What To Do 30 Minutes Before A One-Way Video Interview

by Olivia Adams on June 3, 2014

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Image Credit:  Portrait of business woman image from Bigstock.

Image Credit: Portrait of business woman image from Bigstock.

Six in 10 HR managers use video to interview candidates for their company. This is why you shouldn’t be surprised if you’re asked to record a video for your next interview.

Let’s imagine you applied for a job outside of the state you currently live in two days ago. Today, you just received an email from the hiring manager, who asks you to submit a video interview within the next 24 hours. What do you do?

At first, this might seem overwhelming. You have 24 hours to prep yourself for an interview, and you’re especially surprised by how quickly the employer contacted you. Before you tell everyone you’ve scored an interview, you must figure out what time within the next day you’ll complete the interview.

Since the employer asked you to complete a one-way video interview (which means you record your answers and submit them for review), you have a little flexibility. In fact, 36 percent of candidates prefer video interviews because they can choose an interview time that fits their schedule. Although in this case you only have 24 hours to complete the interview, don’t feel like you have to rush into the interview immediately.

Just as you’d prepare for any other job interview, video interviews require you to research the employer and practice common interview questions. The benefit of one-way job interviews, however, is most video recording software allows you to record your responses multiple times before submitting to the employer.

Let’s fast forward to the next two hours. You’ve spent time researching the employer and crafted your answers to a variety of interview questions. You decide you want to complete the interview today rather than waiting until tomorrow. To help you get prepared for the interview, here are some last-minute tips that will help you score the job:

1. Do a final overview of the employer.

Even if you feel like you researched the employer to the best of your abilities, it’s a good idea to do a final overview of the employer. Take a look at the employer’s mission statement, what they do, and if they’ve been in the news lately. You should also skim through their blog to see if there’s anything that catches your attention as a talking point for the interview.

This final overview isn’t meant to be a cram session to learn more about the employer. It’s just another way you can refresh your memory and make sure you didn’t miss anything that could come up during the interview. As long as you have the basics down, you should be set to record.

2. Read through your notes and review any questions.

After you’ve done a final overview of the employer, take a second look at your notes. Make sure you have accomplishment stories prepared for almost every video interview question that could be asked. There’s no need to memorize your notes word-for-word, but reviewing everything one last time will keep it fresh in your mind.

3. Print off your resume and cover letter.

Believe it or not, you might forget what is actually on your resume or what you said in your cover letter. If the employer asks a question about a previous job, you’ll want make sure your resume is readily available for you to reference.

Not only you should print off your resume and cover letter, but also you should briefly scan them to make sure you don’t miss a beat during the interview. Although you can have these documents in front of you during the interview, you don’t want them to become a distraction and cause you to look down from the camera during the interview.

4. Double-check your appearance.

Just because you’re interviewing in the comfort of your home doesn’t mean you can skip the business professional attire. When you do a video interview, you want to make sure you’re dressed professionally from head-to-toe. Make sure you’ve also cleaned up and your hair is away from your face. Don’t wear any distracting jewelry or a loud neck tie that could distract the viewer during the interview.

5. Make sure your equipment is working and remove distractions.

Do a final run-through of your equipment and make sure you’re set up in a quiet and well lit space. The last thing you want is your audio to stop working or your dog to start barking during the interview. Although you’ll likely have the chance to re-record responses, minimize your distractions so you can stay as focused as possible during the process.

6. Give yourself a pep talk and grab a glass of water.

Even though you might be nervous about the interview, it’s important to relax and get focused. This is your time to shine and show employers what you have to offer.

Just before the interview, give yourself a little pep talk. Think about the cool things you’ve accomplished in your career and the wonderful things previous employers have said about you.

Make sure you also have a glass of water ready for your interview. Most one-way job interviews allow you to record your responses numerous times, so be prepared to spend a lot of time talking during your interview. Grab a glass of water so you can stay hydrated and keep your voice from cracking during the interview.

7. Stop rehearsing.

Although you’ve spent the last 15 or 20 minutes reviewing your notes and resume, take a couple minutes after your pep talk to sit quietly and breathe. You don’t want to be over prepared for the interview or mix up any of your responses. Just remember that, even though this interview is recorded, it’s still a conversation.

Ready for your interview?

The 30 minutes before you record your interview is a time for you to regain your focus and get in the zone. This is your opportunity to make a great first impression on the employer, so focus on how you’ll be a great asset for their organization.

One-way video interviews can be nearly as scary as a real-life interview because you don’t have the opportunity to see your employer’s body language. This is why it’s very important for you to be clear, honest, and most importantly yourself during the interview. Whether you’ve spent an hour or five hours preparing for the interview, just remember to stay focused and the interview will run much more smoothly.

What are your best tips for one-way video interviews? 

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