Video Interviews

Video job interviews are an increasingly common part of the hiring
process. In substance, the content of video interviews are similar to in-person
or phone interviews.

Companies
see many benefits
 in
using video technology to vet candidates. With a video interview, you have most
of the benefits of seeing a candidate in person, but without the hassle/expense
of actually meeting them (especially if someone would have to fly or drive to a
different city).

Preparation

Do your research as you
would for a face-to-face interview. Prepare by researching the company, reviewing the
job requirements and rehearsing possible interview questions.

Set up and test your
technology. Video
interviews are not only for tech savvy millennials, the software is
straightforward and accessible for everyone. It can also be done on any device
including a PC, tablet or smartphone, so choose the technology you feel most
comfortable with.

  • Set up and
    test your webcam or smartphone camera.
  • Set up and
    test the microphone.
  • Ensure
    your internet and bandwidth is capable of handling a video link, and that you
    have enough data.
  • Check
    your battery, if your device is not fully charged you could plug it in
    throughout the interview.
  • If any
    software or apps or required for the interview, ensure you have downloaded it
    well in advance.
  • Video
    interviews will typically give you the option of using a telephone connection
    for volume, or the sound will be available through the video link. Ensure you
    have tested both methods prior to the interview.
  • Things
    can go wrong with technology, and Murphy’s Law unfortunately isn’t in your
    favour. Before the interview, ask the interviewer for a phone number where you
    can reach them if you experience technical difficulties. If the video cuts out,
    call them at that number. Ask if you can continue the interview by phone or if
    you can reschedule.

Find the perfect
location. You want
your interviewer to focus on you and not be distracted by your background.

  • Lighting is critical. Run a trial
    run, filming yourself and consider whether the lighting flatters you. Avoid bright
    lights behind you or dark shadows on your face.
  • Ensure there is nothing on the
    bookshelf, wall, or your computer screen behind you that you wouldn’t want an
    employer to see.
  • Avoid interruptions. You don’t
    want background noise from the TV, your kids or dog. If you’re not the only one
    at home we suggest you brief everyone in advance, and even go as far as locking
    the door.

Body Language counts!

Eye
contact is crucial during an in-person interview, so too during a video
interview. Eye contact in a video takes some practice. It’s important to avoid
the instinct to look directly at your interviewer on the screen while you’re
answering a question. Instead, when you speak, look towards at the webcam. A
good trick is to resize and move the window with the person’s video image as
close to your webcam as possible.

By doing this, your eyes are more likely
to align with the interviewer’s eyes on the other end. When you’re
listening, you can look at the interviewer on the screen. Avoid letting your
gaze drift away from the device. Also try avoid staring serial-killer style!

Throughout the interview, convey optimism with an upbeat mood and positive body language. One way to achieve this is to have good posture. Sit in your chair with your back straight and your shoulders open. Feet can be planted on the floor and arms can rest in your lap or on the desk. Find a nice, comfortable balance between leaning forward and reclining too far back.

When you’re listening, nod and smile
when appropriate, use hand gestures when required and keep your movements close
to your body. Some gestures that are fine in person can be distracting on
video. Try not to twirl your hair, touch your forehead, chin or nose.

Try
not to be too goofy or laugh at every joke. The smile is meant to be a tool to
show that you’re a pleasant person to work with, you have reasonably good
social awareness, and have a good dose of enthusiasm and confidence.

Have
a glass of water handy. If your voice goes croaky, or if you simply want to
pause for a moment to gather your thoughts before you answer a question – a
glass of water is a perfect tool.

At the conclusion of the interview

As with any job interview, you should conclude by thanking the
interviewer for their time. As you don’t have the option of a hand shake, a
smile goes a long way.

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