Preparation tips

Set the scene for the best video interview you can do


Creating the best video interview possible

Getting the best results from your webcam, when participating in a video interview, regardless of the device used, requires a little preparation. It is not just the case of sitting in front of the camera and talking. The purpose of a video interview is to showcase your personality, communication and presentation style. This page is dedicated to helping you prepare yourself and your environment when using The Needle's video interview portal.


Preparing content when questions are visible before the interview

The Needle's video interview system allows recruitment professionals to set up a structure to suit the kind of environment they want you to experience. This can sometimes mean that they may let you see the questions before you start the interview. If this is the case, you have the opportunity to prepare your presentation ahead of recording your responses.

When preparing content, avoid memorising or reading a script as you will find yourself concentrating on getting the words right, rather than getting your point across naturally. The best solution is to confirm in your mind the key points of your answer, then record them in bullet point form.  You can then transfer these to the speaker notes area for each response, prior to recording your answers, using these only to prompt you.


Make sure you have practiced your content. Using a live person to practice in front of is the best option, but if this is not possible, practicing in front of your webcam or using the practice question until you are comfortable, is good too.


Preparing content when questions are not visible   

Preparation is always important regardless of whether you know what the questions will be or not. When the questions are not available before you start the video interview, prepare as you would for a face-to-face interview. This means knowing your CV, your skills and your experience inside out, as well as  being able to tap into real situations and competencies.


Lighting and external sound

Lighting is extremely important when working with a webcam. Webcams work similarly to a digital camera. If you don’t have enough light on the subject, your viewer won’t see much! Also, the webcam really struggles to work properly with low light and will not produce a high quality video.


Make sure that you have plenty of light on your face and that you select a neutral background. Sometimes it is good to use additional lights such as a lamp or two, to increase the amount of light in a room. When you have engaged your webcam, check how the lighting looks on the screen and adjust accordingly. Do not use the monitor as a light source.


In addition to the adjustment of the light on your face, check there are no glaring lights behind you, (e.g. sitting with a window behind you), as these can affect the focus of the camera and detract from the overall quality of the video.


External noise such as mobile phones, televisions, radios, pets and children running past will distract you. Turn off all devices that could make a noise, and warn people around that you are filming, so they know to stay away. Remove pets from the room! Ensure the area of the room that is in view of your webcam, is tidy and appropriate for an interview.


Prepare yourself

Conduct a general, physical appearance check. Dress wise; dress as you would for a face-to-face interview with that company. Ensure that if you wear glasses, that the lighting in the room is not causing unnecessary glare on your lenses. If you can switch to contact lenses, it’s advisable you do so.


Anything that stands out other than your face can distract the viewer and take their focus away from what you are saying. Make sure your hair is tidy. Block colours work best on camera. Black and white clothing is not recommended, only due to the fact that these tones drain the colour from skin on camera. Stripes, sparkles and spots are also not recommended as they play havoc with the viewer’s eyes and are also distracting.  


Posture and relaxation

Now you are nearly ready to record but first, check your posture. We advise that you sit up and look attentive. Keep your chest cavity open, as this will help you breathe easier. More oxygen moving round the body will energise your performance.  Smile. This simple gesture invites your audience in.

If you naturally use your hands when you speak, then we recommend you continue to do this. Restricting your natural communication style will detract from your presentation. Even if your hands are not always in view of the camera, they are a natural function of communication.


Can I use my mobile device?

Of course! The Needle recorder is available in the App Store and Google Play Store. Use your iPhone, iPad or Android device.

Download the App FREE and when you receive an invitation to interview from a prospective employer, just cut and paste your unique passcode from the email into the login screen of the App and start the interview. It's that simple!

AppStore (1) google_play_badge@2x

Everything you need to succeed with your video interview is here...

Frequently asked questions

If you have never been invited to an on demand video interview before, we've provided some answers to a few questions you may be asking yourself before you get started.

Device setup

There are many devices out there that may get you through a video interview but here is some advice on which ones will give you the best results. 

Preparation tips

In the comfort of your own home, learn how to prepare and present a convincing video interview that gets you through to the next stage of the recruitment process.

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