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Career Advice

Video interviews: what you need to know

In the days of yore, job interviews were always conducted in person. After sending your CV/résumé and application form to your prospective employer and found out you were given the chance to shine in front of them, you prepared everything from the clothes you planned to wear to travel. ICAC_Building_Video_Interview_RoomFortunately for many of us, technology is changing all that for the better.

Getting to your potential workplace is the hardest part of the interview process. We might fear getting lost on the way, getting off at the wrong bus stop or even ending up in a different part of town when getting off the train. Getting there on time can be a worry too, especially if you live so far away from the interview venue.

Video interviews to the rescue?

More companies looking to recruit new staff are using video conferencing technology. Powwownow recently wrote a blog post about the advantages of video conferencing which has helped bring about the rise in video interviews.

If you’re facing an important video interview for a job you’re interested in, you might wonder what you have to do in order to prepare correctly. Here are a few handy tips:

  • If at home, make sure you’re in a quiet space free from distractions or background noise

  • Wear smart clothes. As with a normal interview, you want to make a good impression

  • Communicate clearly. Make sure you don’t waffle on and say what you need to say

  • Turn the volume up to a level where you can hear the interviewer clearly

  • Try and keep any other programs running on your PC closed. This will minimise the risk of delays during your interview

Not having to travel to an interview, whether it’s with a client or for that new job is the main benefit of using video technology. Despite that, the visual element means that, as you would when in face-to-face conversation with someone; preparation should be no less meticulous.

Pitch perfect

If you’re already in a job, be it with an employer or self-employment, there other ways in which you can use video interviews. One of those could be for a pitch to a client, customer or even to senior management. For getting ideas across, doing it via video can be far more effective than in an e-mail, letter or phone call, especially if you need to talk to several people at a time.

For a pitch, you’ll need to make a big effort with such things as visual aids. If, for example, you have posters or graphs to show to a client, you’ll need to hold them up close enough to the webcam for them to see, plus the type should be at least 24pt. Every piece of paper or card you show should be in landscape format, so that none of it is cut off by the screen.

For every type of video interview, be sure to leave a pause of at least half a second before the person or people on the other line speak. This will help you to navigate any delays with relative ease.

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