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21 June 2021


Video Interviews – the “New Normal” By Heather Bailes

By Heather Bailes | Recruitment Specialist Work+Stay.

Video interviewing is not the way of the future; it’s already here. Embrace it. By following these tips, you will be well on your way to securing that dream job in no time!

As we move through Covid, employers have had to adapt to a new way of interviewing candidates. Face to face interviews have become less common, working from home and social distancing is now standard practice. 

As a result, video interviews have quickly become the “new normal”.

So, here are our top tips to ensure you NAIL your video interview….

1. Research

Research the company you are interviewing with. Visit their company website and read about any recent involvement in industry events, as well as achievements and other general news. Know where they are based, how long they have been in business and what they specialise in.

2. Check your tech.

Download the required software and familiarise yourself with it prior to the video interview.  Make sure you pick a quiet, well-lit location with a neutral, clean and uncluttered backdrop. 

Hold a test interview with a family member or friend so that you can make any adjustments to location and setup, to ensure you are being seen and heard clearly.

Charge it up – Make sure that you have adequate battery life and/or are connected to a power source (and that it’s switched on…)If you’re not comfortable sharing your background or if your immediate surroundings are cluttered and messy — then, and only then — should you consider a virtual background. A neutral background is best. Many of the pre-set backgrounds on virtual platforms are distracting and can distort your gestures.  Avoid at all costs, the temptation to use one of the many colourful or holiday themed backgrounds that are on offer.

3. Be prepared.

  • Dress to impress! Do not wear your comfortable Hawaiian shorts with your collared shirt and suit jacket. You may not think the camera will see your legs, but if you need to get up for any reason during the interview, it will be awkward—to say the least. 
  • Have a pen and notebook ready. You can take notes and write down any questions as you think of them.
  • Remove any distractions. Put your phone on silent. If there are other people in the house, make sure they know not to disturb you. Ensure television/radio is off. If its noisy outside, shut windows and doors to minimise noise.
  • Have a glass of water off to the side, just in case you get one of those annoying coughs that always seem to happen at the most inappropriate times.

Be an early bird.

Make sure you login to the video session 10 minutes early to give you time to test the connection, lighting & sound. 

Remember, your interviewer could join the session at any time, so be ready.

It’s showtime. 

Smile & be conversational. Make sure that you look directly at the camera when answering questions and at the interviewer when they are talking or asking you questions.  However, avoid looking at the video image of yourself as this will distract you.

Ask thoughtful questions, including what the next stages of the hiring process is and when you are likely to hear back from them.

6. Breathe

It’s important to remember that you will always be at the mercy of technology! Tech problems or issues with your internet connection may occur at any time. Stay calm. How you react when things don’t go as planned will reveal to the employer your ability to calmly and proactively tackle difficult situations. 

Have an alternative contact detail on hand, a phone number or email address, in case things don’t quite go to plan. 

7. Wrap it up with a lasting impression!

Follow up with a post-interview thank you email. Briefly reinforce why you’re interested in the job and why you’d be a great match for the role and company. 


If you have voicemail setup on your phone, now is the time to check that your recorded message is appropriate. “Yo, whatsuuupppp” or similar was great when you were 15, but not what potential employers really want to hear.

Also, now is a great time to update your email address, if you find yourself still using flashyhotpants@ or something similar. Try and use a simple email that incorporates your name.

[*Heather Bailes is the recruitment specialist at Work+Stay, an initiative of Settlement Services International [SSI]. Work+Stay is a social enterprise wholly focused on making it easy for regional employers to attract and secure the workforce they need and supporting those newcomers to stay for the long term.] 

You can find Heather on LinkedIn here:


Heather Bailes