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The video interview. Have you been invited to interview in this way yet? It seems the more we learn, the less we know. And the more technology we have, the more technology we have to worry about. This even applies to a job search. Once upon a time, the classified ads, a strong printed resume, and some good references (or people who knew people) were all the tools you needed to effectively compete for a job.
No more. With the internet and social media present at virtually every step of the hiring process, your job hunting skills now require an understanding of inbound marketing, keywords, blogging, tweeting, and even production values. Production values? Yes, production values. Because more and more job searches involve a video interview as part of the process.
The internet has made it easier to find and apply for job openings. However, it has also made the employer’s job easier. To screen. To research (are you comfortable with your online presence?). And now, to conduct interviews via video.
A video interview has many benefits for the job seeker. No travel required, easy to fit into a schedule, no nerve-wracking waiting in the reception area or, worse, conference room. Easy, right? Log in at the appointed hour, answer questions, ask some of your own and boom, you’re done, right? Well, not exactly.
Notwithstanding the fact that you don’t have to worry about sweaty palms (or worse if you were running late!) or wandering eyes, there are some things you need to consider when preparing for a video interview.
- A mistake many people make is that they don’t rehearse for an interview. True, you likely don’t know what the format will be, but you do have a pretty good idea of some of the fundamental things you’ll be asked and issues that will be covered. So rehearse them.
- Conduct a mock interview and videotape it. Have someone ask you questions.
- Schedule the mock interview at the same time as the real interview is scheduled so that you can analyze the results not only for how you performed, but also for the production qualities we referred to earlier. Items like sound, lighting, adequate bandwidth if you have a DSL or wireless connection, etc.
- Evaluate your performance. Be critical. Did your eyes dart? How were your facial expressions? Did you bounce in your seat? Nervous twitch? How did that tie/hair/makeup look? How was the pitch/tone of your voice? Volume?
- Remember, you are being interviewed for a job. You’re not showing your house, your taste in art, or how beautifully framed your family photos are.
- If you have pets, make sure you make whatever arrangements you must so that they are not a distraction. A barking dog off-camera will kill the mood, to put it mildly.
Research the company before the interview.
- You don’t really need to be reminded of this, do you? However, your research should include finding out as much as you can using social media and the company’s own online presence. Remember, the employer is using the internet. Show that you are internet savvy.
Testing, 1-2-3, testing.
- Familiarize yourself with whatever webcam and video conferencing system will be used. Skype? GoToMeeting? Whatever it is, don’t let the interview be the first time you use it.
- Follow directions.
- Ask the employer if you can check in 15 minutes early just to ensure there are no problems.
Last, but not least: Is it plugged in?
- Whatever you do, make sure everything is plugged in, turned on and in working order before you try to log in to the interview. If you don’t, you’ll appear unprepared, disorganized and you will not look like the company’s next employee.