Video Interviewing Tips for Candidates

By June 29, 2015Interview Tips

Although interviews can be really nerve-racking, a good first impression can really make a difference. More and more companies are using video interviewing for early-round candidate selection, which helps bring a candidate to life much earlier in the process. We’ve put together our top 5 tips for candidates to excel in their next video interview.

Be Aware of your Background and Environment

Your viewing environment should be quiet, simple and well illuminated. Make sure that the area your recruiter will see on video is clean and tidy. Don’t sit with a window right behind you – it’ll create a shadow and make you very hard to see. Have your laptop at eye-level (put books underneath it to elevate as necessary) and put a desk lamp nearby so you can adjust the light. Once you decide where to complete your interview (most people complete their video interview at home according to this new research by Sonru), make sure that everyone knows to keep quiet. Don’t let housemates, pets, deliveries or doorbells disturb you!

Of course, some things are out of your control. If your dog Fido jumps on your lap with his loudest squeaky toy and messes up your interview, don’t worry. A great video interview software provider will have a support team there to help, 24/7.

Prepare Beforehand

Sounds obvious, but have you fully charged your laptop or mobile device? When is the last time you turned on your webcam or microphone? Don’t leave it until the last minute to test your equipment. You don’t want to miss your chance because of a faulty wire or bad connection. Completing a video interview is really easy and the system will flag if there is any issue with your hardware. With Sonru, a 24/7 support team are on-hand to help in the unlikely event that you have a tech issue (less than 1% of people do!).

Put your laptop or device on Do Not Disturb, blocking all incoming notifications and calls. Turn off Skype and Facetime. Make sure you have nothing running in the background. It’s a good idea to tell people you’re doing an interview, and not to call or interrupt you. Even put a sign on the door “Dream Job Interview in Progress. Please do not Disturb”. It’s just you and your interview.

Dress to Impress

It’s really important to dress as you would for a face-to-face interview, even though you know the recruiter will only be able to see you from the waist up! It may be tempting to wear your most comfortable sweats and a crisp white blouse, but dressing formally will actually make you feel more confident and assertive. Even your body language will change. This will ultimately affect your interview performance. Try to avoid busy patterns and crazy designs, instead opting for a block colour.

Dressing formally also makes sure you’re ready for any situation, so if one of your interview questions is “Can you do the Macarena?” you’re ready to perform!

Practice Makes Perfect

As with everything, practice makes perfect. People are becoming more and more familiar and comfortable with video interview technology, thanks to mainstream social applications like Skype, Facetime and even Snapchat! Pick a time that suits you to complete your interview and then put aside time to practice. Log in and familiarise yourself with the system. On the Sonru system, only you can see your practice interviews, so it’s the perfect time to make a mistake. Practice, practice and practice again. You’ll gain more confidence with each practice interview and you’ll ooze coolness when completing the real deal.

Not many things in life are free, but practice interviews are – some candidates complete 100+!

Make Eye Contact

This might sound like a silly tip – the interview is one way, so how can you make eye contact? Look at the camera, not at yourself on the screen. When a recruiter reviews the interview, you’re recording will be looking directly at them, making eye contact. This exerts confidence and will be more engaging for the recruiter. Don’t stare – act natural, as if the interviewer was there in the room with you! Some candidates put an image of a friend or loved one behind the camera. If this helps you, do it!

Sonru has made this easier for you, by making the live screen quite small on our candidate interface, helping to make sure you’re totally focused on your answers.

Above all else, have confidence in yourself, your experience and your abilities. You’ve got this!

What tips have worked for your candidates? Read more here.

Joy Redmond
Edward Hendrick
Ed holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agribusiness & Rural Development and a Higher Diploma in Enterprise Development and Entrepreneurship.

Since founding Sonru in 2007 with the vision of introducing Video Interviewing to mainstream recruitment, Ed has established the organisation as a global leader and one of the top recruitment SaaS companies worldwide.

With numerous accolades to his name such as the Sunday Business Posts ‘Top 40 Under 40’ and IIA Net Visionary award for innovation, Ed is recognised as one of the world’s leading experts in video recruitment technology and is a renowned industry speaker.

With a passion for new technology and how it can be used to make life easier for people in the real world, Ed has been instrumental in shaping the current landscape of the Video Interviewing industry.
Chris Horan
CTO at Sonru
Chris graduated from Trinity College Dublin with an Honours Bachelor of Science Degree in Physics and Computer Science and went on to complete a Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Science in Physics and Computer Science as well as a Higher Diploma in Enterprise Development.

With almost 20 years’ experience in the software engineering and computer science space, Chris has worked with leading technology companies such as Accuris, CAPE Technologies and BearingPoint.

Chris has been at the forefront of Sonru’s product development since the company’s inception in 2007.
Daniel Richard
Managing Director EMEA
Sonru’s Europe MD, Daniel Richard, graduated from Queen’s University, Canada with a Master of Science in Industrial and Organisational Science.

A trained Occupational Psychologist with more than 15 years of sales and consulting experience in multinational recruitment and HR services companies, Daniel leads Sonru’s sales efforts within EMEA, helping to grow its rapidly expanding customer base.

Prior to joining Sonru, Daniel spent 10 years at Oracle Taleo helping to build the company from a small regional start-up to a true industry leader. Daniel has held a variety of sales and consulting positions on various continents, including the US and Europe.
Fergal O'Byrne
Non-Executive Director
Fergal holds a Bachelor of Science in Electronic Engineering from Dublin Institute of Technology and is an experienced Internet industry entrepreneur.

Since founding Interactive Return in 1998, Fergal has been a member of the Board of Directors of, WINC, and CCD Limited and was a previous chair of the Project Advisory Group for Fáilte Ireland’s eBusiness Support Initiative.

A recognised influencer within the industry, Fergal has served as CEO of the Irish Internet Association and has published four books including ‘10 Online Marketing and Search Engine Essentials’ and ‘10 Technologies Every Executive Should Know’.

In 2015, Fergal was inducted into the IIA Internet Hall of Fame in recognition for services to the internet industry.
George Pennock
George holds an MA in History from Oxford University and is a previous Partner and Head of Saphir UK at Saphir Capital Partners.

George spent several years with the Goldman Sachs Group as a mergers and acquisitions banker before moving into private equity where he has spent most of the past 15 years. He has served as a Senior Investment Manager and COO at Pi Capital, and worked with Botts & Company Ltd where he made private equity investments in the leisure, publishing, branded goods, retail, and technology sectors.

Having spent the past two decades working with a myriad of talented and unconventional entrepreneurs, investing in everything from online employee benefits platforms to river boats and book publishers, George is passionate about backing exceptional people and interesting businesses and believes that while a mediocre management team can ruin even a great plan, a great management team can make a success of almost any business opportunity.
John Penning
Currently, I am a Director of Sonru, the leading Online Video Interviewing company. Previous career highlights include; CEO of the Irish Internet Association, Chairman of and Founder and CEO of Interactive Return. In 2015 I was very honoured to be inducted into the IIA Internet Hall of Fame in recognition for services to the internet industry.
Rodolphe Verhaegen
Non-Executive Director
Rodolphe is currently an Operational Advisor with Digital Ventures in Brussels having previously worked in Ebay, most recently as Director of Customer Innovation.

Rodolphe is an innovative and creative business leader, with a strong interest in technology and agile software development practices. He holds an Masters Degree in Business Information Management and a BA in Business Economics from the Vrije Universiteit, Brussels.
Georges Schmit
Non-Executive Director
A native of Luxembourg, Georges graduated with degrees in Economics from the University of Louvain, Belgium (BA) and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (MA). Besides his native Luxembourgish, Georges is fluent in French, English and German.

Georges served the Government of Luxembourg from 1981 to 2016 and throughout most of his career he focused on innovation and technology policy, economic development and trade and investment promotion.

During his time with the Government of Luxembourg, Georges served as Secretary General of the Luxembourg Ministry of the Economy and was a member of several European Union high-level advisory bodies including the European Commission's "Enterprise Policy Group”. He also served as both Vice-Chairman and Executive Chairman of the National Credit and Investment Corporation (SNCI) of Luxembourg.

Georges has served on the Board of Directors of both listed and private companies including the world's largest steelmaker ArcelorMittal, the Luxembourg-based global satellite operator SES, the Luxembourg Post and Telecommunications Company, and the Luxembourg State and Savings Bank, among others. Most recently, he contributed to the design and launch of several major Luxembourg Government innovation policy initiatives and sits on the Luxembourg Government’s Advisory Board on Space Resources.
Daria Polunina
Non-Executive Director
A director at Saphir Capital Partners, Daria holds a Bachelor of Science in Financial Management from the University of Essex as well as a MSc in Finance from Cass Business School. Daria also sits on the board of Molinare and Wine Source Group.

Patrick Sweeney
Non-Executive Director
Patrick holds a Bachelor of Business Studies Degree in Accounting, Management, Human Resources, Marketing and Economics from University of Limerick as well as Masters of Education in Management, Human Resources and Training and Development from University of Sheffield.

For 25 years, Patrick held the position of Human Resources and Public Affairs Director for Aughinish Alumina where he was involved in change management, restructuring and international mergers and acquisitions.

Patrick also undertook many other leadership roles including operations management, training and development and employee relations management. In addition to sitting on the Board of Directors at Sonru since 2011, Patrick has operated his own strategic management and human resources consultancy firm for the past 8 years.