Monday, September 21, 2015

The Dos and Don’ts for a Video Interview

As most everyone knows, Skype is part of Microsoft (Microsoft purchased Skype in 2011), which makes for an easily accessible tool if you use Microsoft products as often as I do. Everything can be linked!  You can make video and audio calls, exchange chat messages using Skype's software on your computer and/or mobile device just over the internet. Many of the services are even available for free, or you can of course pay for added bonuses. Skype just simply uses your computer’s webcam or an external web cam for quick video calls. And of course there are other virtual online video interviewing tools, application and software available other than Skype, too.

It has been over ten years since Skype was released (2003), and I have been seeing more and more companies just beginning to use these tools recently. The dos and don’ts list for a video interview is different from both in-person and phone interviews. Hence the need for myself and my fellow professional recruiters to step up and become a resource to assist candidates as they prepare for what could very well be your first video interview.

Video interviews can serve of great value to both candidates and companies — you still get face-to-face time with an employer while eliminating the need for travel during the initial interview stage. Here are some tips you can use as a resource for your next video interview.


Look at the camera, not the screen.
It’s not unusual to want to watch yourself or your interviewer during a video interview session, but looking directly at the video camera is the only way to maintain direct eye contact with your interviewer.

Proper Dress.
When it comes to what you wear, treat your video interview like an in-person interview and dress professionally. A professional dress code with video interviews is expected.

Select the optimal location.
Pick a quiet place to interview without an elaborate backdrop so that you can be the focal point on the screen. Remove anything distracting behind you and keep it neutral.

Doing a run through interview with a friend beforehand is helpful because your first few video interview calls are likely to feel awkward, especially if you have to retrain yourself to watch the camera and not the screen (it’s hard not to look at yourself!). Play around with everything beforehand so that when it's interview time you are prepared.

Close other programs on your computer.
Getting Facebook notifications during your interview is distracting and unprofessional. Before your interview, make sure all other windows on your computer are closed.

Eliminate possible interruptions.
If you are interviewing in a house with multiple people or pets, be sure to let everyone in the house know ahead of time that you will be in an interview while securing any animals away from your interview space.

Make certain your profile is professional.
Unlike an in-person or phone interview, your first impression during a video interview doesn't actually involve you. The first thing your interviewer will see is your Skype username and picture, so double check that they are both interview appropriate (professional).

Body language.
Not all physical cues translate from in-person interviews to video interviews, which make the ones that do even more important. Be sure to have good posture but don’t be stiff. Hold yourself up but be relaxed as well. Don’t slump forward.

Scot Dickerson, CPC 
Capstone Search