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Long before the Coronavirus (COVID-19) impacted the way we live and work, many employers were turning to video interviews during the hiring process. This format allows for a deeper level of connection than a phone call, and reduces or eliminates the cost of flights, hotel and other travel costs associated with recruiting and interviewing.

Two type of video interviews: Live and pre-recorded

Some interviews are live, meaning you will join a video conference from a link that the employer shares with you, or you receive a call via Skype, Google Hangouts, etc. Once you are connected, you’ll be able to see and talk with an interviewer.

Other times, an employer may use pre-recorded video interviews. Instead of talking with someone “live,” you’ll be prompted to answer interview questions that have been pre-recorded or appear on the screen. You’ll record your answer to each question and the employer will review the recording later. There is often a time limit for your answers, and you may be given more than one chance to record each answer.

Take it from Crosworks client, Austin Barger, who recently started a new job as customer marketing manager for Coca Cola. “One key for a video interview is to make sure all of the systems and technology are all working before the interview,” he said.  “You don’t want to be scrambling at the last minute and lose focus on your interview answers.” Austin also made the point that people’s reactions can be hard to read via video conference. “So while there may be silence, it’s not necessarily bad,” he commented.

Crosworks clients who were recently in job search provided these additional suggestions to ensure a smooth video interview:

  • Dress as if you are attending an in-person interview
  • Find a quiet, neutral space with good lighting for the interview itself
  • Make sure you have the right equipment (ex. video camera and headphones)
  • Test the equipment and the positioning of the camera to ensure your image and background are professional
  • Practice interviewing beforehand by recording yourself on your phone
  • Eliminate distractions and background noise (think about the dogs, the doorbell, the kids, etc.)
  • Look directly into the camera and smile
  • Have your notes in front of you, but be sure to make eye contact
  • Pause briefly after speaking in case there is a lag in the video feed

Last, but not least, turn off notifications on your computer and close your other programs so you won’t be distracted by beeps or other alerts.  

The Crosworks team is rooting for you as you navigate the “new normal” of job search.  If you’re looking for a partner to help you prepare for upcoming interviews, you are welcome to contact me at

Eden Sulzer

Crosworks | Career & Leadership Strategist
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