by Cindy Fassler

Video Interviews are here to stay!

While people indicate they do not enjoy video interviewing, don’t think for a second that they are going away any time soon. Video interviewing is a no-brainer for companies based on cost savings and value-add, and everyone should learn to video interview comfortably.

Video interviews allow firms to:

  • screen candidates 3X faster
  • increase the scale of recruiting programs
  • bring geographic and socio-economic diversity into the process
  • share results within and between people/departments
  • significantly decrease costs

There are 2 kinds of video interviews: One-way, where you’ll be alone and responding to pre-recorded questions, and two-way, which is basically a video conference with an individual recruiter or a group on the other end.

One-way video interviews are also called asynchronous or on-demand because the questions are pre-recorded and they don’t require the interviewer to be present. They can be taken on a phone or computer, wherever you are and on your own time, but usually within a certain timeframe. Often you will be allowed a few tries to get your answers right, but sometimes it’s a ‘one and done’ situation (very much like an interview).

Video conferences, or two-way interviews, are live performances—the people on the call are watching and assessing you so be sure to have thought things through beforehand. A couple of good pieces of advice for these kinds of interviews are

1)     Provide a phone number to the recruiter in case of a technology failure. You still want to take the interview whether or not you can actually see each other.

2)     Dress professionally from the ground up, not just from the waist up. If you need to stand up or move around for whatever reason you want to be completely presentable.  

Your goals for a video interview should be the same as for an in-person interview and you should take it as seriously as you would a face-to-face interview. This means preparing yourself carefully by doing research and practicing your responses. But planning for a video interview goes beyond that. There are a number of things you need to consider before taking a video interview:

  • Read any and all instructions carefully.
  • Check your internet connection: If it is not strong, relocate to a place that has a better signal.
  • Ensure your microphone and webcam work and are verified by the system. Practice a response and replay it. If you do not see yourself onscreen as you are talking something is wrong.
  • Find where your camera is on your computer and look at it.
  • Basic questions: Video interviews are usually early in the interview process and the questions are often quite basic, ‘tell me about yourself’ and ‘list your strengths and weaknesses’ are examples, so have those responses down pat.
  • How many questions: Generally 1 – 10, determined by the company.
  • How many retries: This number varies and is customizable by the firm.
  • Minimize distractions:
    •  Consider the background that employers see behind you and make sure it is clean and professional.
    • Consider lighting and test it out using your computer camera.
    • Consider noise and make sure you are in a location where there will be no interruptions or distractions.
    • Consider your position and posture. If possible, sit at a desk with your computer right in front of you. Sit upright and don’t slouch.
    • Dress for success: What you wear matters so you should dress professionally, as you would for a regular interview.
  • Practice, practice, practice. There are a lot of video interviewing programs out there. Some of the more popular programs include InterviewStream, HireVue, MyInterview, and VidRecruiter but there are many more. If you can find out the system that you will be asked to use, go online and try to practice an interview using that system. Often you can do so for free. Minimally, you can see what the program looks like and how it operates.

The positives of video interviewing outweigh the negatives in many instances. Often you can take them on your own time, at your preferred location, on your own computer or phone. They open up opportunities and allow you access to organizations that are far away geographically. Video interviews allow you to connect with and be seen by many more people than a traditional interview because they are easily shared and available 24/7.  Yes, they feel awkward and a little remote, but video interviews are here to stay so jump on the bandwagon and embrace the inevitable!