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How To Ace One-Way Video Interviews

Video technologies have been expanding to HR business processes since long before the pandemic.

As far as I remember, it was 2013 when I first came across a video-resume and recorded video questionnaire service. It seemed very convenient, however, not suitable for every industry.

There is a prerequisite for using it - there should be an employer-driven market where there is high competition between candidates. Otherwise, it will be a waste of time, because candidates will not put any effort into recording videos.

Today, it is very commonly used and applies more and more pressure on job-seekers. That is very understandable. If you feel stressed out from this upcoming activity, you are not alone. The majority of people dislike and feel uneasy about self-recording.

But there is not much we can do about it. We are more likely to be exposed to technology in recruitment than ever. It will be so not only because of technological progress but also because of the growing competition for jobs and inevitable automation.

In one-way video interviews or video resumes, the main goal is to be liked by the viewer and to engage with them.

Unquestionably, no one could assess your skills or personality via a three-minute video.

As long as your answers aren't absolutely ridiculous, it doesn't actually matter very much what you say. The viewer will pay more attention to the general impression you create - not the specifics of your answers. A reviewer who gets a good first impression and likes you immediately will automatically look at what you say in a good light. And of course, the opposite is true of someone who has a negative impression.

Let's look into the process of recording your videos and find ways to handle it as smoothly as possible.

This challenge is at the intersection of Job interview training and video production coaching.

To go through it successfully, you will need:

  1. Job interviewing skills;

  2. Basic knowledge about self-presentation;

  3. Technical capabilities.

Nowadays, the technical part is not an issue as most programs offer mobile solutions; however, it's better not to do it on mobile.

You may be tempted to consider the quality of your video production unimportant. After all, you probably aren't applying for the position of a video editor. But this is a delusion.

Unconsciously, every viewer will be attracted to a bright, stable, high-quality image of a friendly, well-dressed person.

Preparation is the mother of perfection. Here is your checklist:

Be prepared for the questions

  • If you know the questions you will be asked to record, work on your answers.

  • Write a script and practice speaking.

  • Make a test video, show it to your trusted people to get objective feedback.

If you don't have the questions, be ready with the main messages you will need to get across:

For example, believe it, or not, but there will be a question something like "Tell me a few words about yourself".

Here are a few more:

  • Why are you suitable for the role?

  • Why do you want to work at our company?

  • What are your strengths?

Remember, everything you say should sell you for that particular role. Be straight to the point and concise. If you struggle with this, you might consider getting a career coach or career consultant.


The whole idea of your video recording is to make a good impression. You want to seem confident, friendly, and professional.

  • Don't speak longer than 40 sec.

  • Look straight at the camera, be friendly and smile.

  • Watch out for overactive gesticulation.

  • Try to be as natural as possible. Imagine you are speaking to a live person, rather than just a camera.

Technical capabilities

There are certain principles that you should always follow for best results when recording video:

  • Frame yourself well in the camera - not too far or too close.

  • To look well, sit in front of the window. Natural light is the best filter.

  • Dress and put on makeup as you would for a face-to-face meeting.

  • Avoid cluttered background and noise.

  • Adjust the camera either head-on or at the "selfie angle." Be sure that your face is fully visible.

Make test recordings and watch them. Practice more until you look natural and confident.

I would also advise including something bright, for example, a red shirt; or maybe you have a nicely yellow-painted wall. Use it as a background. The idea is to be remembered by the viewer. It's all about creating an impression.

Remember, everyone else feels just as awkward about this as you do. The more you do it, the better at it you will be.

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