Like them or not, video interviews are becoming more frequently used by employers in the hiring process. Most commonly used in pre-screening, often before any human interaction, they are intended to help hirers make better decisions about which candidates to invest time and effort in during the recruitment process.
There is a concern that some faceless video tools could alienate talented job seekers who fear that they may not perform at their best. Whilst this is an understandable concern, we can only see the use of video technology becoming more and more commonplace, especially in light of the accelerated virtual world we are living.
In addition to specific video hiring technology, FREE video conference platforms such as SKYPE and GoTo Meeting are also becoming ubiquitous tools for recruiting. With us all being more and more online, these platforms are quick and easy to use and can speed up the hiring process by enabling job seeker and employer to 'virtually' meet before any potential in-person face-to-face interview.
With many video interviews taking place in the home, choose a location which is free from clutter and with a plain background, a blank wall if possible. Avoid showing anything personal that could be a distraction to the interviewer.
Ensure the area you choose is well lit, natural light is best. Avoid placing bright lights directly at your face as this could leave you looking ghostly. Practise before the interview with your webcam on to ensure you get the right light effect.
Check your bandwidth
You can check your internet speed through FREE services such as Speedtest or Nperf. If you are using WIFI, you can maximise your internet speed by moving as close as possible to the internet router. Better still, use a wire to connect to the router directly. Don't forget to close any programs running in the background and ask family members and housemates to come off the internet during your interview. With video interviews becoming more commonplace, what do you need to consider to present the best version of yourself?
Ensure you are in a quiet place away from any animals, children, music and other sounds and ask family members or housemates not to disturb you. Turn off your phone and remove anything that could distract you during your interview.
Dress to impress
Dress as you would for a face-to-face interview. While your face and upper body should be the focal point ensure you are aware of your camera angle. If there is a possibility that you may need to stand up during your interview, make sure that your attire below the waist is professional.
Use a professional screen name
If you have been using Zoom, Skype or Teams at home for gatherings with family and friends be aware of your screen name if it is informal. Change it or set up a new account. Keep it simple by sticking to your name and be mindful of typos.
Practise before your interview
Be aware of how you come across on-screen by recording yourself talking and then watch the results to reveal any unfortunate habits (don't forget your posture). Practise answering any anticipated questions directly over camera and adjust as necessary so you are ready for your actual interview.
Make eye contact
Be aware of where your webcam is on your screen. To achieve perfect eye contact with your interviewer, which will be essential in your interview, you need to look directly at the camera but avoid a creepy stare. Also, avoid looking at the picture-in-picture of yourself on the screen.
Check how you sound
If your laptop doesn't have good audio, you may need to invest in a separate microphone. While it may not be cheap, it will make a substantial difference to your interview performance.
Be aware of your hand gestures
With the camera showing you from the waist up your hands will undoubtedly be on show. Avoid making lots of hand gestures, even with a great internet connection, there can be lag time, and hand gestures may stutter on screen.