Tuesday, July 6, 2010

5 Tips for Giving a Great Video Interview

As more companies interview job candidates from around the world and more executives look for time-saving strategies, you may find that the next time you interview for a job you’re facing not a live human being, but a television camera.

Videoconferencing is becoming more and more popular across all industries and job levels as a way not to just conduct meetings between far-flung participants, but as a way to interview potential employees.

Sometimes a television camera films the job candidate in a studio while a television screen projects the interviewer at another location. Often, no one else is present with the job candidate during that time, and the interview schedule is strictly enforced. That means you've got to be even more prepared because you're only going to have a limited time to sell yourself to the interviewer.

Some tips for having a great interview:

  • Send necessary materials early. If you've got an updated resume, send that to interviewers before the session so they have it in hand.
  • Understand the technology. By arriving about 15 minutes early, you can ask the technician how loud you should talk into the microphone (avoid constantly bending over microphone when you speak), and ask how to use the “picture in picture” feature, which allows you to see on the television screen how you are being filmed. Use this feature ahead of time to make sure your appearance is neat and the table is clear of clutter. Don't be afraid to tell the technician you're not familiar with the equipment, and ask for pointers.
  • Minimize distractions. Don't do things like tapping your pen or fiddling with bracelets, because the microphone may pick it up and that's the only thing interviewers will hear. Check out the picture-in-picture feature periodically to make sure you’re not fiddling with your hair, rocking in your chair or doing anything else that distracts the interviewer.
  • Maintain eye contact. Just as you would in a face-to-face interview, keep your eyes on the interviewer. It’s OK to take notes, but look up from time to time so that the interviewer isn’t always seeing the top of your head that is bent over your notepad.
  • Dress appropriately. You may think you can dress more casually, which is not the case. Also, dress appropriately from head-to-toe -- you don't want to be in a nice shirt and tie, and then stand up to be caught in ratty shorts or jeans.
Any other hints for someone doing a long-distance interview?


Zoe said...

I would also add PRACTICE. Use skype to call a friend and just practice because it can be odd as a first timer using a webcam. If you know how even record the convo (I think it's possible) and watch it to see what you're doing wrong!

Anita said...

I remember the first time I used videoconferencing -- and got to confront all my bad habits in living color. Your suggestion is a very good one!

Jeffrey Friend said...

Wow, great post! The only thing I can think of is to prepare for technical difficulties. I had a candidate who was speaking to the CEO for the final interview and all of a sudden he couldn't see the CEO on the other end anymore (who knows if it was on purpose). So the candidate was just staring at a blank screen but could still hear the CEO's voice. Just be ready for anything :-)