7 steps to making an unbeatable Video Interview

It’s no secret that these days, job seeking is a competitive market. Your resume needs to be as unique and creative as possible to stand out from the crowd and catch the attention of the employer. Instead of simply relying on a traditional written resume, having a video introduction is a great way to provide potential employers with more insight into what you have to offer.

Recruiters receive thousands of resumes every month and employers that post a job ad can receive at least 300 in a week! Watching a video allows them to obtain a more powerful sense of someone than what can be achieved by reading a document. If a picture tells 1000 words, imagine how effective a video is. As an employer, it’s difficult to get a feel for someone’s personality and enthusiasm for the position from a stack of resumes and cover letters (which can easily get lost in a pile!). Videos let applicants jump off the page and give a more comprehensive picture of why they’re the perfect fit for the team.

As we all know, it’s surprisingly difficult to figure out how to make an entertaining 1-minute video of yourself talking — it feels awkward, and naturally we don’t really want to do it. But nowadays, more and more employers are relying on videos to help them make their hiring decisions. The awesome part about creating your videos on Hiya, is the level of control it gives you. If a take doesn’t go well, simply re-record it. If you make a ‘Dad-joke’ and immediately realise that it’s not really as funny as you’d hoped, you can take it back! It’s an interview minus the nerves, mistakes and facepalms, and your greatest chance to make an awesome first impression. Take as much time as you need to get it right.

On that note, here are seven tips to help you make a successful video interview.

Plan ahead

Think about what you would like to say in your introduction, write it down, make sure it sounds natural and feels like you. Are you comfortable talking to the camera on your phone, or would it be easier to have a friend “interview” you? Feel free to be as creative or subtle as you want, this is to show the real you.

Don’t just read your resume

This is the perfect opportunity to highlight an experience or quality about yourself that has particular relevance to the position but that might not shine through on your resume. Your life experiences, interests, passions and personality can all help to demonstrate your suitability for a position. For example, an applicant that used a video interview was the captain of her local netball team. Her introduction video focused on this part of her background and, through her story, she showed us that she’s an energetic leader who’s able to motivate others to achieve successful results. It was exactly what the employer was looking for—and she now works there.

Write a script (but avoid reading it word for word)

Think about the main points you’d like to speak about and write down what you’ll say. Writing down your ideas ahead of time encourages intention and clarity—and helps stop run-on sentences and excessive “ums” and “likes.”

Check the video quality

We want to see you and hear what you have to say! Record in a quiet and well-lit area and have the camera pointing straight towards you. These things sound obvious, but believe me, they go a long way to making sure your videos look professional.

Re-record if you need to

The beauty of a pre recorded video interview is that you don’t have to settle on the first take. If your dog keeps barking in the background or you get off track, just do it again. At first, I couldn’t figure out how to finish my answer in a way that seemed natural. Was I supposed to say “bye?” Or just stop talking? After a few takes, I found that for me a simple smile and pause looked the best.

Watch your own video

Have you ever read back through an email you’ve written and found spelling errors, run-on sentences, or a few overused adjectives? I definitely have. You should watch your video back for the same reason: checking for any little mistakes. You can also get a friend to have a look too—a second opinion can help point out little things you may have overlooked.

Tailor your video answers

It’s a good idea to tailor your answers to the position you are going for. You can keep your resu-card current by changing your answers when you are going for a different position.

I can’t speak for everyone, but as an employer, I’m not looking for a perfectly worded answer or the highest production quality in our applicants’ videos. I look for personality, effort and enthusiasm. A video is an extra opportunity to show a company why you really would be an excellent addition to their team, so have fun and take advantage of it!


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