Video chat job interviews are increasing in popularity. These are often used as modern age substitutes to telephone based job interviews, or at times, substitutes for the traditional face-to-face interview. 18% of candidates have experienced a video interview in the past year, more than double the amount from a year ago, according to a survey by Right Management. Here are a number of tips designed to help you shine in a video chat job interview.
Unlike telephone based job interviews that can be conducted almost anywhere, when it comes to video interview a lot is said about the settings. You want to plan well so that the area is quiet, the Internet speed is suitable for video streaming (broadband recommended), the area is well lit and the settings behind you are professional and businesslike. Avoid areas such as the outdoors and public places. The biggest mistake candidates often repeat is conducting the interview at a local café, which proves noisy and unprofessional especially at peak times. Consider scheduling the interview at home or rent a meeting room for an hour. If you are a graduate, the university or college careers service may have a room that you can use, just ask.
Most computer camera nowadays include wide or even ultra angle lens so that the picture sent back to the reviewer includes more than you think. You should therefore dress accordingly, top and bottom, as if you are attending a face-to-face interview. A tip that candidates often forget is to set up the video software so that in a small window you see how the other part sees you. This helps keep you on your toes so that you are aware how you come across at all times.
Come Across Businesslike
In most cases, this may be your first job interview which is video based. Therefore you should strongly consider attending a mock interview where, at your leisure, you are able to setup the software, to practice eye contact and to pay attention to your body language. Eye contact and body language are clues that the interviewer often looks for. Without recording a mock interview or asking someone to practice with you, you will have no idea how you come across.
Plan A and Plan B
Well ahead of time you should setup whichever software you have agreed with the interviewer on using. Setup the software (at times a free account registration may be required so do this well ahead of time), setup the webcam and phone line if needed. If the connection does not hold up for any reason, suggest to the interviewer telephone based alternative so that the interview can take place and you will come across as problem solver. Technology may prove unreliable at times, in spite of your best efforts. How you handle the situation when Plan A has failed tells the recruiter a lot about you.
There are a few tips to help you get the technical side out of the way. You should completely close and exit other programs on your computer to free resources and help ensure that your twitter or other feeds don’t distract you (or that the interviewer sees or hear them). You should make hand written backup of your notes incase the interview becomes telephone based and finally keep your mobile well away from the computer (and speakers in particular) otherwise the other party may hear static noises.
Written by The Carling Partnership Ltd (CPL) an the leading international search and selection company working exclusively within the beer, distilling, cider and soft drinks industries.