Virtual interviews for job candidates are becoming part of modern recruitment. They’re certainly one of the most popular contemporary recruiting trends. In fact, more than half of all employers using video interviews to screen candidates before meeting them in person.
Why the popularity of the video interview? These kind of screening interviews are more efficient and inexpensive for employers than in-person interviews. Additionally, it’s easier for hiring managers to reject a candidate they meet over online video than someone they meet in person.
Video interviews can certainly be annoying, and a little awkward, for job seekers. Hiring managers judge you from your first moments on-screen.
Certainly, you want to nail your interview questions, but you also want to make sure you have all the other steps in place that make you look good before you even open your mouth.
Familiarize Yourself the Programs Used for Video Interviews
About 60% of employers use Skype for interviews in the early stages of screening candidates, so download it now before you’re stuck in an time crunch ten minutes before your interview. Regardless of whether you’re using Skype or another program, it’s important to be a whiz at whatever video interview program your company requests so there’s no technical error that makes you look incompetent.
You’ll likely have time in between the company’s request for an interview and the actual interview day, so use that time wisely. On the day of the interview, check out your system, look at yourself in your software’s video, and also check to see that the sound is working properly on your end. Remember, the point of these interviews is to save your potential employer time, not troubleshoot your computer’s sound system.
Set the Scene
If you’ve ever used video software before, you know that you can see more than just the person’s head on the other end of the line. So make your space look presentable. First, find a place in your house that isn’t visually distracting, but also not completely blank. Blank walls can kind of look like a mugshot, or creepy basement. Ideally an office setting is best, but a kitchen table or desk is fine as well.
Use a space that’s quiet, coffee shops and libraries are out of the question unless you have a private cubicle to use. After you’ve scouted your ideal location, put a light behind your computer to light up your face. Check out your reflection in your software’s video first. If the light casts shadows on you, move, and if your face looks shiny from the light, powder it.
For the best angle, prop your laptop up on some thick books or a small box, this gives the camera a direct eye level view. Much more preferable to the standard up-your-nose or double-chin situation that happens all too often when your camera is pointing up.
Dress to Keep Their Eyes on Your Face
In a lot of ways, dressing for a video interview isn’t any different than dressing for an in-person interview. That means conservative tops for women with minimal jewelry and hairstyles that don’t cover the face. For men, button-up shirts are the appropriate go-to choice. A tie is usually not necessary, but know your audience. Definitely don’t just dress from the waist up! You never know when you might have to adjust a piece of technology or, God forbid, quiet your barking dog.
The very best part video interviews is that you can have all the notes you want out of camera shot. Don’t read from your paper. Have some prepped examples, company facts, and pre-written questions to ask. Take full advantage of your face to face time. Plus, get the right company jargon and exact comparison to your resume beforehand by putting the job posting into Jobscan.
Just remember, the next step is in-person, so keep it professional, confident and calm and you’ll be on your way to the office in no time.
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Jobscan.
About the Author: James Hu earned his bachelor’s of Information Systems and Finance from University of Washington. He is currently the Founder and CEO of Jobscan. James has also enjoyed work experiences at Boeing, Microsoft, Groupon, Kabam Games, and a start-up of his own. Through his work in the United States, China, and Spain/Gibraltar, James truly integrates a global mindset into his career. In his free time, he also enjoys water sports and backpacking. Follow James on Twitter.