In this current climate, technology is leading the way in not only how we work, but in landing that next job!

For a number of years the Public Appointments Service have been examining and using a range of new and leading edge technologies to support different parts of our recruitment process. Some of these have included different types of ‘video based’ interviews, which can be conducted using your phone, a tablet or your laptop / PC.

Below is an outline of the two main types of ‘video based’ interviews we are using with some practical tips on how to get set up and do your best during your interview.

Automated Video Interview:

In this case, rather than seeing the interviewers on screen, you will see questions presented on screen and will be asked to record yourself responding to the particular questions. At the beginning, you will be given sample questions to practice on to help you familiarise yourself with the process and see what it’s like to ‘speak to the screen’. When you are ready, you will be able to start the interview. It’s worth noting that once you ‘start for real’, you need to complete all the questions and you won’t be able to go back and ‘re-do’ an answer. Once completed, your responses are later reviewed by our interview board members. We have used this format of video interview on a number of campaigns over the last 2 – 3 years and the overall experience has been welcomed by candidates as they found the system easy to use.

Live Video Interview

This is a video call/meeting, with an interview panel, as if you were sitting in front of your interviewer at a face to face interview. For this type of interview, you will be able to log-in a few minutes before the interview; you will receive a message to say you are in a ‘waiting room’. The interview board will be notified when you’re in the waiting room and will call or ‘admit’ you when they are ready to see you.

The process is very similar to a real life interview and once you are in on the call, you will be able to see the interview board members and they will be able to see you. They will ask you questions and get to know you as they would in a regular face-to-face interview. At the end of the interview, you will be asked to ‘Leave’ and the interview panel will wait until you have left before proceeding. If you have difficulty leaving, our Representative on the interview board will assist you.

Interviews can be daunting at the best of times and the key to success is preparation. We already have some very useful tips on preparing for Interviews on our Interview Advice Page and you may also find the information below helpful in preparing for a Video Interview.

Laptop Image


  • Internet Speed: 1 Megabits per second is required for a clear HD connection. You can test your internet speed on Google
  • Laptop/Mobile/Tablet: Make sure your device is fully charged before your interview and has a webcam/front facing camera.
  • Audio & Camera: Check that your microphone and camera are working correctly and the sound and picture are clear (Maybe give your camera lens a quick clean). On our video interview platforms, you can run a test on both so that everything is in working order ahead of your interview.
  • Avoid Disruption: If using your mobile phone for the video interview, ensure to place it on ‘do not disturb’, to avoid any incoming messages or calls. If using a PC/laptop for the video interview, ensure to have no other tabs open, and turn off or place your mobile phone on silent so you are not distracted.
  • Technical Difficulties: If you have problems with the technology before, during or after your interview, please let us know as soon as possible. It is OK to let the interviewers know there is a problem or if you are not hearing them clearly.


  • Location: choose a quiet area, where you won’t be disturbed. It may be helpful to place a sign on the door to remind others not to interrupt.
  • Lighting: Choose a well-lit area, with a plain bright coloured background
  • Camera: Raise the camera to eye-level if possible (you may wish to place a stack of books or a box underneath your device to help with this). If using a mobile device, try to make sure this is steady for the duration of the interview - if possible use a stand to keep the device upright. The camera on your device should be positioned to show your head and shoulders on the screen.
  • You may find it useful to have a glass of water to hand.

Your Interview Environment Image

Dress Code:

Even though you will be in the comfort of your home, many people find it really helpful to dress as you would for a face to face interview. It helps to ‘get you in the zone’.

Giving your full attention

Things like eye contact and posture are just as important for a video interview as it is in person.

  • Remember to look directly at the webcam, instead of your own screen, when you are talking. This will help you to align your eyes with the interviewers. You can look back at the screen when you’re listening. Some people find it helpful to put a little sticker beside where the camera is as it helps to give you a focus – but please make sure you don’t put it over the camera..!
  • Remember to sit upright with your back against a chair and shoulders open. This can help in conveying a positive, upbeat mood.
  • During the interview, it is good to nod and smile where appropriate to show that you are giving the interviewer your full attention.


Your Interview Environment Image

As with any interview, it is important to be as prepared as possible. Although it is becoming more widely used, video interviewing may feel a little strange at first. It is advised, particularly for Automated Video Interviews, that you practice by recording yourself speaking into a camera.

This should help you feel a bit more comfortable when it comes to recording the real interview. We understand that these new methods can be daunting, so please rest assured that during your interview, the interview panel are only interested in the content of what you have to say and your suitability for the job. They are not assessing how comfortable you are on camera.

Reasonable Accomodations

The Public Appointments Service is committed to positively supporting candidates with disabilities throughout the selection process. If you have a disability and would like to share information that you feel would assist you to do your best during your video interview, please contact the relevant recruitment unit managing the campaign or our Disability Champion to discuss your needs.

Please Note: More information on your interview process will be provided by the Public Appointments Service, prior to the interview

Good luck!