A job interview can be a nerve wracking experience. At interviews you are not only being appraised for what you say or for what you can do, but also you are being examined on the way you present yourself, on whether you will fit within the company’s corporate philosophy, and on your general demeanour.
In recent years the format of job interviews has begun to reflect the increasingly technological world we live in. Video conferencing is now a popular choice when it comes to personnel selection. There are dedicated software programs, specialist interview techniques, and a wealth of advice on how to do well in a video interview.
Key advantages of video interviews for employers
The advantages of using video conferencing to interview job candidates can be classified into employer benefits and candidate benefits. Among employer benefits, the following can be highlighted:
- Video interviews allow for greater consistency. By using a pre-determined script and format, all candidates are asked the same set of questions
- Video conferencing captures the moment, and it does so permanently. Therefore, employers have the opportunity to replay, review, and rate the interviews online. Interviewers can also make use of videotaped material to compare candidates’ answers and performance during the interview
- Having visual material associated to the interview can help employers better remember outstanding candidates. This is especially true when video interviews are compared to audio interviews (for example, Skype-based interviews). By using video, employers can associate a candidate’s name to a face, so in fact, video interviews can help provide a more personal touch
- Time is at a premium for most human resources departments. Video conferencing allows employers to carry out a large number of interviews in a short space of time. This interview format is particularly useful when it comes to interviewing candidates who live in a different city or country. Video interviewing can cut recruitment costs by 50%
What are some of the benefits that job seekers can draw from video interviews?
Here is a (non-exhaustive) list:
- Video interviews are also advantageous to candidates in terms of time and money. There is no need to stress about being late to the interview because of traffic, and similarly, there is no need to travel to another city (with the associated expenses that come with it). The only investment you need to make is a computer with Internet access and a webcam, and almost everyone has that kind of equipment these days
- There are psychological benefits associated to video interviews. A job interview can be a lot less stressful if you can go through it from your own home
- You can practise for a video interview by recording yourself answering typical interview questions. You can then assess your performance and make the necessary changes, so that you feel confident and prepared on the day of the interview
- Video interviews are ideal if you already have a job but are looking to move elsewhere. Online interviews do not require you to take days off, something that could arouse your boss’ suspicions.
Can a video interview improve my chances of getting the Job?
The good news is that if you approach it correctly, a video interview can help you be successful in your job search. If you can perform well using video conferencing software, you’ll show that you’re at ease with modern technology. You’ll also have the opportunity to practise with the software until you’re comfortable with it. If you have picture-in-picture during the interview, you’ll be able to observe the appearance you’re projecting to your interviewers and adjust if necessary, which is something you don’t get the chance to do in a traditional interview format.
By preparing thoroughly for your video interview and taking care to give the best impression possible you may be able to secure the job without even entering the office!
Essential Video Interview Tips
- Prepare yourself ahead of time: As you are not meeting your employer face to face, you should think about emailing the interviewer your CV and any other applicable documents before the day of the interview. Two days before is the best time to send all the relevant papers.
- Practise: If you are not comfortable being in front of a camera then a good way to feel at ease with it is to practise the video interview with a friend over Skype. Get your friend to ask you the questions you expect to be asked and then ask for feedback. This way, you will also hopefully gain more confidence which can be used to your advantage when you’ve got the real video interview.
- Background and light: If you have the video interview in your own home then make sure you test the software and also check your background and lighting. If the sun is shining, the light often blocks out the screen so make sure that that doesn’t happen by checking everything first.
- Look in the camera: You may be tempted to look at yourself when you have the video interview but it is extremely important that you look throughout the interview at the webcam and not the screen. This will ensure you are keeping good eye contact with your interviewer and also gives the impression that you are very confident.
Written by Amy Henderson, a career advice writer who is currently specialising in video conferencing interviews by LifeSize.