Video interviews:

So you’ve been invited to take a video interview? Wondering what to expect? Video interviews are becoming more popular as companies and potential employees become more tech savvy, so they’re definitely something that you need to know about. In this blog post, our Social Media Development Intern Chloe McDonald, tells you what you need to know.


What is a video interview?

Firstly try not to confuse Skype interviews with video interviews. Unlike Skype, video interviews are one-way – there is no ‘live interviewer’. You complete these interviews from home, in front of your computer. The company will usually send you a link to the interview, which is often hosted by an outside source on a clever piece of software. You will then book a time to do it (or will have to complete it by a deadline) and go online via the link that they sent you. The interview questions appear on the screen and usually you will have a short time to prepare before you give your answer within another short timeframe. There are often around six questions, and these are normally based on the key competencies in the job description or person specification. The recording of your interview is then sent to the company’s recruiters who will watch it back and decide whether to invite you to an assessment centre or formal interview.

Why are video interviews used?

A wide range of companies, including Morrisons, Microsoft and Telefonica (O2), now use video interviews in their graduate recruitment process. But why are they doing this?

Time saving

  • The volume of applicants makes it impossible to invite all suitable candidates to a face-to-face interview, so they are video interviewed instead.
  • An external company often carries out video interviews, and the finished videos are then passed on to the graduate recruiter to review.


  • The recruiter no longer needs to invite all appropriate candidates to an assessment centre.
  • Candidates don’t need to travel for an assessment centre.
  • Candidates can complete the interview at a time convenient to them.

Body language

  • Video interviews give recruiters a better insight into a person than telephone interviews, as they can see a person’s body language and facial expressions.
  • This in turn ensures that recruiters bring the correct candidates to face-to-face interview.

Top tips for acing a video interview

  • Treat it exactly as you would a normal interview.
  • Try to make eye-contact: Look at the camera, not at the screen (or anywhere else!)
  • Prepare answers to competency-based questions based on the competencies that are required in the role you are applying for.
  • Practice speaking to camera by recording yourself and playing it back before the real thing. This will help you feel more comfortable and enable you to see how you come across on camera, and thereby address any areas of concern before your interview.
  • Wear formal clothes, do your hair, look presentable – just like you would with a face-to-face interview.
  • Check out your technology before the interview – the last thing you want is for your camera/microphone/computer to stop working during the interview.
  • If you are provided with one, make sure that you read the guide to the software that you are using. If you are not provided with this it may be possible to find out the name of the software and look for a guide, either on their website or a 3rd party.
  • There will usually be a short amount of time at the end of the interview for you to really sell yourself, use this wisely! Prepare what you would like to say; this is your main chance to get your personality across.
  • You can take the interview at any time – this is an advantage. Choose to take the interview at a time that is really convenient to you, whether this is day or night.
  • Make sure to take your interview in a quiet, tidy place. Consider what will be visible to the person watching your interview (think posters, dirty washing, general clutter)
  • Preparation is key:
    • Book a mock interview at the Careers Centre.
    • Take a look at the ‘interviews’ section of our website for more tips.
    • Make sure that you can give examples which demonstrate all key competencies in the person specification.
    • If you are using notes, use short, bullet pointed reminders rather than extensive notes. Make sure that these are in your line of sight so that you don’t have to look down. Whatever you do, don’t read from them once the camera is rolling!
    • Access information about the company and build a picture in your head about their values and practices. Our blog post about researching companies could be helpful.

Remember, you can drop in 9-4pm Monday-Friday for help and advice on anything related to your career.


Filed under Interviews

3 responses to “Video interviews:

  1. Pingback: How I got my job – Morrisons Marketing Graduate scheme | University of Leeds Careers Centre Blog

  2. Pingback: Job application video tips | University of Leeds Careers Centre Blog

  3. Pingback: How I got my job – Paladis Graduate Scheme | University of Leeds Careers Centre Blog

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