Applying for internships outside of Boston (looking at you ELA) and wondering about a video interview? Received a request from an employer about doing a pre-recorded interview? Feeling confused or want more info?

We are here to help!

There are generally two types of video interviews:

  • Traditional Video Interviews: similar to an in-person interview, just virtually.
  • Pre-Recorded Video Interviews: the modern version of essay questions. The employer provides an opportunity for you to record yourself answering pre-determined questions.

In both cases, make sure to prepare as you would for an in-person interview. Research the company and interviewers, re-read the internship or job description, organize your thoughts and the experiences you hope to share that showcase why you are a good fit, and practice. But here are some additional tips to help the video portion feel more comfortable and showcase the rock-star candidate that you are:

  • Make Sure You Have a Solid Connection: Reserve time before the interview to make sure your internet and audio connections are working, you want the employer to remember you for your great personality, not your laptop malfunctions!
  • Pick a Simple, Clean Background and Quiet Location: Find a background for the interview that looks clean and professional, making sure that there is enough light. A messy background or silhouetted interviewee does not set a professional tone. Additionally, make sure you are in a quiet, calm space, free from interruptions. Don’t be this guy.
  • Look at the Camera When Speaking: This may seem awkward at first, but try to maintain eye contact with the camera lens in the computer instead of the image on the screen, as it simulates direct eye contact.
  • Professional Dress and Framing: Even though you might be in your bedroom, dress as if the interview were in person. You’ll want to fit the atmosphere of the particular company you are applying for, which may mean you’ll need to sit at your desk in a blazer. Frame yourself on-screen from the chest up and you can keep on your PJ pants 😉
  • Keep Body Language Comfortable: Online interviews are tricky as you aren’t physically interacting with people. Try to take a deep breath, shake out your hands or squeeze your desk chair to expel any nervous energy before you get started. Once the interview starts, sit up straight and smile, this will help you seem less robotic and confident. Also be careful not to play with your hair, tap your fingers or shake your leg as this will show through the video.
  • Keep Bulleted Notes: Feel free to type some key points you want to remember to cover in a bulleted list. Keep them up on your screen in an open document to quickly glance at while answering questions.
  • Follow Up with a Thank You. Always follow up with a thank you note. Here are some tips on making your thank you stand out.

Remember, use our office, The Career Development Center offers mock interviews, schedule your appointment on Handshake today (sign in using your Emerson credentials, click on ‘Career Center’, then ‘Appointment’). You can also check out our helpful interview guide for tips on researching and, potential questions an employer may ask.

Good luck! You will do great!

By: Geena Gangi and Kate Privert

Categories: Resources