Round One – Video Interview
I have seen a steady increase in employers that are relying on video conference interviews to screen first-round job candidates. This can be a great way to make a powerful first impression and beats the dreaded phone interview where it’s hard to make a personal connection due to the lack of eye contact.
While less personal than an on-site interview, the video conference option offers employers and job seekers a convenient alternative to expensive travel. It’s becoming the norm so here are some tips to help you prepare for this experience so you can be at your best:
- Practice a mock video interview before the real deal with a trusted advisor and solicit their feedback. If you are using Skype or a mounted video camera device, rehearse how you will focus on the camera to deliver your message comfortably. There is nothing worse than seeing the top of a candidate’s head because they are focusing on the screen instead of the camera during an interview.
- Test the sound, lighting, and the clothes you plan to wear in advance. It’s very important that you are audible and visible so avoid sitting in front of a window with a natural light glare. Make sure the scenery behind you isn’t distracting or inappropriate. Wear professional attire that reflects the culture of the organization. Neutral, solid colors are best for the camera. Avoid patterns and prints.
- Make sure your recording area is quiet without background noise and distractions. Turn off all cell phones, land lines and computer programs that could make noise.
- Be sure to check in advance with your interviewer about compatibility for your video chat program. If you have a technical failure with the program, you may not get the opportunity to reschedule.
While video interviewing may be awkward at first, the same in-person interview techniques apply. Be well prepared to showcase your strengths and enthusiasm for the position and relax to show the interviewer your personality. Remember, the interview is not over until the camera is off, so be sure to keep your professional composure until the very end.
I video mock interviewed a client once and although I thought he looked very professional in his suit, when he stood up at the end of the interview, he was wearing shorts and didn’t realize the camera was still on!