Video Interview Guide by HireVue

At TA Staffing, we know that digital (video) interviews are the future and will replace traditional resumes. HireVue offers their thoughts and guidance on how to leverage video in your interviewing process if you are business and increases your appeal if you are a potential hire. There has been a growth in the adoption of on-demand, digital interviews--however, materials on how to prepare for a video interview are limited.

Many interview guides are designed for one-on-one interviews, and while they provide general tips on video interviews, they fall short in critical areas.  Here are key areas related to video interviewing. For a comprehensive guide to video interviewing, visit HireVue.

Hardware Preparation

"If you're prepared and you know what it takes, it's not a risk. You just have to figure out how to get there. There is always a way to get there." - Mark Cuban.

Being prepared is really about knowing what you need to be successful. With video interviews, it's being presentable and having the technology to convey your readiness.

Taking a Video Interview via Computer:

You will need two things in order to take your video interview via computer:

  1. Adobe Flash Player. (download the latest version here)
  2. A webcam. Most laptops now come with built-in webcams.

Ensure that your microphone and webcam are setup properly prior to accepting the interview invitation.

If the interviewer allows, you may be able to use a mobile app to conduct the interview. Desktop is always a better choice, though.

What To Expect

If you receive an email invitation to complete a digital video interview, you should know what to expect. Here are some key elements:

  1. On-demand interviews are not like one-on-ones, they do not have a live interviewer on the other end.
  2. Expect to respond to on-screen prompts, there are three ways the interviewer may ask questions:
    • Questions asked via pre-recorded video. 
    • Questions asked in a simple text format. Normally 30 seconds are given for you to read the question and prepare your response.
    • Questions requiring you to write, draw or code. If you are applying for a position that involves writing, expect to asked for a written response to a prompt.
      • Pro-tip! Do not close the interview window and draft your response in Microsoft Word or another text editor, just in case.
      • For those applying for a software development role, you should expect to be asked to code in response to a prompt. 

Preparing for the Interview

  • Dress appropriately. If you are unsure of what level of formality is expected, err on the side of caution.
  • Know your resume. You would be surprised at how many job candidates struggle to recall their duties in past positions. In a video interview, the interviewer may not have your resume, but expect to answer questions related to past experience.
  • Practice speaking to your webcam. 
  • Anticipate off the wall questions. Companies are using video interviews to gauge skills and attributes they can’t with a resume. Off the wall questions can give hiring managers insight into how well you can think and respond quickly to unexpected situations. Here are a couple examples:
    • Mercedes Benz internship applicants have been asked questions ranging from “If you were an animal, what animal would you be?” to “What would you do with a million dollars?”
    • Urban Outfitters often asks applicants to draw a picture of themselves in the middle of the interview.

These types of questions are not the norm, but not unusual. Be prepared to think on your feet.

The Interview Itself

There are four things to remember and incorporate into your video interview:

  1. Speak clearly. With digital interviews, you have to convey your answers clearly and directly. 
  2. Focus on looking into the camera, not your own image. Looking at yourself while you respond can be distracting, and don’t be afraid to break eye contact when considering what to say next.
  3. Make the most of time you’re given to prepare. If you are at a computer, you not only have easy access to your resume, the entirety of the internet is at your disposal. Consider referencing company resources when putting together your response.
  4. Emote. This is another one that should be obvious - smile and display genuine interest in the position you’re applying for. Your video responses might be viewed by more than one recruiter or hiring manager, so it is important to make your answers as engaging as possible.

I Think I Blew It

If you feel this way after completing your first video interview, don’t worry: everyone else feels the same way. Since there is no interviewer to provide nonverbal feedback after the interview’s completion, second-guessing yourself is very easy. Video interviewing is an entirely new medium for most applicants, so it is only natural to feel a little awkward. Don’t let it get you down, and know that every other applicant is in the same boat.

Disclaimer: This synopsis is shared with the permission of HireVue, with the original article and complete post available at:

Posted by Jeff Bates at 10:09 AM
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