Lights, camera, video job interview – Part 2
According to a 2015 survey by Software Advice, candidates and interviewers with experience using video interviewing prefer this method over phone interviews.
Don’t let the ease of arranging video interviews lull you into a false sense of security. This is still an interview. Every interview requires preparation, including video interviews.
Let’s consider some ways to prepare for video interviews:
- Have the right equipment. You need a decent video camera. Most computers have webcams built in. This should suffice. If you don’t have a built in video camera in your computer odds are your computer is pretty old. Maybe it is time to invest in a new computer. Or borrow someone else’s computer with a webcam.
- Have the right attitude. Think of it as an audition of sorts.
- Be sure you have a great Internet connection. Internet connectivity is the number 1 reason why those surveyed disliked video interviews. Skype recommends using a wired Internet connection for stability instead of Wi-Fi.
- Test your equipment and connections in advance to make sure everything works.
- Place a call to a friend and ask them to help you set up your scene. Have your friend tell you what your background looks like. Be sure your space is clean. Messy offices and backdrops reflect poorly on you. Remember that time Sarah Palin conducted a video interview while the fellow in the background shoved live turkeys into a decapitating machine?
- Lift the computer on stacks of books until the webcam is photographing you from above or equal to your eyes. Otherwise you risk having the camera take a great shot up your nose. We’ve heard that being photographed from below your eyes makes people look fatter. No need for that if you set up your scene properly.
- Take a picture of your setup so you remember what you did – how many books you used, the angle you sat, the height of your chair. We guarantee you will forget.
- Watch the lighting. Try to set up a light in front of your camera reflecting in your face to brighten your face so you look lively. Another reason to practice in advance.
- Have your friend ask you potential interview questions so you get comfortable with the technology.
- Look at the correct spot on the computer. When you are in a two way video interview, the other person will appear on your screen and your picture will also appear on your screen. It is hard to know where to look. While you are trying to figure it out, your eyes appear unfocused and off target. Figure out where the camera is on your computer and make an effort to look at that spot, not at the pictures that appear on your screen. Some people put a sticky note next to the camera with an arrow or note saying “Look here”. Sounds silly but it helps.
- Wear business clothes, at least from the waist up.
- Sit comfortably.
- Do not pick your nose. Remember the other person can see you.
Video interviews are not without problems. One Interview Doctor client did everything right. He set everything up in advance, practiced, and felt confident. But the interviewer could not get the connection to work right. They held their own technical incompetence against the candidate.
Another candidate did everything right on his end but the interviewers had messy offices and behaved as if they forgot the cameras were on. The Coke cans littered the desk. The camera shot a photo right up the interviewer’s nose the entire time. These things can happen. But let them happen to the other guy!
According to the Software Advice survey, 85% of job applicants would be “somewhat” or “much more likely” to turn down an offer from a company that mishandled video interview. Plus 68% would be “somewhat” or “much more likely” to tell others not to apply!
Video interviewing is powerful. Be prepared and you can control the situation to your advantage.
Recently I was asked to be on a panel of career experts for “How to succeed at a phone or video interview – live chat”. To find out more about this live chat click here.