Lights-Camera-Action! Preparing for a Video Interview

More and more of our clients are opting for us to conduct video interviews and bypass the expense and time associated with meeting candidates face-to-face. Not all clients – but most! Meeting in person, while preferred, takes time and prolongs the interview process. I wrote an article earlier this month on on why face-to-face interviews are not a competitive advantage. You should read it.

It’s always my preference to meet candidates in person when possible as you really have a chance to get to know someone when you are both in the same room at the same time. There are certain nuances in meeting candidates in person that you just don’t get over the phone – but video conferencing is a close second and a great alternative. When you get the nod that  you will be interviewed by video you should be prepared.

Here are a few tips that will help you get ready. Let’s roll shall we?


  1. Dress for success. Wear business attire at all times – it’s never out of style and lets your interviewer know you mean business. Try adding a bright color to your outfit (tie, scarf etc).
  2. Test your camera and microphone in advance of the interview. Testing 1-2-3 are not the first few words you want to be saying when it’s show-time.
  3. Adjust the lighting in the room so the person on the other end can see you clearly. This may requires making adjustments to the camera settings. Again – do this in advance of the interview.
  4. Make sure the camera is positioned at the center of the screen and look at the camera as much as you can. This will give the interviewer a chance to see you and your facial expressions front and center. Looking side-ways is not an option. Ever.
  5. Turn off your cell phone or PDA. Looking at incoming messages during a video interview is just not appropriate. Avoid all distractions and maintain focus – direct all of your attention to your audience. This is it!
  6. Have 3-4 really well prepared questions that you want to ask about this role. This is not the time to wing it – so don’t. If you fumble on screen it will be noticeable.  It’s OK to have a cheat sheet with your questions – so ask away.
  7. Be yourself. Once the interview starts you will become much more comfortable with the concept of talking about your career and ambitions on camera. Just relax.

Video interviews will soon become the standard in the hiring process. High speed internet and new video products like are making it easier for clients and candidates to meet virtually and discuss career opportunities.

Are you ready? It’s Show-Time!

About the author


Tim Tolan

Tim Tolan is the Senior Partner of the Healthcare IT and Services Practice of Sanford Rose Associates. He has conducted searches for CEOs, presidents, senior vice presidents, vice presidents of business development, product development and sales. Tim is also the co-author of "The CEO’s Guide to Talent Acquisition – Finding Talent Your Competitors Overlook," available on Amazon.