Talent Development Centre

How to Prepare for a Video Interview

Have you ever been asked to do an online face-to-face job interview? Check out this infographic produced by PGI – if you haven’t come across them yet, it may just be a matter of time.  According to the infographic, 60% of managers are using video to interview candidates and 66% of candidates actually prefer it that way.

Comments from a recent Eagle poll sent to managers across Canada suggested that companies are starting to see the convenience and cost-savings in video interviews. The poll also revealed, however, that nobody actually believes video interviews will ever replace in-person interviews.

While video interviews definitely haven’t replaced in-person interviews at Eagle, we have Video Interviewbeen leveraging them for a few years now to screen candidates.  Here are a few reason why:

  • It eliminates unnecessary travel.  Our job board brings in applicants from across the country.  Rather than asking out-of-town candidates to travel to a specific office, they can easily have a face-to-face conversation with recruiters from their own home-office or from an Eagle office more local to them.
  • It’s still personal. The alternative to a video interview when a candidate is out-of-town is a phone interview.  These are great for a quick screen that creates a shortlist of candidates, but nothing lets a recruiter get to know a candidate like a face-to-face conversation.
  • It’s flexible.  Even for local candidates, an in-person interview during regular business hours isn’t always possible. What if a candidate is working a full-time job and can’t get away for the interview?  What if the recruiter has a busy schedule with no time for an in-depth, quality conversation? Video interviews allow the recruiter and candidate to find a time and location that suits them.

If video interviews are still new to you, here are some tips to get you started:

  • Test it first.  If you’re using a new camera or technology that’s new to you, play around with it first.  Try a call with some colleagues and make sure the sound and camera quality is optimized.
  • Treat it like a regular face-to-face interview.  Come prepared, take notes, and dress professionally.
  • Be conscious of your surroundings. Set-up in a quiet, professional-looking space. For example, if you’re at home, turn off the television and separate yourself from kids or pets.
  • Look at the camera.  This takes practice.  Eye contact is important in any interview and the only way to make eye contact with the person you’re talking to is to look into the camera.  Very often we want to look at the person on the screen, but, as you may know, this can look awkward.  Here’s a trick: put a picture of somebody beside the camera and try to look that person in the eyes.
  • Get started Today!  Don’t wait for a Recruiter to ask you for a video interview before you start preparing.  All you need is a web cam and a Skype account, so set yourself up today and be able to interview immediately.

Do you think video interviews will replace the in-person interview?  We’d love to get your opinion, leave a comment!

3 thoughts on “How to Prepare for a Video Interview

  1. I recently went through a video interview and would like to share some tips in addition to the great suggestions offered here.

    1. Watch your background: Even though the “surroundings” are very important, selecting a neutral, non-distracting background is fundamental. “Busy” backgrounds can create unnecessary distractions during the interview. I suggest closed drapes or blinds in neutral colours; although blue works well for video.
    2. Watch your light: Not too dark, not too bright. Avoid placing a bright light source just in front of you: that will cause you to frown; light just above you will create weird shadows in your eyes; backlight will make the interviewer frown. Place a soft light on one side of you, about 45 degrees from your face, slightly above your head, and make sure the light source is outside of your camera’s “sight”.
    3. Have a “Plan B”. Even after making tests, the connection can be poor at the time of the interview. Have a hands-free telephone handy in case you need to run the voice part of the interview separately.

    Good luck with the interview!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *