I recently joined the Board of HireVue whose business is to conduct video interviewing. So let’s start from the position that I am biased and I believe that video interviewing is going to one day becomes a standard job search application. Remove my association with HireVue and I would still say there are a lot of factors pointing towards video interviewing being here to stay. Consider these as good reasons:
- Corporate recruiting staffs have been decimated, and recruiters and hiring managers are looking to technology for efficiency and productivity
- Travel budgets have been slashed both for recruiters and candidates
- Job candidates are more skittish than ever about taking time off from work so convenience to interview on their own time is enticing
- Technology advances have brought Skype and other video applications into part of the normal course of business
- It’s green and all things green are in favor
I am sure there are some people who think video interviewing will no way take hold. Of course, these might be the same people who didn’t think voicemail, email, conference calling, or videoconferencing would take hold either. Of course, they did.
If you are still with me to this point, then consider these tips to make your video interview better:
- Think About Dressing Up. Imagine you are a TV News Anchor when you choose how to dress. We are used to watching credible people on TV being well-dressed, so I would suggest that you might want to dress even a little better than you would if you were going to meet a recruiter personally. You are being compared to what someone expects to see, so a little more formal might be better.
- Tilt Up. Raise your chair so the camera is looking up at you. There is a reason why you see the White House correspondents all standing on boxes and the camera looking up at them slightly. That camera angle tilted up at you gives you a look of authority.
- Show More Than Your Face. Let the camera see enough of the table in front of you that if you folded your hands and rested them on the table that your hands would still be in the frame but just barely. This will have you close enough but not too close. You don’t want to lean into the web camera like you are talking in a web chat.
- Manage Your Environment. Make sure the lighting doesn’t leave you with shadows on your face and make sure the background is not distracting. We love that you went to college and you are a loyal alumni, but that university flag in the background can take the attention off of you.
- Tidy Up. Most webcams are not in high-definition (yet) but still this is not the time to go with the unshaven or granola look. You don’t have to hire a makeup artist but being tidied up doesn’t hurt.
- Be Crisp, Clear and Deliberate in Your Answers. Chances are you are not the only candidate to be answering the exact same question and you will be evaluated alongside others. The more crisp and to the point you are, the better.
- Invite Company. Consider having someone else in the room with you. Whenever I do a TV interview when it is me with an ear piece, a fake background and staring into a red light, I want someone else in the room with me. Of course I can’t look at them but just having another human being in the room adds some adrenaline and ups my game. Consider the same for a video interview.
We will get better at video interviewing as we do more of them in the future. In the meantime, if you think you will be asked to video interview soon, I would suggest you get a Skype account and find someone who you can practice with now. Sometime soon, I predict, we will all be providing a video interview for every job we want.