What NOT to Do in a Video Interview

Talking to a webcam as part of a video interview can often feel like a rather unnatural process, but it is becoming more and more popular amongst law firms as part of their assessment process. Therefore, it is important to get it right!

Here are some top tips that will lead to your success in a video interview.

1. Don’t Dress Casually…

It is important to remember that as far as the firm is concerned, a video interview is equally important as one conducted face-to-face. Wearing a t-shirt and jeans is simply not the way to impress; it shows an unappealing lack of interest and effort on your part.

…But Do Dress Formally

Therefore, it is important that you dress the part; this will certainly have a large bearing on the firm’s impression of you. Wearing a suit is the safest option (for men this will include a tie), and it is best that you wear neutral colours that will not detract from what you are saying.

Presentation also extends to grooming, so it is important that you look tidy and presentable.

>> Want more tips on how to dress for a legal interview? Take a look at our latest blog post here!

2. Don’t Have Extensive Notes…

It is too easy to think that because you are behind a computer screen, you can have as many notes as you would like. However, it is important to maintain eye contact with the webcam as much as possible; if you are constantly looking at notes it will be painstakingly obvious to anyone watching your interview.

…But Do Keep a Pen and Paper to Hand

Therefore, prepare thoroughly. It is better to have just a few key words noted down to prompt you if and when necessary. Often you will have a couple of seconds to gather your thoughts in response to a question before the recording begins. Having a blank pad of paper to take notes on is a good idea to help you best make use of the time.

3. Don’t Be in a Bad Environment…

Your surroundings can impact the effect of your interview dramatically. If you complete your interview in a loud environment, the interviewers will be distracted by the background noise which detracts from your answers.

Furthermore, the walls behind you should not have anything that will divert attention from you, or make you appear unprofessional.

Lighting can also have a huge impact, as poor lighting can conceal your facial expressions and body language. This would be a shame because interviewers could be deprived of such a huge part of your personality.

…But Do Take Time to Optimise Your Interview Conditions

Therefore, before you begin your video interview, check that your surroundings are appropriate. Find a time and a place in which you will receive no interruptions.

It is best to have a blank white wall behind you, but if this is not possible ensure that there is nothing on the walls that will act as a distraction!

Also, check your lighting. You may need to do the interview in the daytime to get the best lighting, or perhaps it simply requires a change of venue. Try sitting somewhere where light falls on your face – like facing a window. Make sure you’re as clear as possible on your webcam.

4. Don’t Leave it to the Last Minute…

Firms normally allocate a period of up to a week from the point you receive the invitation to complete a video interview. Technology can be unpredictable and so it is not ideal to leave it until the final day to do the interview unless it can’t be helped.

…But Do Be Prepared

Preparation is key and will result in your increased performance. If you are not certain about the exact point of the deadline, it is better to err on the side of caution by submitting slightly earlier.


The best way to succeed therefore is to be prepared, be confident and remain professional!

Published: 22/02/18    Author: Radhika Morally

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