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Pre-Recorded Job Interviews: 5 Mistakes Candidates Make

Employers are increasingly turning to new ways of interviewing candidates in an attempt to save time and money. Some recruiters now ask candidates to pre-record the answers to a set series of questions. Without the need to connect with an interviewer, candidates can prepare and record responses in their own time, but it’s important to make sure the finished product is of a high standard. Make sure your pre-recorded interview hits the mark, and avoid the following mistakes other candidates make.

Wacky behaviour

In an apparent attempt to stand out from the crowd, some candidates think it’s a good idea to get creative with their recorded interviews. In fact, the usual rules of an interview nearly always apply, so you should still dress in interview attire and film the interview in professional surroundings. Recording your responses on a smartphone while walking around the supermarket may seem entertaining, but you’ll quickly put off a potential employer depending on the business culture they want to maintain.

Acting like a robot

When there’s no interviewer present, you can use tools like cue cards or other prompts to remind you what to say once the filming starts. The only risk here is that you end up reading out a script, which turns you into a cold, emotionless robot. Interviewers still want to see your personality, so make sure you answer in a conversational manner. In fact, it’s a good idea to have somebody in the room with you, albeit in silence and off-camera, so you have a ‘real’ person to talk to.

Controversial backgrounds

While a potential employer will expect you to film the interview at home, it’s important to make sure that your background doesn’t distract or alienate somebody watching the video. Aim for a plain, uncluttered backdrop, free from pictures, posters and photos. Some of these things will only distract viewers, and others (such as a poster that depicts your political beliefs) may actually put people off.

Failure to practice

One of the greatest benefits of a pre-recorded interview is that you get to edit the finished product. This means you can film several attempts until you are happy you have the best possible video. Even if an interviewer asks you to work to a short deadline, carefully plan what you want to say, and allow time for a few practice runs. 

Too much waffle

In any pre-recorded interview, you must make sure you give the recruiter the information he or she seeks. You’ll generally need to answer open questions, so a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no ‘ won’t do, but that’s not a license to ramble either. As much as a recruiter might discard a lengthy resume, he or she may also delete and ignore a video that’s too long. Keep an eye on the running time, and make sure you make every word count.

Pre-recorded interviews can help employers screen candidates without using up valuable interview time. If you have to record one of these videos, make sure you send in an interview that makes it impossible not to ask you to progress to the next stage. For more tips or assistance, contact local employment agencies.