Was video interviewing part of your last career move? If not, you should be prepared to participate in video interviews as you start to plan your next strategic career move. With today’s top talent being in such demand, hiring managers are looking for ways to engage candidates sooner in the process and many have turned to video interviews as a new tool. There are many advantages to this as it allows candidates and hiring managers to connect face-to-face earlier in the process, especially when the candidate is not local. In addition to offsetting travel-related costs, it also offers greater flexibility for the candidate and hiring manager to connect in a more personal way then they could on a traditional phone screen.
Below are several tips that I share with candidates as they prepare for the video interview process:
Dress for Success-
- Dress professionally – top to bottom. Not just top torso & head – don’t forget about pants/shoes. You never know if you may have to get up to grab a phone to call your interviewer back on a land line!
- Don’t have bare shoulders – especially if you are only viewed shoulders up on screen – it will look like you have nothing on!
- Stay away from patterns. Solids work best.
- Noise Levels – turn off radio/TV/cell phone – even white noise like fans, Zen-like waterfalls, loud air conditioners, space heaters, dehumidifiers, etc.
- If at home put pets away, close the door, and make sure roommates and family members are aware of the importance of quiet!
- Think about what is in the background – a neutral wall with minimal background elements is best. Keep pictures/equipment to a minimum.
- Test your microphone sound level and video well in advance of the actual meeting. And again 15 minutes before!
- Adjust the focus of the camera. Most cameras have the capability to fine tune the crispness of the video. It’s best to have a friend “connect” with you via webcam to tell you how you appear as you adjust the settings.
- Close ALL other programs not necessary for the call – email, instant messaging, office products such as Word, Excel, and close internet browser windows. Not only are these potentially a distraction, but it could also affect your connection quality.
PRACTICE! Find someone that will practice with you using the same video technology you will be using during the interview if possible. Have them point out background & environmental distractions and give you honest feedback on how you appear (including where you are positioned in the screen, annoying movements, sound levels, etc.). Make sure to speak succinctly and pause for a few moments before talking after being asked a question to compensate for the slight time lag. You may also consider recording yourself on a site such as YouTube so you can see YOURSELF and make adjustments.
Video interviews may sound intimidating for some people, but these tips will help you to be thoroughly prepared so you can relax and have an engaging video discussion with potential employers.