With dependable broadband availability, practically all large companies with teams and clients spread around the globe have video conferencing facilities in their offices. A video interview is a good way to screen candidates at a distant location – foreign or domestic – before shortlisting the candidate for an in-person interview.
Even small to mid-size companies are turning to video conferencing through pre-booked facilities at a local provider’s venue as a way to cut down the time and financial cost involved in having the candidate or the interviewers travel to the location. Hence, it is likely that you would be giving your share of video interviews.
Know the Facility
As a candidate giving the interview, you need to look for a provider who offers video conferencing facilities. A quick search on the Internet can you give you a few names in your city. Choose the one closest to your office or home, for ease in reaching the location. Check the place in advance and share the required detail with the contact person in the interviewing company. Make sure the facility is reputed. This makes sure that you give an uninterrupted interview with no connectivity or power failure or noise issues.
Communicate with the Company
Make sure that you convey the required coordinates and details to the video conferencing facility as well as the interviewing company so that the video conference can be set up easily with no last minute hitches.
Book in advance and reach the facility at least 15-20 minutes early so that you are sure that a previous call does not overshoot and eat into your time. Make sure that you are connected and ready for the interview at least 5 minutes before the interview time.
Dress Well – Groom Perfect
Make sure that you are dressed well and groomed right since you would be visible to the interviewers. As with all interviews, your attire must be in formals. If it is right for the position you seek, wear a jacket, if not make sure you have your tie on. Don’t assume that since only the top half shows as you will be sitting through the interview, you will dress up for just that part. You might find yourself standing at the beginning or at the end of the interview and this will show the rest of you. So, make sure that you are dressed and groomed right, from top to bottom.
Body Language and Etiquette
Sit erect and carry a positive body language. When the first introductions are made, acknowledge the interviewers with a nod, a smile and the appropriate welcome phrases. Pay attention to the names and designations. The answer the interviewer expects to her question depends on her department. Remembering their official detail helps you judge the intent behind the question.
You may use hand gestures to a certain extent. If you don’t, you may come across as stiff. Lean forward slightly to show your interest in the interview and the job.
When the interview is being set up, ask for the names and designations of the interviewers. Look them up on LinkedIn to know their background. This will give you greater understanding of their expected questions. It will also help you remember their names during the interview.
In a video interview, you cannot turn to the interviewer who has asked the question, nor make eye contact. So call out their name when addressing the answer to them. When not answering a question, observe the interviewers to understand them better.
Although the screen displays the interviewers, make sure that the picture-in-picture facility works so that you can view your image in a smaller window. This helps you check from time to time if all is well with how you project yourself. But do it discreetly without allowing it to be a source of distraction. Look at the camera, not at the screen. This gives the impression that you are looking at the interviewer. Don’t look at the desk, the ceiling or any place else.
Practice and Test
If you have a webcam, which most laptops do, take a practice run. Give a speech or ask a friend to conduct a mock interview and record the event. Correct the incongruities, wrong body postures and so on so that you are well-prepared to project the right image during the actual interview.
Don’t be hesitant about the technology. It is merely a screen with the interviewers at the other end. Adapt yourself to it and remain comfortable. Focusing on the interviewers, their postures and questions is one way of doing this.
Make sure that the table and the room are neat. If the previous callers have left behind papers and other material, leave them outside to avoid distractions to the interviewer.
Speak Slow – Speak Well
Although the interviewers can see you, it is still not as effective as an in-person interview. So make sure that you speak slow with enough rhythm and variation so that you don’t sound monotonous. Your tone must be energetic to show your interest in the job and to project the right image of you.
Just as you would do with all interviews – phone, video or in-person – send a thank you email as part of your follow-up. Ask for an estimated time period by which the company would respond. Call back if there is no response by that time.
So, relax, remain interested and energetic and answer the questions as you would in an in-person interview.