Not only is the job search landscape changing, so is the way companies conduct interviews. Increasingly, recruiters are leveraging technology in their hiring processes. Chiefly, they’re using online communication tools like Skype and Google Hangouts, and online interviewing platforms such as Jobvite and Interview4 to conduct video interviews. If you are in the process of a job search, chances are you will be participating in a video interview at some point. Here, we explore the move from traditional interviews to video interviews and provide you with tips to help you prepare for this new norm. Historically, formal, in-person interviews have been the most common interview type. Employers want to see how candidates present themselves and how they interact with others in the office to determine if there is a good fit. At the same time, in-person interviews allow a candidate to get a first impression of the company and often are good indicators of how compatible he or she will be with the office’s culture.
What is prompting the shift from in-person interviews to video interviews?
At Palo Alto Staffing, we’re seeing busy schedules and hiring managers’ pressing needs leading the way to the prevalence of video interviews in the hiring process. Though recruiters haven’t completely abandoned the initial phone screen, the video interview is becoming more and more popular. Video interviews create an experience similar to traditional in-person interviews without imposing the scheduling challenges that can come with in-person interviews. What’s more, video interviews offer an advantage over initial phone screens because they allow recruiters to see how candidates present themselves—looking at things like how professional they appear, what their mannerisms convey and how they interact with others. There are some differences between video interviews and traditional phone screens. The video interview is much more thorough than the traditional phone screen, giving recruiters greater insights into a candidate’s potential success within the company. Also, the video interview gives candidates a great opportunity to display confidence, expertise and their ability to recruiters and hiring managers.
How should candidates prepare for a video interview?
Preparation for video interviews is quite similar to preparation for in-person interviews. At the end of the day, you will still be face-to-face (albeit virtually) with a hiring manager, so you want to make sure your presentation is not casual but is well-polished. Below are some steps candidates can take to prepare for a video interview:
1. Dress for success. A video interview is just as serious as an in-person interview, so present yourself in a professional manner. Dress professionally and make sure you are well groomed. Also, pay attention to your posture and make an appropriate level of eye contact.
2. Check your software. As soon as you get asked to interview, make sure you have the proper software on your computer and that you know how to use it. If possible, find someone who has the same type of video platform and test it to make sure everything works on your end. This will also be a good time to run through some practice questions and make sure you’re ready for the interview. Be sure to recheck everything a few hours before the appointed interview time.
3. Be mindful of your environment. Conduct your interview in an area that is quiet, clean and free of distractions. Let your family or housemates know about the interview so they don’t interrupt you. If you have children, arrange for someone to take care of them, and be sure your pets are quiet and secure.
4. Have a game plan. Prepare for the questions recruiters will ask you—from the expected (‘Tell me about yourself’) to the unexpected (‘Why don’t you want to work for our competitor?’).
5. Do your homework. As you would for a traditional interview, make sure you research about your desired position both within the company and industry where you are interviewing, as well as in other industries. Be able to talk about your profession in multiple contexts.
6. Review. Know the bullet points of the job description for your desired position and pinpoint how you can bring something to the table for each one.
7. Be relevant. Relate how well your previous work experience translates to the role you are interviewing for. Provide specific examples of how you fulfilled the requirements of this job in your previous position. Show the hiring managers that you can hit the ground running and that you won’t need a lot of training.
8. Finally, be sure to remember to follow-up. Post-interview follow-up is a professional gesture that helps candidates leave a good impression with hiring managers. Be sure your thank you note – whether email, which is most common today or hand-written – communicates why you are thankful and how you believe you can affect the company positively.
Best of luck in your search! Have you been on a video interview yet? If so, please share your tips for success!