Employers have a new weapon in their arsenal when it comes to screening and selecting candidates. Video interview applications – like Skype and HireVue – are gaining popularity, and if you’re embarking on a job search, you can bet you’ll be asked to video interview online.
This method of interviewing adds the visual communication cues that the phone does not provide, but video can’t quite match all of the nuances of meeting in-person. There’s no assessing the way you enter a room, or brandish your handshake. Not to mention, not everyone loves the idea of seeing themselves on camera.
There are perks, though. You can interview on your own, familiar turf. If you are uploading a one-way interview, there’s opportunity for multiple takes and do-overs. And video offers a richer experience than phone without the inconvenience of travel, maneuvering parking obstacles, and navigating strange buildings.
While tech professionals probably have no trouble testing their internet connection or utilizing a webcam, there are a few crucial factors to success. Take note.
Create the Right Environment
There are many aspects of a job search you can’t control, but you can control your interview environment. Find a spot that is free from interruptions, clutter, and distractions.
Have a noisy dog, or child at home? Arrange for them to be out of the house during your interview.
Lack a home office environment to set up your cam? Cash in a favor to use a friend’s office digs, or ask a former employer to borrow a bit of office space.
Is your home office space bursting with Dr. Who paraphernalia? Clean it up, or choose a less distracting space. This way, the interviewer can focus on what you bring to the table – not that life size TARDIS hovering just in view.
Lose the Flip Flops
One of the perks of working in IT is often that you aren’t client-facing, and your daily uniform can consist of cargo shorts, tee shirt, and crocs.
But a video interview isn’t an excuse to forgo typical interview-wear. For any type of interview through any medium, dressing for success makes you feel professional and polished, helping you exude that confidence to the interviewer.
Know Your Audience
Sure, you’re communicating in our native tongue, but sometimes tech guys and gals can go a bit over our heads, making us feel like you’re speaking a totally different language.
In many cases, the video interview is used to screen candidates before bringing them in for the real deal. Often, you’ll be interviewing with an HR manager, and not the Director of IT during this phase of candidates selection. Make sure you know who you will be interviewing with, and prepare to tailor your interview responses accordingly.
Perhaps more important than what you say is how you say it. Be enthusiastic and show through this powerful medium that you want the job.