As digital technology is evolving each day more and more businesses are using video conferencing interviews to carry out the initial screening process of prospective applicants.
Similar to a face-to-face interview, video interviewing is a perfect way to find the best individuals to invite for a face-to-face interview.
For job seekers, video interviews may understandably be demanding. “Some individuals just have a problem with being on camera,” says Pamela Skillings, a career coach based in New York.
She is also the co-founder of Big Interview, an online work interview-training network. “People may feel aware of how they look on video, or they may be nervous about whether or not their equipment will line up.” Pamela states.
Video interviews are often used to screen out large numbers of applicants in the early stages of the interview process. In style and length, they may differ. Cash and time savings for both you and the organization are the clear advantages.
It also means that rather than just depending on reports, the potential employer and their colleagues can watch the interview again.
The format, however, is not without its problems – accessibility issues and time delays are the key ones. Not everybody on camera is happy, and certain candidates will be disadvantaged by this.
These problems may, however, be solved with some planning and help you move on to the next step of the process.
Read on to find out the top five tips to get some way through your video conference interview:
Regardless of whether video interview or not, always research the company and research online what questions you might be asked. Listening to recruitment podcasts can give you good tips before-hand. One great example is JGA Recruitment who specialise in HR and payroll recruitment and run two different podcasts discussing the latest recruitment trends and are now incredibly insightful for anyone wanting to find out what recruitment agencies and HR departments think on the other side of the screen.
A top tip is to be sure to install any required software if you are operating from home, and test your connectivity and your ease with web camera communication. If you don’t have one, they are not expensive anymore and the better quality you have the more professional you will come across as. You don’t have to spend very much to get a good web cam these days.
For these conferences, Skype is usually used but Google Hangouts or Zoom can be used too. (If you are working with Apple, plan to use Apple’s FaceTime platform.)
Ask in advance what system is being used (Skype, etc when the interview is scheduled, so that you can set up an account, test the facilities, and be well prepared.
It’s good to make some practise video calls with friends or family members to get used to the software and the voice tone of a video interview.
Ask them to give you honest feedback about your eye contact and presentation.
Run a couple of times through it before everything starts to feel normal.
In your interviews, this practice can make a huge difference. In the days and hours leading up to your appointment, set aside time in your schedule, you will find your confidence increasing as you become more relaxed at the front.
Make Anchor Notes
Make pre-interview notes and your notes will be off-camera so make some bullet points about the key things you want to get across so if you get lost or go blank. These are called
Check to the notes to pick up the important points.
You can note down important points such as your previous work profile so that you don’t go silent while recalling everything.
There are also certain etiquettes or manners to talk about stuff like salary expectations. For that, you can keep certain formal pleasantries written handy.
Set the Scene
You are in control of your environment so make sure it’s clean and your background is not distracting or messy. They will connect your environment with you.
The value of a proper setting is among the most crucial video interview tips. Find a quiet, secure and well-lit place to do the interview. Make sure coffee shops and other communal areas are avoided as the crowd noise there cannot be managed. And select a space with a clutter-free backdrop.
It is really important to de-clutter your room as you do not want your focus to be distracted by something.
Make sure that you are the only person in the room, shift all the stuff away from your desk and make sure that the backdrop is also simple and uncluttered.
The camera needs to be set up so that it focuses centrally on your head and shoulders and holds the microphone close to you so that you can hear it easily. As these sounds will escalate, please note not to move documents near the microphone.
Lighting is also significant, says Bill Cole, the author of The Interview Success Guide. It could cast a shadow over your face if a doorway is behind you and make it hard for the interviewer to see you. Generally, sitting opposite an open window is your right approach. You can illuminate dull spaces by inserting floor or desk lamps if you do the interview at night, which might be the case if you have a full-time job.
Lifehack: “Do a demo run at the same time of day you’re going to do the interview, so you understand roughly what the lighting will look like,” suggests Cole.
Life happens but you should try to make sure you have a quiet space and you won’t be interrupted. People living with you might mistakenly enter your space.
While you’re interviewing, if siblings, roommates or pets enter the room, apologise to the interviewer, ask for a few minutes.
You need to silence your microphone and turn off your camera, and then move away to deal with the disruption. Before starting the interview anew, make sure that the area is quiet again. Ideally, put up a sign outside the door to avoid this.
It’s worth pointing out, that if interruptions do happen it can be how you deal with the situation that can say a lot about who you are as a person. Being calm and polite can help you to come across positively in an adverse situation. If you are trying for a career in the veterinary industry and are interviewing for one of the varied veterinary jobs where you will be handling animals, it’s not out of the question to allow you’re pets into the interview. This can be a useful resource to show off your animal handling and care skills. A benefit that you don’t usually have in real life.
Make sure you have a strong internet connection as you don’t want to cut out halfway through chatting- if you don’t have one, go somewhere that does. You might want to wear headphones if you’re not in your own space.
Any fair hiring manager won’t have a momentary technological slip against the applicant. However, if you spend the first five minutes of your call fumbling through technical problems, you will come off as inexperienced and unprofessional.
These little issues should be solved on your own and that too, beforehand.
You should finish by thanking the interviewer for their time, just as in every work interview. Later that same day, send a follow-up thank you email too. The mail will help create a stronger bond with your prospective employer and help you advance to the next level.
Concluding, an interview over video conferencing is still an interview. For that, make sure you look your finest. Dress up like you would if you were being interviewed in person and give your one hundred per cent.