Sep 21, 2023

How to Do a Video Interview: 7 Tips for Success


Pre-pandemic, interviews usually meant getting ready to speak with someone face to face. However, in the age of COVID-19, things are looking incredibly different. On your journey to becoming a doctor, you might find that meetings, interviews, conferences, and study sessions are conducted virtually. In this blog, let’s focus on tips for how to do a video interview successfully.

How to Do a Video Interview: 7 Tips

Tip #1: Do a Test Interview First

What platform will you be interviewing on — Zoom? Google Meet? Grab a friend or family member and take it for a test drive first.

Treat this like the real thing. Wear what you plan on wearing, use the same camera and mic, and make sure that from a technical standpoint, everything is working.

Tip #2: Check Your Background

What’s the camera going to catch behind you? If there’s anything you don’t want the interviewer to see, if possible, move it out of the way. Or, most video conferencing platforms will allow you to blur your background and even change it.

If you opt to add your own background, make sure it’s something simple and professional.

Tip #3: Sit at the Right Distance from the Camera

You don’t want to be too far or too close. Ideally, there’s a little bit of empty space between the top of your head and the frame of the camera. If you can get yourself in the shot from about the middle of your torso up, you’re in good shape!

Tip #4: Keep the Camera Stationary

You’ll likely be doing your video interview on your computer, although some people prefer their phones. Either way, make sure the device is stationary. This will be especially important if you’re using a phone. If you have a tripod, secure it to that. Otherwise, make sure it’s propped up in a way that prevents any movement.

Tip #5: Use “Do Not Disturb” Mode

Whatever device you’re on, adjust the setting so that you can silence notifications. Text messages, new emails, and social media notifications can be incredibly distracting, even if the sound is muted. And remember that if your phone is set to vibrate, this still makes a noise, and the interviewer will likely be able to hear it.

four people conducting a video interview

Tip #6: Watch Your Body Language

One benefit of in-person interviews is that you and your interviewer can see each other’s body language. This isn’t so much the case in a video interview. While it might feel awkward, pretend that person is in the room with you. Smile when it’s appropriate and always make “eye contact.” If you normally talk with your hands, then it’s perfectly acceptable to do so in your video interview.

Pay attention to their body language, too. It can reveal a lot.

Tip #7: Minimize Disruptions

Of course, you can’t completely control everything, but we encourage you to think about the details. If you have roommates, ask them to leave the TV off until you’re done. Is it garbage day? See if you can do your video interview somewhere else. Avoid any movement behind you, like people walking around.

You need to be able to 100% focus and make it easy for the interviewer to focus on you, too.
Did you enjoy this blog? You might like learning some of our most helpful test-taking strategies.

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