It will come as no big shock to anyone that technology has made the world a whole lot smaller. It has allowed people to communicate face to face from anywhere in the world, all they have to do is pick up their phone or laptop. Faster and higher quality video has been a huge contributor to the mainstreaming of flexible working and the technology is having a similar effect on recruitment.
It's no wonder either. According to research, video interviews are 6 times faster than phone interviews and can shorten the hiring process by up to 10 days. This reduction in time is crucial to acquiring talent as 60% of candidate dropouts are based solely on the process taking too much time.
Surely a face to face interview trumps all else? Well, it depends on what procedure a company decides is best for them. Some companies conduct video interviews, even if the candidate is living close by, while some will insist that a candidate living abroad fly-in.
Just to be clear, the majority of guidelines set out for a face to face interview still stand, however, there are some differences that candidates tend to overlook.
Here are our top five tips for video interviews.
1. Keep your computer free of clutter
This is especially important for technical interviews, where you may need to run not just the video stream but also the software where you will write code. Open applications may slow down the video feed or software so be sure to close them down before the interview begins.
Even applications that are not open can still have pop-ups. I encounter this problem all the time as pop-ups from Outlook or Chrome block the corner of my screen, so If you're not sure how to disable these or are short on time, just uninstall the ones that are regular offenders. Something like this could throw you off or take valuable seconds off your time.
2. Check and double-check your equipment
This one is obvious I know but probably the most important. Test out the audio and video even if it was working last week or two days ago, Skype a friend and say hello, I am sure they will be happy to hear from you.
If for whatever reason you need to take the interview in a coffee shop, be sure to test the connection speed. Internet Health Test is a great app that allows you to test the connection speed of the broadband you are using. Once again, check and double-check!
If you are taking the interview from the comfort of your own home then go back to basics. Dust off the ethernet cable and give yourself peace of mind.
3. Location is key
You need to be careful when choosing a location to conduct your video interview, the best place is obviously at home with far less chance of distraction. Understandably though, sometimes that is just not an option. So where is the next best place?
Simply, anywhere that is quiet. Find a library or use a friends house and try to find a plain background, you want the interviewer to be focused on you not some funky artwork on the wall.
Your current workplace is definitely not a good place. The last thing you want is a colleague or worse your boss interrupting you, it could easily throw you off, not too mention causing a very awkward moment.
4. Look into the camera
You wouldn't stare at the ground if you were chatting with someone face to face, would you?
Remember to conduct yourself, in the same manner, you would a face to face interview. Position the camera at eye level so as to not be looking up or down at the interviewer, it just looks strange. This one can be disregarded during a technical test, but when engaging in conversation try to look at the camera itself and not the screen. This one might seem weird at first, something you might need to practice.
5. Be conscious of your body language
Give off the right message to the interviewer by being conscious of your body language. Don't be too rigid or too slouched either, although this may be hard when nerves set in, do try to be mindful of what your body is saying as well as your mouth.
Remember, a large proportion of communication is non-verbal but yet the importance of body language is often understated.
Sign off on a high by engaging in some chit chat with the interviewer, this will leave a positive lasting impression. It could be a good idea to ask for their email address as well, this will allow you to get some feedback in a timely manner and also to say thank you to them once again for the interview itself
I guess if you take anything away from this it would be to just try and conduct yourself in the same manner you would a face to face interview and if you are reading this article as research for an upcoming interview, then good luck!