Using video as a recruiting tool is a relatively new application of webcam technology; however, it is continuing to expand. Many employers are using video chat programs such as Skype and Google Hangouts to conduct video job interviews. Some employers are even accepting video resumes from candidates to enable them to stand out among the competition.
A video job interview at its core is not that different from a traditional interview. You will need to have answers ready for the same types of questions you would be asked if you were sitting in front of the hiring manager. You have to sell your skills, background and expertise. The goal is still to show that you are well-qualified and excited to contribute to their team.
What is different is the technology. How does that factor into the interview process, and how can you make sure you’re adequately prepared for a video interview? After all, what impression will it give the recruiter or your potential new boss if your laptop dies in the middle of a sentence because your battery ran out of juice or they can't see you because your webcam is not positioned properly? Here are some tech tips to help you prepare for these and other considerations.
Make Sure You Have the Correct Software on Your Computer
When the interview is scheduled, make sure you understand which video chat program the interviewer is going to use. Programs such as Skype, Google Hangout, WebEx or GoToMeeting may require as much as 15 minutes to download as an application or a plugin. We recommend setting aside some time well in advance of your scheduled interview to ensure proper download and set-up.
A video chat requires a solid, fast internet speed. Test the internet speed at the location where you will join the interview. If possible, plug in via Ethernet cable to avoid losing the wireless signal and to keep a steady connection.
Check your sound input and output to make sure everything is set correctly. Every video chat system has slightly different settings; however, these settings typically default to the built-in audio of the speakers and microphone on your computer.
Look at yourself using the webcam. Prop up your laptop so you are looking into the camera at eye level as opposed to looking down at it. Not only is it a more comfortable position, but it is a more flattering angle (Look, Ma! No double chin!).
Completely charge your laptop battery before the interview. Better yet, keep your computer plugged in to eliminate any concern of the battery dying during the interview.
Pro Tip:The best way to test everything and make sure it is correct is to contact someone you know and trust to help you conduct a dry run. Set everything up, test your audio, check the Internet connection and speed and make sure you look your best on camera. While you have a trusted friend and your video chat all set up, you can even run a mock interview to help you prepare.
Consider Your Surroundings
Consider where you will be and what the interviewer will see. It is best to be a few feet from a plain, solid colored wall with one or two tasteful decorations, such as an attractive painting, lamp or bookshelf. Keep the table or desk in front of you clutter-free (except for your research notes and your resume, of course). Natural lighting is best, but no matter what type of lighting you use, place it in front you. Wear bright colors, and avoid clothing with patterns and prints. Solid colors show up better on video.
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