In today’s time, the new technology of video conferencing has taken the recruitment world by storm! When it comes to hiring, an increasing number of companies are embracing this technology to obliterate geographical barriers. Numerous companies now conduct interviews through video conferencing or over Skype as it’s extremely convenient and cost effective. In fact going by statistics, six out of every ten hiring managers use video technology for interviewing candidates. But talking to potential employers over an Internet connection is certainly not without its own share of pitfalls!
Companies use different procedures to handle video interviews. Some might just ask you to connect via Skype or any other chat software using your own computer and webcam. While the others may ask you to go to local video conferencing facility and connect from there. In any of these situations, the key is to be prepared and at ease with the video interview set-up so that the technical and operational challenges don’t sidetrack you from making a great impression!
As a job seeker, you might be wondering how you to master this unknown territory. So here are our tips for acing the video interview format:
Do some advance planning:
When asked for an interview via video conferencing, you have to ensure you are ready in advance. Which means- if you are connecting from the confines of your home make sure you download any required software and check your connection and comfort with the web camera. And if you are required to go to a facility, ensure that you arrive at least 15 minutes before the designated time for orientation of the process and equipment.
What to wear:
Dress professionally! Wear the same outfit you would for an in-person interview. Clothing can sidetrack the recruiter from the information communicated during the conversation, so it’s significant to plan your attire carefully. Steer clear of patterns that appear too loud on screen, like anything bright or floral. Avoid anything that may look overstated on screen! You can go in for:
• pastels instead of white, which might gleam
• If choosing white, wear a dark jacket to limit the glare
• Watch out for the colour red as it might “bleed”, so avoid if possible
• Don’t wear flashy jewellery, it can distract and will catch light.
Set the background:
A little stagecraft goes a long way! Strive for the perfect visual and audio experience. Try and get the lighting right! If you’re lit from above, it can emit ghoulish effects on your face. So it’s best to have natural lighting aimed right at your face. Be conscious of what’s behind you. Do away with the litter. A simple background looks best on video calls. Also obliterate background noise if any as it can interrupt your concentration and the flow of the interview. So choose a quiet corner for your interview space with closed doors and make sure there are no interruptions of any sorts.
Control the microphone:
Be mindful of the microphone! Remember that microphones aren’t smart and often pick up and amplify sounds, so be cautious of shuffling papers and drumming on the table near them. Microphones are pretty sensitive and even the slightest of noises are extremely loud and disturbing on the other end.
Train your eyes to the camera:
Speaking of eye contact, it can be pretty tempting to gape at the interviewer or your own image on the computer screen. It’s ok to do that a bit, but you have to train your eyes on the camera. Non-verbal listening signs also play a significant role in videoconferencing. That is, while talking your facial expressions also matter. So, try and be more aware of what your expressions are telling the spectator. Does it look like you are taking note? They will surely notice.
Employers try and quickly assess your personality in video interviews. Problem is they might not always ‘get’ your persona as much as you would like. So it’s critical to let your personality shine through. Nerves aside, look involved, engaged, friendly and pleasant throughout. Employers will be assessing your fit into their organisational culture and team so make sure your personality fit looks a great one.
Add that extra bit:
On-screen, your reactions translate differently! So it’s significant to compensate with more enthusiasm. Also, speak briefly and remember that speed is significant. Practice talking more quickly than you usually do and maintain vigour in your voice.
Some handy tips:
All tips in place, you’re still bound to make mistakes, so it’s best to conduct a mock interview with someone who can give you sound advice and feedback. Another tip is to have your resume in front of you. Even though you can’t look away from the camera for long, having notes might help you if your falter between questions.
Doing video interviews was once a novelty but now, it’s swiftly becoming a common hiring ritual. Their growing eminence has given rise to a complete new school of thought on video conferencing etiquettes and how to make the perfect impression on video calls. Truth is they require just as much preparation as your customary interviews. So don’t be afraid of this technology, just follow these simple tips and be a natural!