Video interviews were already gaining traction before the outbreak of COVID-19. But following the sudden shift to remote working, they’ve become a fundamental part of the hiring process for many organisations.
As with many of the major workplace changes brought about by the global pandemic, the uptick in interviewing via video conference is unlikely to be a short-lived phenomenon. Some candidates may dread being asked to attend a video interview, but employers are increasingly aware of the benefits.
- There’s no need to take notes during the interview – Most video conferencing platforms allow for meetings to be recorded, which means an interviewer can give their undivided attention to their interviewee and playback the discussion as necessary. Interview recordings can also be shared with other team members so they can properly evaluate candidates and provide feedback to the hiring manager.
- The process is more efficient – Scheduling interviews is much trickier when candidates have to travel. It takes up more time and they might even have to book time off from their current job. With remote interviews, it’s much easier to squeeze in an interview between meetings, during a lunch break, or out-of-hours.
- It’s easier to compare candidates – The option to playback several candidates’ answers to a particular question makes it much easier to compare them and identify the top talent.
- Eliminates logistical stress – Many candidates worry about the logistics of attending an in-person interview. What if they can’t find the office? Will there be parking available on-site? How early should they arrive? Employers are aware that eliminating these factors can reduce pressure and enable candidates to focus solely on their interview performance.
- The hiring process is more consistent – Time is more easily wasted during in-person interviews with small-talk or the conversation deviating off-topic. Video interviews are typically shorter and more focussed. Every candidate answers the same questions, which are set in advance.
It’s safe to assume that video interviewing is here to stay, which means job hunters ought to be getting to grips with best practices.
5 tips for getting hired by video interview
1. Dress professionally
Wearing business attire for a video interview might feel a little bit strange, especially when you know you’ll be logging on from the comfort of your own sofa. But it’s important to make a good first impression and it can help get you in the right frame of mind. There’s probably no need to wear a three-piece suit but tracksuit bottoms and an oversize hoody don’t convey the right message either. Use your common sense and make an outfit decision based on the position and company you’re applying to.
2. Check technology in advance
Nothing will add to your interview stress quite like a technology fail. Do yourself a favour and be sure to check all technology way in advance of your interview. That includes your wifi connection, audio and video quality, headphones, and video conference platform.
3. Carefully review your background
Hiring managers won’t expect your kitchen or living room to look like a corporate meeting space but do a quick sense check on your surroundings. Make sure you’ve tidied up, picked up any rubbish, and removed anything that could be considered offensive or unprofessional. This might include personal photographs or posters or art with inappropriate slogans. Prospective employers will be keen to see that you have established an appropriate workspace.
4. Think about your body language
Communication is easily lost in translation via video conference. Knowing that it’s much harder for an employer to interpret your body language or pick up on non-verbal cues through a screen, you’ll need to be mindful of how you present yourself. Think carefully about your facial expressions and gestures.
5. Consider camera angle and lighting
As well as testing your technology ahead of a video interview, make sure you’ve considered your lighting and camera set-up. For example, you don’t want to be looking down or up at the camera or be back-lit so your face is cast in shadow. Set up your laptop so your head and shoulders neatly fit into the frame and find a well-lit space.