The trend of interviewing job candidates by means of remote video chat is increasing in popularity. HR managers use this method to interview a greater number of candidates in a shorter space of time, particularly as the first (sometimes second) interview before the face-to-face interview.
If you are actively looking for work, you might be invited to a video chat interview sooner than you think. Here are a number of effective tips designed to help you come on top.
- Come Across Willing – If a recruiter brings up the idea of video chat interview, you should absolutely welcome the opportunity and accept it. You might have some legitimate concerns, especially if you haven’t attended a video chat interview before, but recruiters always look for positive and self-confident candidates so accept the interview without hesitation.
- Using the Video Chat Software – After agreeing on the date and time, the recruiter will likely send you a confirmation email, which will also include details of the preferred video software to use. Typically Skype, GoToMeeting and Google Hangout are used. If you are unfamiliar with the software, take the time to learn how it works before the interview starts. A useful knowledge base with tutorials on almost any software is YouTube. Take a few minutes to watch a video tutorial on the software that will be used for the interview.
- Stage the Environment – Unlike the traditional telephone based interview, many more peripheral details are revealed in the video chat interview. Most candidates will take the video call at home, which is absolutely fine. After all, it’s the one location they can guarantee suitable Internet speed and quiet surroundings. It is important to temporarily ‘stage’ the background behind and besides you so that it comes across respectable for the interview.
- Download the Software On Time – Busy HR managers and recruiters dislike waiting for candidates who are late to the interview because they waited until the last moment before the interview to download the software or app. Depending on the software and your internet connection speed, it might take some time. Best to address this stage couple of hours (even a day or two) before the interview is meant to start.
- Configure With Some Thoughts – Most services, most notably Skype, will require you to register an account before you are allowed to use the service. You will have options to choose a username and optional profile photo, both of which are completely transparent to the interviewer. Therefore choose a username and upload a photo that are respectable for the occasion. Passport type photo or headshot works well, as for username, some sort of combination of your first and last name is recommended. Avoid username or profile photo that might reflect poorly on you. First impressions always count!
- Have a Backup – Most video chat software is cross device and cross platform. It means you can download and install the software on your computer, as well as on your smartphone or tablet device. It makes prudent preparation to install the software on two devices just in case your initial device malfunctions. If that happens you can easily jump on your second device and resume the interview.
- Test the Software and Test Yourself – Don’t forget to check that the software is working, that your microphone and speakers are connected properly and that you are comfortable with using the software. You can do this by asking someone to video call and interview you, what’s called a mock interview. Ask a friend, family members or even an agency recruiter to call and ask you a few questions. It will give you a chance to test the software and yourself. Be sure to ask for feedback.
- Dress Head to Toe – The same best practices that apply for a face-to-face interview also apply in this case. The fact that the interview is Internet based does not mean that you should only dress above the belt and neglect the rest. You should dress head to toe, as it will cognitively help you get the right state of mind.
- Just Before The Interview – Make sure you are online and ready. Switch off all non-essential software apps so your device does not produce noisy sound alerts during the interview. If you need any supporting documents, make sure these are available when you need them. The interview isn’t the right time to start searching for a copy of your CV or any other supporting document.
- During The Interview – Try and make eye contact with the interviewer. Do this by looking at the webcam rather than the screen, your desk or window! If you can, drag the chat window nearer the webcam so when you look at the webcam, you are looking at interviewer. Be sure to have good posture when you sit and relax your shoulders to avoid stiffness. Try and keep your voice levels natural and relaxed. Raising your voice often makes it distorted rather than clear.
Guest Post written by The Carling Partnership. They are an international search and selection company in the drinks and brewery jobs sectors. CPL (The Carling Partnership) works across different sectors and has exclusive jobs in distillery, cider, wine and spirits.