The recruiting and job searching processes have been getting a bit of a makeover these past few years. Advances in technology are changing the game, leading to new job application processes, reference checking tools, and networking tactics. So it seems to be only a matter of time until the traditional interview is foregone for something quicker and more efficient, too—and that time may come sooner than we think.
In recent years, many companies have taken a liking to video interviews, which come in two forms. A two-way video interview is much like a traditional one, only over a video service such as Skype; one-way video interviews, in contrast, are pre-recorded responses by the candidate to a list of questions provided by the interviewer. Regardless of which one a company or a candidate prefers, video interviews can benefit a job seeker in a number of ways.
So if you’re called for a video interview, don’t panic! While “traditional” interviews are still what most candidates come to expect in their job search, there are numerous perks to interviewing via video technology. The one that everyone can appreciate is saved money and time—not only do you save on transportation, you don’t have to worry about dedicating a large portion of your day to an interview. Should video interviewing take the place of phone screenings or even first-round meetings, gone can be the days when candidates find themselves traveling a great distance, only to be passed on in the first round of interviews or discover that they wouldn’t fit well with the company culture.
Another perk: you’ll also have more time to prepare for interviews when they’re conducted via video. For two-way interviews, add to your preparation the extra time saved by not traveling. For one-way sessions, do the same, then add the extra bonus of receiving the interview questions in advance. This should help with the pre-interview jitters, especially since you’re interviewing within your comfort zone.
Don’t, however, get so comfortable that you forget it’s a still a professional meeting. Pick a tidy area that you’re comfortable in and present yourself as you would face-to-face: confidently, professionally dressed, and respectful. The area you choose should be well-lit and, ideally, not painted or decorated with any bold colors or patterns that could draw attention away from you. Make sure your space is quiet and without distractions, and arrive at your interview area early to allow time for fixing any technical issues. Better yet, test out the technology beforehand to ensure everything is running smoothly.
Remember: when you interview in a company’s office, you’re entering into a space the hiring manager is familiar with—a space you have no control over. Video interviews, however, put that control into your hands, so the space you choose reflects on you. While the smallest of these details may seem insignificant, they all contribute to the overall picture of you as a professional.
Of course, there are companies who prefer and will always stick with face-to-face, in-person interviews with their candidates, and there is much to be said for that tactic. But with technology changing job searching and hiring strategies by the day, it’s important to be prepared for whatever may come your way as a job seeker. By following these guidelines, you should be well on your way to a comfortable, effective meeting that highlights your best attributes.