Over the years, the interviewing process has changed to match advances in technology and communication. To save both time and money, an increasing number of companies have started to use video interviewing programs and Skype technology to complete first round interviews and decide which candidates to invite for face-to-face interviews. Keep in mind, although video is a different medium for conducting an interview, it holds the same level of importance as a phone or in-person interview. Here are a number of tips job seekers should be ready to put into practice the next (or first) time you participate in a video interview.
1. Practice, Practice, Practice
Internet connection speed, battery power, camera lighting/shading effects, and background noise are just a few problems you can run into during video interviews. Therefore, make sure to set aside time to prepare your camera, its features, and your general surroundings before the interview begins. For example, while you may feel confident when you answer questions, upon reviewing the recording you notice that your tone sounds more serious than excited and the lighting in the room is poor, making it difficult to see you clearly. For such reasons, practicing your responses beforehand and playing them back to yourself or a friend will give you the opportunity to change things that could potentially hurt your chances.
2. Dress to Impress
Although a video interview may seem more casual than traditional interviews, it’s important to note that first impressions are everything. Therefore, you should dress the same as you would if you were having a face-to-face interview (from head to toe)! After all, you never know if your interviewer may ask you to adjust your camera for a better view; the last thing you want to reveal is your pajama pants!
3. Be Prepared
Make it a point to not only provide your interviewer(s) with a copy of your cover letter and/or resume before the interview, but also review the company’s website beforehand to get background on the company. In addition, if you can multi-task, have a “cheat sheet” with any relevant talking points or questions you’ve prepared off camera that you can quickly glance at.
4. Verbal and Nonverbal Communication
Since you don’t have the benefit of sitting in the same room, the video interview may seem a bit awkward, making it more difficult to pick up on verbal and non-verbal ques. However, don’t let this stop you from being conscience of your body language. For example, eye contact is important; instead of staring at the computer monitor or video screen when asking a question, look directly into the camera lens to illicit eye contact between you and the interviewer. Other areas such as physical gestures, posture, eye movement, and voice intonations, if done effectively, can have a positive impact on how you are perceived by your interviewer.