Making A Good Impression During A Video Interview

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Video interviews are no longer a trend but rather an important human resources tool and the new way of performing first-round interviews. Thanks to programs like Skype that make this technology easy, affordable and efficient, video interviews are only going to improve and grow in their usage. Learn Jim Lord's and Sami Barry's tips for making sure your video interview goes smoothly.

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Making A Good Impression During A Video Interview

  1. 1. NOVEMBER 2012 Tips for Making a Good Impression During a Video Interview  I  f  you  are  a  job  seeker  or  a  hiring  manager,  you  know  that  video  interviews  are  no  longer  considered  a  trend  in  hiring.      They  have  become  an  important  human  resources  tool  and  the  new  way  of  performing  first-­‐round  job  interviews.  Their  popularity  is  only  going  to  increase,  especially  when  companies  like  Skype  are  making  this  technology  easier,  more  affordable  and  more  efficient.Take  a  few  moments  to  consider  the  benefits  of  conducting  Skype  interviews  for  hiring  organizations.  This  technology  saves  them  time  and  money  by  decreasing  the  amount  of  time  that  hiring  managers  spend  performing  first  interviews  only  to  weed  out  non-­‐qualified  job  applicants.  It  also  saves  on  interviewing  costs  of  candidates  who  are  not  local  and  who  would  have  to  travel  to  interviews.  Another  valuable  benefit  is  that  there  is  now  a  recording  feature  on  Skype  which  allows  hiring  managers  to  share  video  interviews  with  colleagues  and  clients,  thus  saving  other  people  time  and  cutting  additional  costs.These  advantages  are  widely  known  in  most  business  sectors.  In  2010,  only  10%  of  companies  were  using  video  as  part  of  their  hiring  processes.  Current  statistics  show  that  42%  of  organizations  are  utilizing  Skype  for  first-­‐round  interviews  of  prospective  employees,  a  significant  increase  in  just  two  years.  With  numbers  like  these  and  with  technology  advancing  so  quickly,  knowing  how  to  do  video  interviews  is  a  critical  skill  for  today’s  job  seekers.As  executive  search  consultants,  we  understand  the  value  of  this  technology  and  have  performed  initial  interviews  with  candidates  via  Skype  at  client  requests.  Although  we  are  still  improving  our  own  skills  at  using  Skype,  below  are  things  that  we  found  are  important  for  making  a  good  impression  during  a  video  interview.Skype Set Up: ‣ If  you  are  new  to  setting  up  Skype  on  your  computer,  the  download  is  very  easy.  The  part  you  have  to  give  more   thought  to  is  your  Skype  Name.  This  should  be  treated  the  same  as  your  email  address.  Choose  a  user  name  that   is  professional.  While  the  most  common  user  name  on  Skype  is  simply  a  person’s  name,  yours  may  not  be   available.  If  that  is  the  case,  Charles  Purdy,  senior  editor  and  career  expert  with  monster.com,  recommends  that   you  try  your  name  combined  with  your  industry  or  profession.Technical Set Up: ‣ Make  sure  your  internet  speed  is  sufficient  and  that  the  video  and  audio  sync  correctly.  If  your  wireless   connection  is  slow,  you  may  want  to  try  to  plug  your  computer  directly  into  the  Internet  cable.  A  slow  connection   can  cause  glitches  in  video  and  audio  which  can  be  distracting. ‣ Set  your  camera  up  so  that  you  are  speaking  directly  to  it  while  still  looking  at  the  computer  screen.  This  will   promote  a  more  natural  face-­‐to-­‐face  conversation.  Otherwise,  you  will  have  to  choose  between  speaking  to  the   camera  and  viewing  the  other  party.  You  also  want  to  position  the  camera  so  that  an  interviewer  can  see  you  from   the  waist  up,  including  your  hands.  This  is  important  for  understanding  body  language  and  non-­‐verbal  cues. ‣ Keep  your  computer  plugged  in  so  that  you  do  not  run  out  of  battery. ‣ Close  other  programs  on  your  computer  including  your  email  so  that  they  do  not  make  noises.  Also,  turn  your  cell   phone  on  silent. ‣ In  case  of  technical  difficulties,  have  your  phone  nearby  in  case  the  interview  mode  changes.
  2. 2. NOVEMBER 2012 Lighting: ‣ Ensure  that  you  have  adequate  lighting  and  do  not  appear  to  be  sitting  in  the  dark.  Do  not  over  light  your  area  or   use  high-­‐powered  fluorescent  lighting  because  they  can  make  you  appear  ‘washed  out’. ‣ Do  not  sit  with  a  window  or  a  light  behind  you.  If  you  have  to  sit  with  a  window  behind  you,  use  adequate   curtains  or  shades.  Otherwise,  there  will  be  a  glare  and  you  will  appear  as  a  silhouette. ‣ Having  a  lamp  about  4  –  6  feet  in  front  of  you  is  a  good  option  because  it  can  balance  the  lighting. Setting & Dress: ‣ Skype  from  a  quiet  location,  preferably  sitting  at  a  desk  or  conference  table.  Give  attention  to  your  background  as   you  do  not  want  to  show  a  cluttered  office  or  that  you  are  in  a  coffee  shop  or  café. ‣ If  you  are  Skyping  from  your  home,  make  sure  your  home  telephone  is  turned  off  and  there  are  no  children  or   pets  that  could  interrupt  you. ‣ Dress  professionally  as  if  you  are  interviewing  in  person.  Do  not  just  wear  a  shirt  and  tie  as  you  never  know  if  you   might  have  to  stand  up  during  the  interview.  Solid  colors  work  best  when  video  interviewing  and  the  best  colors  to   wear  are  usually  shades  of  blue.  Prints  and  stripes  do  not  always  show  up  well  and  bright  hues  may  pick  up  too   much  color  which  will  make  you  appear  pale. Communication: ‣ Tell  the  other  party  if  it  is  your  first  time  doing  a  video  interview.  It  is  better  to  be  honest  than  to  appear   uncomfortable  or  nervous. ‣ Remember  to  look  at  the  camera  instead  of  the  other  person’s  picture.  Otherwise,  they  will  not  see  you  looking   directly  at  them.  This  is  difficult  to  get  used  to  the  first  few  times. ‣ Seeing  yourself  on  the  screen  can  be  distracting  so  you  may  want  to  cover  the  view  of  yourself.  Also,  remember   not  to  look  at  yourself  on  the  screen  and  make  adjustments  to  your  hair  or  face.  This  is  also  something  that  takes  a   few  times  to  get  accustomed  to. ‣ Reactions  translate  very  differently  on-­‐screen  so  it  is  important  to  compensate  with  extra  enthusiasm  and   concise  answers.  Talk  slowly  and  succinctly,  and  wait  until  the  other  person  is  done  speaking  before  you  reply. ‣ Remember  that  nothing  is  more  engaging  than  a  friendly  expression  or  smile. ‣ Have  fun  and  try  to  be  yourself.  Technology  works  best  when  it  is  in  the  background  and  you  can  focus  on  the   conversation. Taking  all  of  these  tips  into  consideration,  be  sure  to  do  a  trial  run  with  a  friend  or  colleague  a  few  days  before  an  interview   to  gather  their  constructive  criticism  on  all  of  the  above,  including  the  volume  of  your  voice.  And  make  sure  you  do  it  from   the  same  location  you  will  be  interviewing  from. Although  interviewing  candidates  by  video  cannot  replace  face-­‐to-­‐face  meetings,  it  provides  organizations  immense   benefits,  especially  for  first-­‐round  interviews.  This  technology  is  here  to  stay  and  is  only  going  to  improve  and  grow  in  its   usage.  So,  as  a  job  seeker,  if  you  think  that  it  is  unlikely  that  you  will  ever  have  to  do  a  video  interview,  think  again.  You  may   be  doing  it  sooner  than  you  think.HELBLING & ASSOCIATES, INC. RETAINED EXECUTIVE SEARCH C o n s t r u c t i o n   •   F a c i l i t i e s   M a n a g e m e n t   •   R e a l   E s t a t e   •   E n g i n e e r i n gPittsburgh www.helblingsearch.com 724.935.7500

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