Recruiting is a high-stakes industry with everyone vying for the best and brightest candidates. Efficiency is crucial for recruiters; quickly sifting through applications and screening applicants can often make the difference between finding and missing the perfect candidate. As a result, more organizations are turning to video interviews to help qualify applicants faster and lower travel expenses.
This can be quite the change for both seasoned veterans and those entering the workplace for the first time. Seasoned veterans may have a difficult time figuring out how to work the technology while first time applicants might have a difficult time with the professionalism required for an interview.
Here are a few tips should to help make the process smoother should you find yourself accepting a video interview:
Pick an Appropriate Location
While you can hide your bedroom or messy office over the phone, you cannot over video. Prior to joining a video interview, ensure that your surroundings are tidy and professional. The background of your video call says as much, if not more, about you than your responses to the questions. For example, a messy office can convey an unorganized and haphazard candidate while a tidy office can convey a detail oriented candidate. Additionally, be mindful of any pets or additional distractions. Having your roommate in the background or a cat climbing over your computer is not professional either.
Test the Connection
Approximately an hour before the interview log into your computer and connect to a video conference with a friend or family member. This will help ensure your video software is set up properly; for example your camera and microphone are properly configured so the interviewer can hear you and the speakers are working so you can clearly hear the interviewer. This will also ensure your network has enough bandwidth to support a video call. Remember, failing to show up for a video interview is just as detrimental as failing to show up for a physical interview.
Planning the perfect outfit is just as important for a video interview. Stick with solid colors and avoid busy patterns and bright colors (even a striped shirt can be distracting over video). Most importantly, do not wear casual bottoms with a professional top. The last thing you want is the interviewer to see your jeans or pajama bottoms if you have to stand up or shift in your seat for any reason.
Look at the Camera, Not the Screen
Eye contact is critical for any interview; therefore ensure the webcam is set up to maximize eye contact. When answering questions look directly at the camera frequently instead of staring at the screen. This may take some practice as it is counterintuitive not to look at your interviewers but it adds a nice touch.
Just like an in person interview, preparations must be made in order to ensure the most successful meeting possible. In addition to the suggestions above, make sure you understand the company you are interviewing with, their offerings and any important news surround the organization. The more informed you are, the more attractive of a candidate you will be.