Video interviewing is fast becoming the preferred way for employers and recruitment agencies to create short lists of candidates. For candidates, this move away from phone screening can be confronting at first, but when you understand why recruiters are moving to video interviewing and a few simple techniques on how to make the most from this opportunity, it will all seem a lot less daunting.
Why video interviewing?
Candidates and recruiters are becoming more time poor. Phone screening can be hard to coordinate and doesn’t always give the interviewer a clear understanding of a candidate. Video interviewing can be more convenient for both candidates and recruiters, and in the case of recorded video interviewing systems, can be conducted at a time and place that is more practical.
Video interviewing types
There are two key types of video interviewing in use: live and recorded. Live interviewing often occurs using a technology such as Skype where the interview takes place in real time. Unfortunately, with live video interviewing there is a good chance that you will have to work with interviewers around technical issues with video lag and dropouts, and also interview on scheduled time.
The other, preferred video interviewing technique is recorded interviews. The best systems allow you to go online and conduct your interview at a time and place that suits your busy lifestyle. Recorded video interviewing is also a better way of making sure that all candidates are given the same chance, as the questions are delivered in the same format for everyone.
Now that you understand the difference between live and recorded video interviewing, we can help you understand the fundamentals on how to present the best impression for your video interview.
Sound is one of the more obvious areas where candidates fail with video interviews. Before you start your video interview, test the sound as well as the volume. With live video, the interviewer can give you feedback if there is a problem with sound but with recorded video you won’t receive feedback until after the interview has been viewed. The best recorded video interviewing systems like Vieple allow you a test question where you can test your sound setup before you start your interview.
Lighting and camera position
An over lit or under lit video looks unprofessional. Check the lighting to make sure that it presents you and your surroundings in the most positive light. The same is true of camera position. No one wants to be looking up your nose for the entire interview.
Make sure you set up the camera so that you are in the centre of the frame and the camera is at your eye level. If you are using the camera on your laptop, prop it up with something so that the camera is at eye level. Also make sure that you are not too far or too close to the camera. Where you sit may be limited by the strength of your microphone but try to sit so that your head and the top half of your torso are in the frame.
Set the scene
Remember to check everything within the frame of the video. Remove anything that may be inappropriate or distracting. The less there is in the frame, the less distraction there is from you. Also make sure that nobody can walk into the frame accidently during your videos as this can distract both you and the interviewer and is viewed as unprofessional. It may be a good idea to notify anyone present in your immediate environment, that you are completing a video interview and wish to remain uninterrupted for that period of time.
Choose your clothing wisely
Keep it simple and avoid patterns and fine stripes. Small format video struggles to render both. Choose solid, conservative colours (except bright white). If you want to see what works best on video, consider what news presenters wear. Also, make sure that what you are wearing is appropriate for the position. If the position requires you to wear a suit, dress in a suit. If the dress standard is more casual, wear smart casual.
Make eye contact
That usually means looking at the camera. Constantly looking out of frame is distracting and can create the impression that you’re disinterested. If you have notes, use them for preparation but try not to use them during the interview.
With video interviewing systems such as Vieple, you have a picture of yourself on the bottom right hand side of the screen. Are you sitting very far forward in your chair? Is your body language showing interest? You'd be amazed at what an interviewer can read just from how you’re sitting. You can practice before the interview, using just your webcam and recording yourself. Ask others for input and feedback.
Now you’re ready for your video interview
Like any interview, your success in a video interview comes down to preparation. Practice with your webcam using the tips above until you feel confident and comfortable, and you will give yourself the best chance of making a lasting impression. Good luck.