How to nail a video job interview: Tips and commonly asked questions

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How to nail a video job interview: Tips and commonly asked questions

Video interview is nowadays a common form of assessment in the recruitment process. Upon receiving CVs from job applicants, employers shortlist suitable candidates and invite them to conduct first-round interviews via online video interviewing platform or software like Skype. Job applicants use computers equipped with webcams, tablets or mobile phones to answer the questions.

With audio and visual interactions, video interview allows employers to acquire candidates’ information that cannot be obtained from CVs, such as their language skills, communication skills, personality and temperament. At the same time, video interview provides more room for candidates to show their creativity and get discovered. 


Two types of video interview

 There are two main types of video interview:

  • Recorded interview: The employer asks the candidate to log in to a designated website or a mobile app and answer a number of preset questions. Employers can set how much time candidates have to think through questions before hitting record, and the time and take limit for answering the questions.
  • Real-time interview: After scheduling an interview, the employers and candidate have a real-time conversation via messaging apps like Skype and FaceTime.


Frequently asked interview questions 

Video interviews are commonly used as the first round screening in the recruitment process, so you should get prepared for some common questions like you do for a traditional interview beforehand. The frequently asked questions include:

  1. Please introduce yourself.
  2. Why do you want to join our company?
  3. Why do you want this job?
  4. What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  5. What makes you a good fit for this job?
  6. What are your career goals?
  7. What is your career plan in five years?
  8. What do you know about our company?
  9. Why should we hire you?
  10. Why do you want to leave your current job?


Tips for a successful video interview

The people who will review your video interview are human resources managers and your potential supervisors. Just like at formal interviews, you should make a great first impression on your prospective employers. Below are some tips to nail your video interview.

  1. Cue cards: As you need not answer the questions face-to-face, using cue cards to remind yourself the answers for the above FQAs is acceptable. List out your answers using bullet points and place them as close to the camera as possible so that your eyes don’t look away. Don’t just recite the script as it would sound clumsy and rigid.
  1. Time management: In recorded interview, there is usually a time limit (about 1 to 2 minutes) for each question. Therefore, your answer should not be too long, just keep it simple and concise. For instance, you can illustrate your answers with specific examples, like your work accomplishment, supervisors’ assessment or the projects you have handled in terms of quantified outcomes. On the contrary, don’t ramble on far too long only to lengthen your answer.
  1. Facial expression and tone: Keep your tone and speech rate natural, look directly at the camera while speaking, as if you were making eye contact with the interviewer face-to-face. Be amiable and confident, sit up straight and keep smiling. When you are thinking up, don’t making undesirable movements like flicking hair or rolling eyes, which will be recorded in the video. Try out a few times beforehand and let yourself and others review the recording to identify areas for improvement.
  1. Environment and equipment: Prior to starting a video interview, find a clean and quiet place without any unnecessary items or sound that might distract your recording. Before starting the interview, make a trial recording to ensure that there is sufficient lighting and good audio quality. Also, check if your device has a good power supply and a stable internet connection.
  1. Outlook: At a video interview, make sure you are well groomed and dressed, as if you were attending a formal interview. You can choose either business formal or business casual according to the corporate culture of the company. At the same time, plain and neat hairstyle and makeup are essential to presenting yourself as a professional and courteous person.
  1. Wrap-up: Upon finishing the last question, you can say thanks to the interviewers to make a good last impression.


Video interview is like a screening interview, the questions are relatively simple and usually do not require detailed elaboration. After all, sincerity and personality matter more than decent answers. Just don’t be too nervous, your goal is to impress your prospective employer with a professional attitude and appearance!


Further reading:

Job interview etiquette in Asia: Your quick guide to dos & don’ts

7 ways to get over job interview nerves


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