Video job interviews were once the only ‘go to’ method for remote interviewing, where, for logistic or cost saving reasons, an employer would conduct all or part of the candidate screening process via systems such as Skype.
Today video calling has become mainstream with a myriad of options available to everyone. Most people have access to smart phones, tablets or laptops with webcams and apps like Skype, Facetime, WhatsApp, WeChat, Facebook Messenger, and even Snapchat. All offer free and accessible options for video calling. This has inevitably permeated into all aspects of our daily life and business has slowly but increasingly been changing to adapt these systems for candidate interview and selection.
It is said that up to 60% of employers now use video in some part of their recruitment process, particularly in the middle screening stages of interviewing.
The video interview tends to take two forms –
Still most common is often a first round interview conducted via one of the channels noted above before a final face to face meeting. Skype is probably still the most widely used by businesses, but uptake of the other channels is rapidly growing.
Another is the use of one-way interviews where a candidate is provided several questions and then records their answers and sends to the employer for later review.
Both offer the employer an important alternative to telephone or face to face interviews. Video interview is an opportunity to see and hear a candidate in a similar manner to a face to face meeting. This way they are able to get a better feeling for the candidates using visual cues that just can’t be obtained when speaking on the phone. This is good for the employer, but also presents a great opportunity for a candidate to shine if some of the pitfalls can be avoided…
As a candidate, it is vital you understand how to get the best out of these mediums to present yourself well and increase your chances of securing the position.
Prepare, prepare, prepare…
1. Preparation is the key to a good video interview – be prepared and professional, just as you would for a face to face interview and don’t fall into the trap of being too casual.
2. Dress as if you are attending a face to face meeting – a professional appearance is a must – I can recite many examples where something as simple as this has resulted in failure for a candidate.
3. Pay attention to the technical details and check everything is working (video, sound, microphone, internet connection, laptop battery life) – particularly if you are not a regular user of video call apps – there is nothing more embarrassing when things go wrong and this perceived lack of attention will reflect poorly on you.
4. Minimize potential distractions – everything from the background behind you, to noise from phones or people in another room – even ice in a water glass can be most off putting.
During the interview…
5. Concentrate and focus on the camera and image in front of you. Make sure you keep eye contact – look into the camera – it is easy to look at the image of yourself or something else in your room, but this give the impression that you are avoiding eye contact with the interviewer and are somehow distracted.
6. Do not sit too close to the camera – sit up straight with good posture without slouching. It can be good to lean in slightly when you are speaking as this may allow the interviewer to see your facial expressions and can add meaning to what you say
7. Smile! – Just as in a normal interview it is important to smile and give off that positive vibe. Make sure you voice is clear, confident and enthusiastic – this together with smiling can be very powerful and definitely improves your presentation.
Achieving a successful outcome from any Video interview can be summed up in a few words….preparation, research, focus, and positivity.
All Elite Search candidates selected for interview receive our detailed guide to video interviewing, and benefit from briefing and coaching from one of the Managing Partners.