A Career Coach’s Tips to Thrive in a Pre-Recorded Video Interview

Rachel Serwetz - WOKEN
April 20, 2021

As video interviewing has become the norm, here are some top suggestions you should consider to thrive even in a virtual setting, directly from a Career Coach!

The type of interview practice that you would do for a traditional interview is still applicable in the case of pre-recorded video interviews to ensure you come across as a clear communicator who is authentic, prepared and confident.

  1. Research & Prepare Fully - Take notes on the entire company website, check out any company features in the news, and review the job description closely. This will help ensure that even in quick virtual interview responses, you can keep in mind what the role entails and what the company’s goals are so you can tailor your answers accordingly.
  2. Prepare Stories - Think of as many stories as you can from your prior experiences that relate to the role you’re applying for, so that no matter what question appears, you have various tools in your toolbox to pull from that will be relevant and additive.
  3. Practice On Paper - Practice is underrated. In fact, its my #1 interview tip and suggestion. This upfront prep and practice will be a game changer so you can come across as confident, prepared, and energetic, even in the virtual setting. List out the questions you can guess that you’ll get asked, and structure your thoughts on paper so that you will be able to answer clearly, concisely, and comprehensively.
  4. Practice Outloud - After you write out your thoughts, practice your answers out loud. The goal here is not to memorize your responses verbatim.  Rather, it is to remember the key pieces you want to include in any answer. If you can remember your “3 strengths,” but you explain it slightly differently every time you practice, that’s okay. This can and should be done even before you begin the pre-recorded interview!
  5. Practice Virtually - Practice in front of a computer screen so you get a sense of what it will actually feel like to interview in that setting (open up Quicktime or iMovie or a similar app to practice recording yourself). This will also help you test your background, lighting, and computer placement.
  6. Practice Recording Yourself - You can mimic the pre-recorded interview setting by picking interview questions and recording yourself answering them with a ~1 minute timer.
  7. Leverage Tone and Body Language - Do your best to make eye contact, use body language, and make the tone conversational so it feels as if you’re answering as if you were in the room with an interviewer. Half the battle of the interview is proving your skills and capabilities clearly, but the other half is about rapport building and culture fit! Don’t forget to smile and show your energy! Be sure to have a focused posture as well -- use your practice recordings to see how your body language comes across (energetic or slumped?).
  8. When You See the Question Appear - Use those 15 seconds before the recording begins to do what you had done in step #3 above: write down a few keywords that represent the high level themes or topics of what you want to say. This will make it easier to jump in feeling ready to record your answer when the timer starts.
  9. “Redo” - Of course, you can ‘redo’ your answer if and when you need. In those moments, take the time to jot down some quick thoughts about how to restructure the pieces of your answer, practice it quickly out loud before recording, and then you’ll be ready for a retake. Don’t overthink it, or overdo it. Staying natural, honest, and authentic is the best course of action here.
  10. Managing Nerves - If you’re nervous about feeling rushed for time in this setting, I’d encourage you to speak clearly and resort to being authentic, rather than forcing any answers. This will help the employer to get to know you, your style, your energy, and your character, which is extremely important in the hiring process.
  11. Triple Check Logistics - Be sure you have the video interviewing link ready and you have already downloaded and tested the platform you’ll be using. Ensure your background is professional, lighting is bright, and your audio and internet connection is checked. 
  12. Dress Professionally - The same way you would if it were in person! 
  13. Remove all Distractions - Don’t have any additional tabs open besides your video platform, and allow it to fill up your full screen. All you need on your desk is a blank piece of paper for notes.

It isn’t easy to be comprehensive, clear, and concise in interviews. Practice will help you excel at this.

Don’t forget, spend time pursuing career exploration before you job search so that questions like “why are you right for this role” and “where do you see yourself in 5 years” are a breeze to answer, and will naturally align with what they’re looking for. 

To learn more about career exploration and job search coaching, check out WOKEN’s career platform and coaching offerings at iamwoken.com.