Video Interviews – The New Normal

May 19, 2017 Appirio

By: Chad Roudebush

Offering a remote work environment is the wave of the future — and the future is here and now.  The “traditional” office setting and working your standard 9 to 5 is becoming archaic as companies change the way they do business. Video conferencing, Google Hangouts, Skype, FaceTime – these are the new outlets that provide flexibility to employers for running their business successfully, while also allowing current and future employees the great work-life balance they deserve. Using these tools during interviews is a convenient way to assess talent on a global scale, while simultaneously giving candidates a peek inside how your organization operates on a global, remote scale.

Ways to interview: old vs. new

Traditionally, to be considered for a job, you’d construct a resume, or CV, showcasing the values and skills you possess that are relevant to the job you’re applying for. You’d then submit that electronic piece of paper and wait anxiously to hear back from a recruiter or hiring manager.   Meanwhile, while you waited, you’d inevitably question yourself. “Did I elaborate enough on my experiences?” “Did I misspell anything?” “Do I have what they’re looking for?”

While resumes/CV’s are still a huge part of hiring, video interviewing allows you to truly showcase yourself on a personal level. Connecting live with someone to discuss your experience and skills creates a setting of intimacy and trust. Being able to exhibit your communication style, professionalism, and personality through video provides much more value to the interviewer versus reading bullet points on a piece of paper.  

How do I prepare for a video interview?

Receiving an email or phone call to schedule a video interview can be both exciting and intimidating. The concept seems simple enough, but there are several things you need to take into consideration prior to jumping into a video chat with a hiring manager or potential colleague.  

Research — Do your research on the company and the role you’re interviewing for within that company. This is nothing new, but being virtually face-to-face with someone creates a different dynamic when answering questions like  “why is this company interesting to you?” or “what attracted you to this opportunity?”  

Time —  Live video interviews are scheduled based off of your availability and the availability of individuals on the hiring team. If you’re late to the interview or if you don’t allot enough time for the interview, that looks bad. This can be perceived as the interview not being a priority for you. Plan ahead by getting online and “ready” a minute or two before the predetermined time, and allowing a few extra minutes at the end of the call, or not having a “hard stop.”

Place —  Think about your settings and surroundings. Where you are when conducting a video interview says a lot about your professionalism. Will it be quiet? Will there be obvious distractions? Is it well lit or are there shadows? Whether you’re the candidate or the interviewer, this virtual connection is oftentimes a first impression. Make sure your “area” is well-lit, quiet, has zero distractions, and is a place where you are comfortable. Letting your true self shine is a crucial detail and is what can separate you from the competition. If you’re not in surroundings that make you comfortable, it will be clear to the interviewer.

Attire —  How to dress for a virtual interview is not often a priority. When a recruiter informs you that you’ll be conducting a video interview, you want to make sure you get the details – time, date, link to the video chat, who you’re interviewing with – these are the crucial particulars that will inform the appearance you want to project. Although this is not in-person meeting, you want to treat it as such. You wouldn’t (at least I hope you wouldn’t) show up to an in-person interview wearing a T-shirt and hat, so don’t do it for a video interview either. You want to look professional, feel confident, and give the interviewer confidence in you. I always recommend a suit jacket and a nice shirt.

Things to rememberDon’t over do it. Trying too hard to smile, staying upbeat or staring at the camera to maintain eye contact can come across as forced. Remember,  the inability to do these things is what makes us human. Just be yourself, be confident — but not arrogant — show your “human” side, and don’t panic if something doesn’t go exactly as you had planned. Practice makes perfect. With ample notice leading up to an interview, practice speaking about yourself and your experience. Whether it’s in front of the mirror or with a friend or family member, you’ll recognize areas of improvement and will have more confidence going into the interview.  

We use video interviews at Appirio as part of our hiring process all the time, and our teams are currently hiring. Check out our opportunities today!

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