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

February 21, 2022

If you’ve applied for a job in the past couple of years, chances are you’ve had a video interview at some point in the process. 

The interview practice tips you would use for a traditional interview still apply to pre-recorded video interviews. However, there are a few extra tips you can use. 

The most important tip for any interview is to practice. Practice is my number one interview tip, and at the root of the advice here. Upfront prep will be a game-changer. It allows you to come across as confident and energetic, even in a virtual setting. It isn’t easy to be comprehensive, clear and concise in interviews. Practice will help you excel at this. 

Here are some extra suggestions for thriving in a virtual interview setting, directly from a career coach!

1. Do Your Research

First, spend some time learning more about the company:

  • Browse the company website
  • Read recent news articles about the company
  • Compare your notes to the job description

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 a Few Stories

Interviewers like to ask about specific experiences that show your skills. Think of examples from your past experiences that relate to the role you’re applying for. You’ll be better prepared to quickly provide relevant and additive answers. 

3. Brainstorm Possible Questions

List out some questions you think you’ll likely be asked and structure your thoughts on paper so that you will be able to answer clearly, concisely and comprehensively.

4. Rehearse Your Answers Out Loud

After you write out your questions, 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 top three strengths, but you explain them differently every time you practice, that’s okay. You’ll be better prepared for when it’s time to film your pre-recorded video interview. 

5. Get Familiar With Filming

Practice your answers in front of a computer screen so you get a sense of what it will feel like to interview in that setting. You can use Quicktime or iMovie or a similar app to practice recording yourself. This will also help you test your background, lighting and computer placement.

You can mimic the pre-recorded interview setting by picking interview questions and recording yourself answering them with a one-minute timer.

6. Make a Good Impression

Half the battle of the interview is proving your skills and capabilities clearly, but the other half is about rapport building and culture fit. 

To help the video reviewer feel like you’re in the room with them, remember to: 

  • Make “eye” contact
  • Use confident body language (no slouching!)
  • Keep the tone conversational 
  • Don’t forget to smile and show your energy!

Tip: Dressing professionally is just as important for a video interview as it is in person—and has a big impact on the impression you make!

Your practice recordings are a great opportunity to check how your energy is coming across on video.

7. Remove All Distractions 

Turn off notifications, and don’t have any additional tabs open except for your video interview platform. Expand it to fill up your full screen. All you need on your desk is a blank piece of paper for notes (and maybe some water).

8. Triple-Check Your Setup

Be sure you have the video interviewing link ready and you have already downloaded and tested the platform you’ll be using. Check that your background is professional, the lighting is bright and that your audio and internet connections are stable. 

9. Jot Down Keywords 

Use those seconds before the recording begins to do what you had done in step three: write down a few keywords that represent the high-level themes or topics of what you want to speak to. This will make it easier to jump in feeling ready to record your answer when the timer starts.

10. Keep Cool

If you’re nervous about feeling rushed for time in this setting, I’d encourage you to focus on speaking clearly. Your best strategy is to focus on 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. Don’t Be Afraid to Start Over

You can re-record your answer if 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. Staying natural, honest and authentic is the best course of action.


Taking the extra steps to prepare for your pre-recorded video interview and practice your responses will ensure you come across as a clear communicator who is authentic, prepared and confident.

Rachel Serwetz is the Founder and CEO of WOKEN, a career platform and coaching service helping clients find the job they love. Learn more at iamwoken.com.

For more tips on using Wedge pre-recorded video interview software, visit our Help Center.