Video Interviews

More and more employers are using web based job video interviews to screen candidates for employment.  For the employer, video interviewing can save time and hiring expenses.

How about for you, the candidate for employment? Can video interviewing help you get the job? It can, if you prepare thoroughly. A good video interview can be as effective as an in-person interview. It's important though to understand how the process works, so you can interview professionally.

If you are going to have a video interview, the employer will advise what software they will be using. The most popular software used for video interviews is Skype and this, along with other popular video interview software is outlined below.

HINTS & TIPS

Whether you are being interviewed by video, over the phone or in person, all general rules of a job interview apply. 

Research the company, read the job description thoroughly, know your CV inside out and have a few answers for common interview questions prepared. 

Preparation: 

Download the video conferencing program

Username - Make sure your user name or ’handle’ is professional e.g.  joebloggs or joe-engineer. Do NOT have a username like beerlover2012 or Casanova_galway.

Environment - Clean up the space around your computer. Make the background space a white or clean wall. Remove all distractions in the area including pets and telephones. Close all windows so outside noise like cars and dogs barking are not audible in the room. Tell everyone in your house that you are doing an interview and to not distract you. Close all software programs, such as chat programs and emails, so the alerts do not distract the employer or you during the interview.

Clothes - It is suggested that you dress professionally, as it will get you in to interviewing mindset and will help you feel more professional. Avoid wearing patterns, stripes or floral as some employers may find them distracting and it can interfere with the video signal. 

Testing - Run a couple of tests to ensure everything is working properly. Test the microphone by speaking into it and listening to your voice through the speakers. Adjust the speakers so you can hear your voice. If you are using headphones, plug them into the computer outlet for headphones and test the microphone once again.

Camera - It is also worth noting that just because your laptop has a built-in video camera and microphone does not mean that the quality is up to par. Instead, test out the video and audio capabilities on your computer and decide whether you need to buy a headset with a microphone or an attachable video camera.

Conduct a mock interview – Find a person you trust and use the video conferencing software to conduct a mock interview. You are bound to make a few mistakes, so it is best to practice with someone who can provide honest feedback.


During the Interview

Set up - Adjust the web camera so you are in the middle of the screen. Do not zoom in so the employer can only see your face or zoom out so the employer can see everything in the room. 

Look into the camera – During video interviews, some people fixate on themselves on the computer screen. This gives the impression that the candidate is not making eye contact with the interviewer at the other end. 

Lighting – Check to be sure you have enough lighting that doesn’t create shadows or throw too harsh a look into your screen.

Slow it down – It can be easier to talk over people in a video interview so wait for the interviewer to stop speaking before you answer. This also gives you a few seconds to think about what you want to say before you speak.

Be enthusiastic – Video interviews tend to dampen one’s personality so make an effort to smile and act like your pleasant self as much as possible.

 

POPULAR SOFTWARE USED FOR VIDEO INTERVIEWS

Skype: if you plan to use Skype just for calling other Skype users, then it’s free - you can even have a small online meeting. Skype is very easy to install, set-up and begin using. You can download Skype for your pc or smartphone. 

Google Hangout: lets people video call other people signed up for the service (in this case, Google+), regardless of their location. Users can video conference with up to 10 people (who must also be on Google+) for free. Only one small plugin installation is necessary. 

iChat: There are no downloads necessary, as it comes pre-installed on your Mac computer. This tool makes it easy for people to video conference in high-quality video and audio, and users can also share their screens for a more complete video conferencing experience.

VBuzzer: much like Skype, this software offers free calls to other VBuzzer users. Web conferencing is free for conferences of up to four people - this includes instant messages, voice chat and video conferencing.  You can download VBuzzer software for use with your PC or Mac computer operating system, as well as for your iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad or Android smart phones

TinyChat: a browser-based video chatting tool that hosts video meetings. When you create a chat room on TinyChat, it gives you a URL that you can share with your video conferencing guests.