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Video Interview Tips

June 8, 2021

Today we will share some tips with you to help you prepare and pass video interviews, regardless of your level of experience.

In the past, video interviews were used but they were less common, but today video interviews have become a regular practice for companies all around the world. The coronavirus pandemic being the main reason for this growth.

Early in 2020, Forbes noted how video technology was being used by at least 60% of recruiters. The survey, which was based on the participation of 506 companies, also found that 47% used video interviews to save time. With a further 22% considering video interviewing an alternative option for candidates who were not local. 

This was confirmed by an additional study from Gartner HR Survey, which suggested that 86% of employers were also conducting video interviews to hire candidates during the pandemic. 

As you can see, you may find it difficult to find a job now without going through a video interview. So, rather than worry about it being totally different, try and find a happy balance. 

With these staggering figures in mind let’s take a closer look at video interviews. You’ll soon see that there isn’t too much to be worried about. 

Advantages of Video Interviews

So, as you can see interviewing candidates via video is increasing in popularity, and it seems that this trend isn’t going to stop soon. But, what are the advantages of such an interview style?

This type of interview has a number of advantages, including the fact that it allows the candidate and the hiring manager of a company a lot of time, you can hire people from across various countries, and even continents, you can do more interviews in a day and it helps to promote remote work.

Differences From A Classic Interview 

The purpose and content of a video interview isn’t much different to that of a classic interview in an office. But, there are obviously some extra details that need to be covered on both sides before going into a video interview. 

The biggest difference is the human factor, namely you won’t be facing anybody really. This is quite a stressful situation because we get a lot of social cues from a person’s body language. So, it can be difficult to ‘read’ the situation. 

However, there is a further concern and that is all to do with how we look on camera. Many people feel embarrassed when talking on a camera, for example, and this can then impact their performance in an interview.

In addition to these points, there have been times when an interviewer has been sitting too far away from the camera, or they’ve had their camera upside down. In these circumstances it would be difficult for the candidate to communicate, and it would be hard for the candidate not to judge their future boss. This wouldn’t happen if you were in a classic interview. 

Further to this, some candidates have been interviewed by an interviewer who was sitting inside a car, or during lunch, all of which could make someone uncomfortable. Again, these are unlikely to happen in a classic interview. 

Finally, a major difference is that you have to use more equipment, which means that more could potentially go wrong. For example, a device could fail or run out of battery. 

Understanding video interviews

To help you understand video interviews even more, we’ve divided the ‘video interview’ idea into several sub-types, so you know what to expect from what video interview:

1. Online interview with a company representative via a specialized platform (Skype, Zoom, Microsoft Teams or Webex)

This is the most common type of video interview.

From a candidate's point of view, the key here is to prepare all the technical equipment needed in advance. This includes gathering details about the interview from the company, downloading a specialized program onto a personal device (if required), and making sure there is a good internet connection. 

It’s also important to test the microphone and headphones. And, if you’re going to have such an interview, it is better to do all the preparation work well in advance. 

Finally, if it’s possible ask the interviewer to test your connection to them before the interview officially starts.

2. Online interview with a company employee via messenger (WhatsApp, Viber or Telegram)

This is another popular video interview form. 

It’s mainly used by recruiters to form an initial acquaintance with a candidate. 

In this type of interview you’ll likely get a spontaneous call from a recruiter, so you may not be ready to talk. In this case, it would be absolutely fine to ask the recruiter to postpone the conversation.

It’s also good practice to choose a neutral, yet business-like, photo as a profile picture for such applications.  After all, you want to show the employer that you are responsible and professional.

3. Pre-recorded video interviews, or recording of interviews, without the participation of a company employee on a special platform (VCV, Wepow, Skillaz or OVR)

This video interview technique is often used during mass recruitment projects and/or for internship programs. 

In this case, you would be invited to follow a link to a specialized platform, and from here you would go on to answer a few questions. Your answers would be recorded and would be reviewed by the company. 

The idea with this type of interview is to interview loads of candidates, and to invite the best people to the next step in the interview process.

Sometimes you’ll only be asked to answer some general questions about yourself, or you may be told to perform a specific task in these interviews. Some employers also limit the response time (usually 1-3 minutes), and they usually make a record of assignments to avoid cheating, so you shouldn’t use books or the internet unless specified.

Top tips

You usually only have one chance to sell yourself to a recruiter, so use our tips below to triumph in your video interviews: 

1. Do not neglect the dress code - consider the dress style of your future employer.

During the pandemic, pictures and memes of workers in shorts and shirts have circulated around the world - so avoid putting yourself in awkward situation like this.

2. Restrain your pets and ask your family members not to bother you for a while.

3. If you lose your internet connection or the power goes out, try to change your location, ask for help from a friend or reschedule the meeting.

4. Do not be afraid to say that you have difficulties hearing your interviewer - tell him/her about it, so that you can hear the questions properly and to make sure you feel comfortable once again.

5. Do not neglect preparation.

Learn more about the company, try to sit in front of the camera and practice answering the most frequently asked questions. This will give you great confidence for when the interview comes.

Conclusion

In conclusion, we would like to say that this type of interview has almost turned into a separate ‘skill’ in itself, and that a present-day candidate should look at learning about it, especially if they’re counting on getting a job.

However, it’s important to remember that you are making your choice too, the above recommendations work both from the side of the person looking for a job and from the company. The company should also do their best to help job seekers feel comfortable.

We hope these guidelines help you to prepare for your upcoming video interviews, and we hope that you get the job you dream about.

References:

Forbes: Here’s How To Ace Your Next Video Interview

Gartner Survey: Gartner HR Survey Shows 86% of Organizations Are Conducting Virtual Interviews to Hire Candidates During Coronavirus Pandemic

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