How To Prepare For Pre-Recorded Interviews

How To Prepare For Pre-Recorded Interviews

The use of pre-recorded interviews as part of the recruitment process is increasing. Lots of people don’t like seeing themselves on camera. As it’s a one-way interview this can add to the discomfort. However, there are lots of measures which you can take to make sure you perform at your best.

What happens in a pre-recorded interview?

As the name suggests it’s not a live interview with a recruiter, you are alone in front of the camera.

  • The company will ask you to login to the video interview platform.
  • When you login to the platform your interview will start.
  • You will have an opportunity to test your microphone and camera.
  • When you begin the interview you will be given a practice question to answer.
  • You may have a mixture of open questions, scenarios, multiple choice, or written responses.
  • There is usually a moments thinking time, then an allocated response time for each question.
  • When you have finished the interview the recruiter will be able to review your answers in their own time.

Whilst you may have become more comfortable with virtual technology as a result of Coronavirus it’s important that you practice.

Why are pre-recorded interviews used?

Pre-recorded interviews are a useful pre-selection tool. They are often used as an alternative to telephone interviews. If there’s a large number of applicants for a position they help the company efficiently decide who should proceed to the next stage of the interview. Whilst they can be a bit daunting for candidates there are lots of positives.

What are the benefits of pre-recorded interviews?

  • You will usually given a deadline by which to complete your interview, rather than a set time. This flexibility allows you to make sure that you are prepared and in the right environment, free from distractions.
  • In a telephone interview you don’t have a moment to think of your response, whereas the pre-recorded interviews usually allow you about 30 seconds.
  • Unlike a telephone interview, the recruiter can watch your interview more than once. This helps the recruiter catch the full impact of your responses. It also makes the process transparent and fairer.
  • Pre-recorded interviews allow the company to increase the number of candidates they shortlist. They don’t need to find time for a recruiting manager to fit telephone interviews into their schedule. This may enable you to be shortlisted for a role which you may not have previously been selected for.
  • 70 – 93% of communication is via body language. This is lost in a pre-selection telephone interview.

How can you perform at your best in a pre-recorded interview?

The standard best practice for interviews still applies, but there are a few other areas to think about.

Interview preparation

  • Research the company and familiarise yourself with the job description
  • Prepare a response to common interview questions, for example ‘Tell me about yourself.’
  • Have examples of your achievements to hand. We recommend using the STARB acronym to develop these. (Situation, Task, Action, Result, Benefits)
  • Practice answering questions on camera using a timer. To do this you can setup a Zoom meeting with yourself, or another Careers Springboard member. Use your phone timer, allowing yourself a couple of minutes for each question. Click on the ‘record’ button before you start. When you finish the Zoom call it will create a video which you can download and playback. It’s a great way of checking how enthusiastic you are when responding.
  • Speak slowly and clearly. It is important that your answers are clear even though you have a limited response time. Don’t be tempted to rush.
  • Practice demonstrating your motivation through your posture, by smiling and using hand movements. Try this before your interview, in front of a mirror, or by recording it on your phone or webcam.

Environment preparation

  • Make sure that your lighting is good. It’s best to have a light source behind your screen, facing you, preferably a window. If you can’t position your device in this way close any blinds/curtains and use artificial lighting. Otherwise the light from the window will create a glow to the side or behind your head which is distracting.
  • Free your background of clutter
  • Position your device so that your camera lens is in line with your eyes. You can use books to raise a computer.
  • Wear the right outfit. Whilst pre-recorded interviews are often at the early stages of the the recruitment process they are just as important. They are your opportunity to make a good first impression and move through to the next stage.

As a Careers Springboard member you are welcome to use our free Coaching service. The coaching is provided by qualified coaches with a range of expertise across different sectors. We offer mock interviews as part of this service.

You may also be interested in 10 Top Tips To Be AT Your Best In Virtual Interviews