Although the economy is getting stronger, the job market remains highly competitive. Making it to the interview stage can be difficult, as there are typically more than 100 applicants per job opening, according to the Corporate Executive Board. The interview typically plays a significant role in choosing whom to hire. When you make it to the interview stage, you have to ensure that you impress your potential employers and stand out from the competition.
More and more companies hire offsite employees, so video interviewing has become normal procedure. Some of the interviewing skills for face-to-face interviewing translate to a video interview, such as researching the company and preparing your answers to the standard interview questions. However, there are some additional considerations for preparing for a video interview.
Dress for the Camera
The 2012 Census Bureau report says that 13.4 million American workers telecommute from home. Although you might still have to come in person, most of these positions involve remote interviewing, often with an initial phone interview followed by a video interview. It is just as important to dress to impress for a video interview as for one in-person. Even though you will be working from home, you want to make sure that you take the same effort to prepare how you look as you would for an in-person interview. Typically, it is best to err on the side of dressing too professionally, rather than too casually. Do not just make an effort in the clothing seen by the camera. You should dress just as if you are going to the interview in-person, from head to toe.
Remember that you will be on camera. Some clothes do not flatter, and even distract, when captured on camera. For example, prints and stripes can become visually distracting. Even with high-definition video, such as that with Blue Jeans Network, you still have to make sure to wear the right clothing.
It is not just your appearance that will be considered during your video interview; anything seen on camera provides information towards the impression you are making. Therefore, ensure the area you are in appears professional, is organized, is quiet and has no distractions. You will give the impression that you are a good, well-organized worker, which will benefit your overall chance. According to USA Today, you also want a background that is neutral and not distracting, so that you remain the focal point. You also want to make sure that you have the appropriate lighting, so stay away from any back lighting or harsh florescent lights.
Importance of Body Language
Body language is one of the most important tools of communication. About 93 percent of communication is nonverbal, a number that comes from the research of Dr. Albert Mehrabian, author of Silent Messages, that shows seven percent of communication is words, 38 percent is vocal elements (such as tone) and 55 percent nonverbal elements (facial expressions and gestures). With a video interview, you can still use the full spectrum of communication to express yourself, and your interviewee will be able to use body cues to form an opinion and an impression about you. It is easier when you are at an in-person interview to remember to pay attention to your body language, but it can be harder on camera. The most important thing is to remember to smile and continue to make eye contact. It can be harder to remember to make eye contact with a video interview, because the camera is in a different place from where your eyes are typically drawn. Remember to look directly into the camera.
Check your Technology
Before you begin your interview, make sure that your Internet connection works, the camera is on, and the program is downloaded and running. If you are using a video chat program, such as Blue Jeans Network, you want to try it out before the interview, especially if you have never used it before. The more you prepare beforehand to prevent mishaps, the less chance that one will occur. However, there is always the risk of a problem happening. When it does, be honest and tell your interviewerright away. He or she will understand that technical glitches may happen and will appreciate the candor.
Practice before the Interview
Interviews can be nerve-wracking in the best of situations. Add in the awkwardness of a video meeting, and it becomes even more so. Like anything, practice makes perfect. You can practice with a friend or family member. Wear the clothing you have chosen for the interview to ensure it looks great on camera and does not distract. Think of it as a dress rehearsal. Have your friend ask you questions that you think might be in the interview. You can even record the interview so that you can review it yourself, rather than relying solely on your friend’s feedback. After having a practice run or two under your belt, you will be much more at ease when you interview. Additionally, you can ensure that everything works appropriately so you do not have any technical difficulties.