilities.

    It always makes a good impression if you also ask questions during the video interview. This will show that you are proactive, and that you care about the company and/or the nature of the work. This will allow you to make a motivated and interested impression.

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  8. Tip 4: What to wear

    Even though only your upper body is visible during a video interview, it is important to be dressed professionally from head to foot. It could be somewhat unpleasant if you have to stand up and your tracksuit bottoms make an appearance. Wearing a business outfit will not only make you look more professional, but you will also feel more confident.

    Your outfit should be appropriate for the style of the company. You may have already obtained a good feel for the company atmosphere during your research. If you are still unsure, check out the company website and team photos, including those on the company’s social media. This will give you a good idea of the type of clothing that is appropriate for the digital job interview.

    A well-groomed appearance shows your conversation partner that you are taking the interview seriously. Remember to dress appropriately for the position, the industry and the company. A neat hairstyle and subtle make-up are recommended. Avoid designs with dots and diamonds, since they can cause flickering on the screen.

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  10. Tip 5: Make a personal crib sheet

    Even if you can rattle off the story of your training and career to date back to front, you should be sure to print out all of the application documents and take notes. Because the beauty of a video interview is: Crib sheets are allowed. Nobody can see whatever you have taped to the screen or put on the desk in front of you out of sight of the camera. However, try not to look at your crib sheet too frequently. Don’t forget to have a pen at the ready so that you can note down important things during the online interview.

The perfect online job interview with Hays

Get to know us as a partner who will take over the search for a permanent position or the acquisition of freelance projects for you, and then introduce you to companies and clients. Not only does this mean that you do not have to write an application letter, but you will have our support throughout the entire application process. Starting with researching relevant companies, to updating your CV and negotiating your salary.

Download a free CV template, which you can use as a starting point for submitting the perfect application. In this way, you can be confident that your application and particularly your CV are also up to date in the current year.

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