Video interviews are on the rise and technology is becoming increasingly involved in all stages of the recruitment process. As a result, don’t be surprised to be asked to participate in an interview in front of a camera!

There are several reasons for the increase in popularity of video based interviews. Primarily, they can save an employer a lot of money. Recent figures say the savings can be as much as 80%. If an employer, or the role, is overseas, an initial video interview can prevent the need for an applicant to embark on lengthy travel at considerable expense.

A video interview can also be a lot more revealing than a phone interview to a potential employer. The phone interview has always been a common, initial means of shortlisting in a recruitment process. One tip which can be surprisingly useful with a phone interview is to dress as you would for a face-to-face interview. Take part in a telephone interview dressed for a business meeting and if possible standing up. This can drastically increase your self-confidence and encourage you to accurately convey your ability and determination in a highly professional way. Unsurprisingly, you are less likely to demonstrate proficiency if you take the call in your PJs!

So, you’ve been told the initial stage of the shortlisting process is a video interview. What can you do to prepare?

Find out what communication product the interviewer is going to use. It may be Skype, Shortlist or Jobvite. If it is to be Skype, make sure your Skype name is something appropriate. Just as a joke email address for job-hunting is highly inappropriate, it is important that any other contact details are professional. Use a professional style profile photograph as well – first impressions really count and a suitable photograph and profile is like a firm digital handshake and smile. Have a trial run of the video software with a friend. Make sure the image is clear and that you can hear and be heard clearly. A decent Wi-Fi connection is absolutely essential, so do not sit in your local coffee shop for your interview!

If you live in an area where the broadband connection is a bit hit and miss, make arrangements to hold the interview in a friend’s home instead – preferably one with a reliable high speed internet connection.

Make sure the room is clutter free and tidy. Keep the space behind you as minimal as possible. Ensure you won’t be disturbed and that the noise outside isn’t too distracting e.g. a very busy road or next to a school playground etc.

You should be furnished with all of the necessary details before ‘interview day’ but if you are not then don’t be afraid to get in touch and ask who you will be speaking to and their role within the company. Make sure you know when the interview starts and details about the conference setup process and an approximate length of interview.

Occasionally, you may be asked to submit a video presentation and send it in as an application. Although extremely daunting, this version of interview means that unlike where an interviewer gets to see you ‘live’ and see and hear everything you say as you say it; you can keep editing and re-recording until you are happy with the results.

  • Look your very best in professional looking clothing.
  • Look straight at the webcam or camera.
  • Speak clearly and practice not speaking too fast.
  • Look at the camera as if you are taking directly to someone, looking at their eyes.
  • You can have notes off camera but try not to refer to them too much.

If you have done the relevant setting up and preparation beforehand and completed any necessary research, then a video interview is just like talking to someone in a regular interview. Research, practice and test yourself beforehand – if you are completely familiar with the process and yourself, then just breathe and try and enjoy the experience!