9 tips for succeeding at video interviews for mining jobs

Someone having a video interview

Pre-recorded video interviews are becoming increasingly common. Here's how to ace yours.

If you go for a mining job today, it is very likely you will be interviewed by video, instead of face to face.

It has become an increasingly common practice over recent years, as mining companies have sought to streamline processes, reduce costs and save time.

Often these interviews are actually prerecorded, rather than “live”.

In a moment we’ll explain how you can absolutely ace your video interview and secure the mining job of your dreams, but first, let’s take a very quick look at the benefits of these kinds of interviews.

The benefits of video interviews for mining jobs

For many people, video interviewing is an unfamiliar experience. Sitting down in front of a blank screen with questions appearing at timed intervals, or asked by a person on-screen, can be challenging. We understand that. But let’s look at things another way.

As an applicant, you have the benefit of being able to record your interview when and where it is convenient. There’s no need to take time off work or arrange appointments around existing rosters. On top of that, you know you’re being asked exactly the same questions as every other applicant.

There are benefits to the recruiter, too. There is a consistency in the questions asked, more people can be involved in reviewing and short-listing the candidates, and the whole messy process of scheduling interviews is avoided. It can really speed up the hiring process.

Top tips for a great mining job interview on video

We spoke to a group of people who had experienced a video interview, to get their tips and advice on how to prepare and record a video interview that gives you the best chance of winning the job. Here’s what they had to say.

1. Find a quiet location to record

Find a quiet space where you won’t be interrupted during the recording (remember that expert whose kids burst into the room during his TV interview? You really don’t want that to happen!)

2. Look directly at the camera

Although eye contact is not possible because you’re talking to a screen, look directly at the camera, rather than at the person or questions on the screen. This is what people do when they’re interviewed on TV. It’s called “looking down the barrel” of the camera. It looks more professional and is less distracting for the viewer (your recruiters).

3. Smile and sit up straight


If you look comfortable in front of the camera, you’ll come across better at the other end. But you also need to look professional. Sit up straight – good posture makes you look more confident (and you’ll feel more confident when you speak, too). And smile! It creates a connection with the viewer and makes you seem warmer, more human, and more relatable.

READ MORE: 6 tips for leaving a lasting impression in an interview

4. Spend time getting your set-up right

It’s worth taking a few moments to get things looking right. Set up your camera or laptop so you are face-on (and can easily talk “down the barrel”). Make sure your camera is not angled upwards or downwards or at any kind of awkward angle. It’s preferable to film during the day, with natural but not too bright light. Make sure there are no shadows on your face. Too dark? Add extra lighting.

5. Keep it still

If you are using your phone to record the interview, put it on a stable surface so the image is steady. Do NOT try to hold it at arm’s length!

6. Think about your background

Think about what is visible in the background. Many people choose a plain white wall, as it provides less distraction for the viewer. But remember, your “viewer” is your recruiter. So, if there’s anything in your background, make sure it’s nothing inappropriate and nothing that might reflect badly on you.

7. Your clothing is important

A white shirt could be too bright. Patterns can be too distracting (fine patterns can often do crazy things on camera, which can make the tape really hard to watch). Black can sometimes make you “fade” into the background.

READ MORE: 4 reasons to get an interview coach (if you want the mining job)

8. Check your technology and your batteries

Before you start to record, ensure:

  • Your connection is strong (good wi-fi or bluetooth signal if you need it, nothing downloading, no updates running or scheduled, etc.)
  • Your battery has enough juice to last the recording
  • Your camera and microphone are working
  • You’ve closed down any programs you’re not using (like email programs that tend to “ping” when a new message comes in)
  • You’ve put your phone in aeroplane mode (if you’re recording on it, to stop incoming calls interrupting you) or turned it off (if you’re not recording on it, so you don’t get interrupted or distracted by it).

9. Be prepared

Preparation isn’t just for Boy Scouts; it’s for job interviews, too! And that goes for video interviews as well as face-to-face ones. You’ve been given the questions in advance, so you’ve got time to think about your answers. Your recruiters will expect you to be prepared – and it’s going to come across very quickly if you’re not.

When you were sent the request to record a video interview, you should also have been told the time it should take, how long you have to answer each question and a date the recording needs to be submitted by. Some systems allow applicants to practice an answer to ensure their system is working; others commence the interview immediately.

Video interviewing and prerecorded interviews are here to stay. Spending the time at the beginning to prepare for a video interview will pay off in the long term for you.

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Dan Hatch
Mining People International