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Posted by Rowan O'Grady, Hays Canada President on Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Video interviewing is becoming increasingly common, and it can be convenient for both hiring managers and job seekers to ensure they're a good match before going ahead with in-person interviews. However, it can have some unique challenges that you should prepare for.
How can you make the best impression?
1. Prepare ahead of time
Technology is a consideration that is mostly unique to video interviews. Make sure you don’t have any embarrassing technical difficulties by installing the necessary programs and software in good time – and that you also know what to do if it goes wrong. Test your connection and video software plenty of times beforehand by making some practice calls to check sound and picture quality.
For video interviews dress formally, even if you are doing the interview from your living room; you should dress as you would to go to an employer’s head office. Find a tidy, uncluttered place to do the interview; you want to make sure that you’ve removed all non-pertinent objects from the frame, and ensure you have adequate lighting and won't be backlit.
2. Get comfortable with the technology
It’s important that you’re comfortable looking into a camera and speaking into a microphone. Looking into the camera is important in order to make eye contact with the interviewer, while speaking clearly into the microphone is helpful for avoiding repetition. Remember also to avoid the temptation of looking at your own image on the screen! Don’t forget to smile too. Smiling goes a very long way to building rapport and, while you may not think it, can even be recognized down a phone line.
Listen carefully to the questions your interviewer is asking you. There may be a delay over video calling or network connection and if you get stuck on a question, ask if you can move on and come back to this when you have gathered your thoughts. Silences can be difficult when you aren’t in the same room so try to avoid them. Help minimise awkward pauses by rehearsing with your recruiter, or a family member or friend; this will help you predict possible delays that the technology might have.
3. Project confidence and stay calm
During a video interview, it can be difficult to show the usual body language that demonstrates you are listening and shows you are interested and enthusiastic, so be sure to also convey this in what you say, while remaining aware of your movements. Have questions prepared ahead of time.
Remaining professional, staying relaxed and keeping calm will help you to answer the questions accurately. Where video interviews may cause a delay in the flow of conversation, it is best to wait and ensure your interviewer has finished their question to stop any confusion and keep your interview on track. You can help with this too, by ensuring your answers are clear and concise. If your interviewer wants more information, they will ask you to elaborate.
4. Have a plan for a dropped call
All the preparation in the world and technology can still be prone to disruptions. Make sure you have a direct email or phone number so if a call is dropped you can communicate with your interviewer. If your call drops, regain the connection promptly and restart the call, and quickly contact your interviewer to update them so you can all continue with the interview as soon as possible.
Get other interview tips, or look for your next career move.
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