With its potential to cut costs and boost efficiency, video interviewing is becoming increasingly common. According to the Aberdeen Group, 32% of surveyed organizations reported that they invested in video interviewing in 2013, compared with just 21% of surveyed organizations in 2012. Increasingly, job applicant success hinges not only on the traditional in-person interview, but also on one’s ability to wow from behind a tiny webcam.
While you may have experience with interviewing through video streaming, you should also be aware of a rise in pre-recorded video interviews via online platforms like HireVue, VidCruiter and InterviewStream. In these sessions, rather than talking to an actual person, interviewees create video recordings of responses to questions provided by the employer.
Regardless of the type you may encounter, mastering the following interview tips will help you nail your next video interview:
Consider Your Setting
A video conference puts you in charge of your surroundings, so make them work to your advantage. This is especially crucial for pre-recorded interviews, which recruiters and managers may view repeatedly. If you’re interviewing from home, make sure the room is well-lit and cleared of any potential distractions. Also, keep in mind that the interviewer won’t just be looking at your face. She’ll also see anything that’s directly behind you – whether it’s an inappropriate movie poster, an unmade bed or your napping cat. Make sure the background is business-appropriate, tidy and free from human or animal distractions.
Get Familiar with the Technology
While a technical glitch may not be your fault, it certainly doesn’t paint you in the best light. If you don’t use video conferencing or recording on a regular basis, do a few practice runs in advance. If possible, connect with the exact same technology you’ll have for the real interview. Make sure your Internet connection is dependable and that you’re using the computing device that delivers the clearest picture possible.
Adjust Your Body Language
Maintaining strong eye contact is one of those classic job interview tips that seems simple to execute, but can get tricky during a video interview. Always look directly at the camera. You won’t technically be looking at the other person’s eyes – but from the interviewer’s perspective, it will feel like you are.
If you’re accustomed to making hand gestures in interviews, note that these movements can appear overdramatic when they’re on a video screen. Keeping hand movements to a minimum will help your interviewer remain focused on your face and, more importantly, your responses.
If you’re worried about the impression you’ll give during a pre-recorded or videoconference interview, simply record yourself in advance while you practice answering common questions. Take note of any bad habits and work on eliminating them. Platforms for pre-recorded interviews are all slightly different. Familiarize yourself with how the one you will be using works and practice with that in mind. Many pre-recorded interviews allow you to re-record your answers until you’re completely satisfied, so allow yourself plenty of time to take advantage of this feature.
My years of working with professional candidates and organizations have shown me firsthand the strong impact an interview has on the final decision. Instead of letting the video format throw you off, take advantage of your increased ability to control and tailor your interview experience and showcase your skills to the fullest.
Have you recently been interviewed via videoconference or pre-recorded interview? I welcome your thoughts on the experience below.