The Candidate's Guide to Video Interview Success
Remember the days when you’d trek across town for a chat with your recruitment agency? Or when you’d don your best business attire for a meeting in a stale box with a prospect boss?
Yes, well those days are gone.
Unlikely to return.
Not in the same way, anyway.
Because we’re interacting in the age of digital engagement. Today’s candidate can expect a different experience. And embracing it is crucial.
But here’s the thing: Just because the exchange is virtual, doesn’t mean it should be taken lightly. It is still real. It is still a thing.
It’s all about video liaison.
Whether via a recruitment agency acting on your behalf or the hiring company directly, video is the go-to in a blended approach to the employment process. Video may feature from the beginning, it could be added down the line, but it’s here and it’s now.
So here are 10 tips – some do’s and don’ts – around video engagement when job seeking.
1. Ensure you have the appropriate technology – and that it’s set up correctly. Test the sound and visual before each use. Fiddling about with settings and buttons directly before or during use will not help your composure. And check your internet is working!
2. Choose your background – this could be a blank wall or virtual imagery. Consider what best reflects you. Some like to showcase their recreational lives by positioning pertinent pictures behind them; others prefer to upload images to the tech greenscreen. If you opt for the latter, make sure it’s appropriate and doesn’t fragment when you move.
3. Remember body language matters – the way you carry yourself is as vital via video as face-to-face. So, concentrate on leaning forward, gesticulate to exude enthusiasm, speak clearly and with authority, smile and stay focussed.
4. Take notes – this is expected. It also highlights your conscientious and professional approach, as well as accentuating your interest in the conversation.
5. Relax – quash any nerves by considering that the person you’re engaging with is in the same boat as you. Video engagement is the same for everyone. And you can steer the outcome.
1. Sit there in your pants – there’s no need for a suit and tie but a freshly pressed shirt will always be a winner. And mitigate the risk of showing off your tatty tracksuit bottoms by replacing with a pair of decent jeans. Dress smart, feel smart, works virtually too.
2. Drink alcohol – it shouldn’t need saying but you’d be surprised how many folks think it’s okay to pour a glass of video vino! However, having a tumbler of water available is a good idea. Even just occasional sipping is a good way to help feel at ease.
3. Let your eyes wander – retain virtual eye contact by looking straight into your device’s camera. To ensure this, try marking the camera lens with a visible circle or a Post-it note – and draw a smiley on it to remind you to do just that!
4. Conduct a video conversation whilst driving, sitting in the pub garden or decorating the bathroom – no, you’ll want to be an airy room, ideally with natural light. And check the acoustics to ensure there’s no echo. Furniture and pictures will reduce reverberating sound.
5. Forget manners – replace the physical handshake with a sincere salutation. Ask how the other person is and quickly find rapport. Offline you might be asked, “How was your journey in?” or “Did you avoid the rain?” (As you’re standing there. Dripping!) But of course, neither of these apply in the video world, so consider an appropriate current affairs topic. Just avoid politics.
For job seekers, video represents an opportunity for succinct interaction. For recruiters, it affords a chance to quickly identify a candidate’s suitability for a role. For some video will never replace the physical benefits of the hiring process, but there’s no question it can save time and money.
Whatever your thoughts on video, it’s here, it’s now, it’s real. So, use these tips to help embrace technology and enhance your job seeking experience.