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Female university applicant sits at her desk for a video interview with 3 panelists on screen

Benefits of video interviews for the skeptical university applicant

Has COVID-19 moved your admissions interviews online? If you’re concerned about how a video format may impact your chances of getting into your dream school, don’t fret. We’re sharing some of the advantages you may gain from doing a video interview. 


No traveling keeps you safe and saves you dollars

There’s no need to risk your health and safety to interview at your dream school when there are so many options for doing interviews online while we maintain physical distance during the pandemic. Most universities have opted for these platforms so that you don’t miss out on the opportunity to showcase your best self. Some schools are even considering using video interviews permanently to widen access to their programs and help applicants save money in the process.


It’s still a two-way conversation if it’s a live video interview

While video interviews can never really replace the experience of in-person interactions, you still get that two-way conversation in a live video interview. This way, you can gauge how the admissions team feels about your responses by picking up on their non-verbal signals (after all, the majority of communication is non-verbal). And while you have their attention, you may also have an opportunity to ask them questions. 

On-demand video interviews may help level the playing field

Even if your video interview is pre-recorded instead of live, you can still benefit. On-demand video interviews are more likely to support a consistent and fair process even if you don’t necessarily get immediate face-time with the admissions committee. That’s because in this format, all applicants are sent the same questions in advance and provided the same amount of time to prepare and submit their responses. There is no opportunity for a discussion to veer off course, enabling a more apples-to-apples comparison of applicant responses. 


You may find that some programs you’re applying to use both on-demand and live video interviews. Typically these on-demand video interviews are shorter – like our short video response tool Snapshot – which provides the admissions committee an extra piece of information about you that may not necessarily be clear in your personal statement or reference letters. They can be an extra tool in the screening process that allows your dream school to know you earlier in the process and perhaps even help you land a live interview.


There’s less pressure in video interviews

It’s easy to get distracted or intimidated in interviews when you’re in their office. With video interviews, you can choose where to do it so that you feel more comfortable (just make sure the space isn’t cluttered; you don’t want people on the other side of the screen to focus on something else). That increased comfort should give your confidence a boost, allowing you to focus on the quality of your answers so the real you shines. On-demand video interviews in particular have the added bonus of giving you extra time to prepare. Use this time to get used to the school’s video platform and practice responding to the questions on camera (yes, it’s weird, but you’ll get used to it).


Now that you know how video interviews can work in your favor, read our top tips for submitting a great on-demand video interview.