With fewer jobs around at the moment and the feeling that the world is shrinking, you might be looking for jobs in a much wider area than you have done previously. At the same time, with more candidates to choose from, a lot of employers are now finding it harder to create an applicant short list and want to be able to quickly meet a lot more people.
The solution for many employers is to quickly conduct more interviews with candidates from all over the world by conducting preliminary interviews via video conference.
Video Conference Interview
If you have been asked to give a video conference interview, don’t worry as this really isn’t too different from the regular type of interview you should already be familiar with. The interviewer is still looking for the exact same qualities as you would expect from a regular interview; it’s just the meeting place that is different.
These differences mean that a few things need to be taken into account when being interviewed in this manner. Follow these tips to ensure you give your best at a video interview.
What You Need
- You’ll need to find a place where you can access a webcam and a high speed internet connection. Many people nowadays have these in their homes or even on their smart phones. However, if you do not have this technology, most libraries will be able to make these facilities available to you.
- You will also need video conferencing software; your interviewer will likely specify which software they wish for you to use. Examples could include: Skype, LifeSize or Yahoo! Messenger.
- If you are using a laptop or phone camera, be sure to rest the camera on a desk or other stable surface. Holding the camera in your hand should be avoided as it can be distracting having the image moving around frequently; you will also need to have your hands available to write things down and display positive body language.
Set Up Your Interview Area
If you are being interviewed from your home, try and make your surroundings look as professional and well organized as possible. The interviewer will understand that you are in your home, but an untidy room or inappropriate objects in the background will suggest you are unorganized. Move the camera around before the interview to find the best location and look at the shot to see exactly what your interviewer will see.
If you or your interviewer has a lower internet connection speed or slow processor, the video quality may deteriorate if there is a lot of movement. Ensure you are sitting somewhere that you can sit fairly still and if you have a tendency to fiddle with objects when you are nervous, it may be sensible to clear the area of any likely temptations.
Try to provide as much lighting as you can – the better lit you are the better the image quality will be. It is also a good idea to place your microphone away from your computer and keyboard so it does not pick up too much background noise; test the image and sound quality in advance.
What To Wear
Even though you are in your own home, this is still a job interview so dress up for the occasion. Clothing that is plain colors is better than stripes or other complex patterns as these do not usually transmit very well.
Dressing up for the job interview in a professional way will give you a good feeling about yourself and thus will boost your confidence. The employer or interviewers on the other end will also apprciate the organized way you’ll be handling the job interview.
Tips For Success
- You can normally set up the video program to display a small PiP image of what the interviewer sees of you (Software like Skype have this setting already built-in). Try to use this to monitor your own body language. In all interviews, body language is important but in a video interview you can actually see how your own is coming across.
- If you’ve not done a video interview before, it might be worth practicing some with friends to get a feel for it. You could also record these interviews so you can review them later and see where you could improve.
- Don’t forget you are in an interview; being in the comfort of your own home can be great for reducing nerves but don’t let this go too far. This is still a formal situation and you should act accordingly.
Follow these tips as well as tips for regular interviews and you should be well prepared for any video interview.