Many companies have started using video conferences to conduct interviews, and there are many reasons why. In this article, we'll discuss the main types of video conference interviews and how to best prepare for them.
Types of video interviews
If you are interviewing for a job in a different city, you may be asked to have a video interview. Sometimes companies want to make sure you are a serious candidate before spending money to have you travel. If a company is offering you a relocation deal, they may conduct one or all of your interviews over a video conference as well. If the company you're interviewing with is headquartered overseas or far away, your last interview with an executive could be a video interview as well.
Recruiters and human resource teams are using video conferencing to conduct screener interviews. These first-round interviews can be handled in a few minutes on a video meeting. These early interviews are used to make sure your background matches the needed qualifications and that you are still interested in the position. By handling these interviews remotely, companies save a lot of time and resources.
Some roles require a presentation as part of the interview process. Video conferencing can be used so candidates can present it to multiple people at the same time. Sometimes there is more than one interviewer and they aren't in the same office. Or the interviewer could want other members of the team to be a part of the presentation. Using a video conferencing interview can allow the candidate to present to multiple people without taking up too much time.
If the company has a lack of meeting space at a particular time, a video conference can be used by the interviewer to share their in-person interview with colleagues.
Whatever the reason for your video interview, you want to be prepared. Next, we will discuss how to get ready and master video conference interviews.
Before your video interview
You need to prepare for video interviews the same way you would for an in-person meeting. Practice commonly asked interview questions and answers. Since the interviewer won't be sitting across for you, you can keep notes out more easily. Feel free to write down talking points to reference during your interview.
You also want to practice providing context to your work history and experience. Interviewers don't always want you to reread your resume on the spot.
Test your equipment
You will want to make sure everything you need for your video conference works before your interview. If you are able to, test a video call with a friend to ensure everything is in working order.
- Make sure your internet connection is strong.
- Make sure there is nothing in the background that you wouldn't want the interviewer to see.
- Test your webcam or camera.
- Find a quiet room with good lighting.
- Have your phone nearby in case there are any issues that need to be addressed.
- Check your microphone.
- Make sure your computer is fully charged or plugged in. Your interview could take longer than you might expect.
During your video conference interview
Although you aren't at the company's office, you still want to look your best for your video conference interview. Candidates should wear interview attire that they would wear if they were in the office. A nice advantage of a video interview is you can wear something comfortable on the bottom though.
Make sure your video only shows your top half if you are going to do this. If you are worried, test what someone sees on their screen. A neat blouse or button-down shirt with a blazer are great professional options.
Watch your speed and volume
Make sure you speak clearly and look for cues from the interviewer. Give them time to ask the next question.
Even though you are in a video interview, the conversation should still flow. If you have notes in front of you, you don't want to constantly be looking down. Also, you will want to get the email addresses and contact information from all of the interviewers on the video conference call so you can send thank you notes.
Body language and eye contact
Once your video job interview starts, pay attention to your eye contact and body language. This is the biggest difference between phone interviews and video interviews. Make sure you aren't slouching or laying down.
Your body language should mimic how you would act during an in-person interview. You want the hiring manager to see that you are engaged and interested, so pay close attention to everything they say and stay focused on the screen during the call.
General video conferencing interview etiquette
During your job search, you should be prepared to have a video interview. It's important to use proper interview etiquette in any type of interview, so here are a few final tips for your video conference interview.
- Make sure whatever is visible is neat and clean (face, hair, clothing)
- Refrain from using slang
- Avoid loud or messy areas of your home
- If possible, sit behind a table or desk
Have confidence and show your potential employer you have what it takes to get the job done.