Making Video and Webcam Job Interviews Work for You

Cutting recruitment costs just make sense regardless of the state of the economy. That’s why more and more employers are turning to virtual interviews.

If you’re a job seeker who has never had the opportunity to participate in a virtual interview, prepare yourself for Skyping your next job interview. As companies around the country try to cut costs, more and more are finding they can control recruitment expenses and still interview a wide range of talent by using video and webcams to narrow down the pool of candidates.

In fact, approximately 10% of nearly 500 companies which participated in the 2015 “Talent Acquisition Strategies” survey used video as part of their recruitment process, according to Aberdeen Group, a Boston-based research firm.

How Video and Webcam Job Interviews Work

There are basically two ways of using video during the job interview, according to websites like HireVue, VideoView, and InterviewStream, which offer “employer-driven online video interviewing solutions.”

First, there is the one-way virtual interview in which job candidates respond to standardized questions while being recorded on video. Their recorded responses can then be replayed by all company participants who are involved in the hiring process.

The difficulty for candidates is that you have a designated amount of time (usually 30 seconds) to read a question and consider a response as well as a set amount of time (generally about three minutes) to provide an answer. It can be tough to get it right the first time. Fortunately, service providers try to make the experience as user-friendly as possible by guiding you through the process step-by-step, including offering you a practice session.

The benefit of this type of video interview is that every candidate receives the same set of questions and every hiring manager sees the same recorded response. Plus the video which candidates record can be done at a time when it is convenient for them.

The alternative is the live webcam interviews in which webcams are shipped to candidates and a two-way video interview is conducted. If you’ve ever been in a meeting or training session that used video conferencing, it is a very similar experience.

Candidates have the opportunity to interview with employers in real time just like if they were sitting in the same office. That means you’ll want to be on your best behavior and use proper job interview etiquette.

Putting Your Best Face Forward During a Virtual Interview

It really doesn’t matter whether you are asked to participate in a one-way or two-way interview format when it comes down to doing it right the same basic principles apply.

Here are five tips to help you do your best:

  • Treat this experience like any other job interview. Demonstrate you are a professional both in appearance and behavior. Wear a suitable interview outfit in flattering colors.
  • Prepare as much as possible in advance. Find out all the details such as the type of interview process and how much time you should set aside. Just like in traditional face-to-face interviews, be sure to practice.
  • Familiarize yourself with the process. Lots of movement may appear herky-jerky and be distracting. Talking too loud can be annoying. You’ll want to seem comfortable and relaxed, but you still need to sit up straight, minimize your body and eye movements and be careful not to make exaggerated facial expressions.
  • Choose your interview space wisely. Find a quiet place where you won’t be interrupted by a ringing phone, barking dog or crying baby. Avoid a busy backdrop or an area that is filled with personal belongings.
  • Though there are those who prescribe to the school of complete honesty and suggest that you let the interviewer know if you’re a novice, to use the excuse that you’ve never done this before could rank you as an amateur. In today’s high-tech business world you don’t want to seem out of step. Better to err on the side of non-disclosure and just do your best.

Remember once you start the process, you’re there till the end. If you stand up and move around, everyone will know. But with a little practice, you’ll be making video and webcam job interviews work for you in no time.