Career Resources

Career Resources

How to Ace a Video Job Interview

Posted February 11, 2014 & filed under Uncategorized

How to Ace a Video Job Interview

Video job interviews may be scaring away your best candidates. At least, that’s what a study conducted by McMaster University in Ontario suggests. In simulated job interviews, researchers found that candidates were less receptive to a hiring manager interviewing them through video conference software than one interviewing them in the flesh.

But is this problem intrinsic to the technology or an issue with straightforward fixes?

Video Communication Breakdown

In the McMaster University study, interviewers tended to be under greater scrutiny. When asked to evaluate hiring managers during video job interviews, candidates tended to report that they were “less attractive, personable, trustworthy, and competent,” than their face-to-face counterparts.

One of the study’s authors, Willi Wiesner, said to Business News Daily that “video conferencing places technological barriers between applicants and interviewers.” Yet he also goes on to say that those barriers aren’t immoveable.

Make Your Video Job Interviews Work

Video conference software is relatively new to the job interview landscape. Most people have used a program like Skype, Google Hangout, or others video conference applications. However, there is a completely different approach to a video job interview than a personal chat session or even a business meeting.

Since both hiring manager and candidate are meeting each other for the first time, every detail has to be perfect. It’s not difficult to entice candidates if you know the greatest obstacles for any video job interviews.

Bad Lighting – Any cinematographer will tell you bad lighting can kill an otherwise perfect shot. Sitting in front of large windows or an intense halogen lamp can flood the video display with overbearing light. On the other hand, a lack of light can have the approachability of a crypt. Balanced light eliminates a major distraction to the video job interview.

Awkward Framing – Camera placement is too often overlooked. Too close and too far can distract either person from the content of the video job interview. A comfortable medium includes your full head and your body above the shoulders.

Eye Contact – A common mistake is to make continuous eye contact with the image on the screen. Though it’s a natural reaction because you’re not looking directly at the web camera, you’re not giving the impression of eye contact. Alternating between the web camera and the candidate’s “eyes” bridges the gap between a video and in-person job interview.

Trampled Words – Each person needs ample room to talk. A several second buffer after a candidate finishes keeps critical information from being trampled underfoot.

Enunciation – Web cam microphones aren’t very forgiving with sound quality. A conscious effort to keep vocal pitch and enunciation clear and under control will prevent any unwanted communication gaffes.

Untested Equipment – Each program has different capabilities so it’s key to know the basic controls. Additionally, most people tend to complain about connectivity issues. Connecting your device via an Ethernet cable or finding the epicenter of a strong Wi-Fi hotspot will prevent outages and buffering that can weaken an interviewer’s credibility.

Different Time Zones – The hour difference of being one time zone over can throw a wrench in interviewing schedule. It’s easy to avoid this headache by just acknowledging and making note of the time zone difference.

If you’re a job seeker, we have a few video job interview tips for you as well.

by James Walsh

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