Video Interviews: Do’s and Do Not’s

Recently, a client of mine has started utilizing a video interview tool.  Because I’m recruiting for a sales representative position, the client wants to be able to view the candidate “in person” before setting up an official interview.  The client can go into the website and view all the pre-recorded videos submitted by potential candidates, and decide whether or not they would be a good match.  This tool is very helpful, and is becoming a more common resource used by recruiters and decision makers.

As I have started actively recruiting using these videos, I’ve been shocked to see some of the things candidates will do or say when recording their responses to the interview questions.  To keep you from making the same mistakes, candidates, here are some dos and don’ts as you record your video interviews:

  1. Make sure you are in a quiet and well-lit place.  The whole point of this video is so the client can HEAR your voice and SEE you.  If there are background noises going on such as a TV, fan, or any other household noises, move to a different area or wait until a more quiet time. It will also distract the employer if there are moving objects behind you. If you’re in a setting where there is a chance for distractions to arise, pick a different area, or a better time when you know you will be able to record uninterrupted.
  2. Dress just as you would for a regular, in-person interview. Men, this means a button-down shirt and tie, at least. Stay away from T-Shirts or tank tops.  Ladies, a high-cut blouse or button-down shirt works well.  Stay away from low-cut tops or sleeveless shirts.  You also want to make sure that the camera is placed at an appropriate distance from you.  Ideally, it’s best for the video to capture you from the mid-waist up.  Don’t place it so close to you that all that’s visible is your face, or so far away that the viewer can see your whole body but can’t hear what you’re saying.
  3. Do not read from a script.  It can be awkward to stare at a camera and answer questions about yourself.  It’s ok to think about and plan out your answers, but try to make your responses come off as naturally as possible.  The viewer wants to see what you are like to talk with in person, so talk as you would if you were at a real interview. If it’s any comfort, according to Forbes author Cheryl Conner, “Only seven percent of communication on video is the actual words.” Since 93% of video communication is nonverbal, what you say isn’t as important as how you present yourself. (To read more of Conner’s practical digital interview advice, click here.) You’ll want to keep in mind the type of position you’re applying for.  In the case of the sales rep position I’m working on, we are looking for an outgoing personality and great communication skills.  If you sound like a robot, I’m probably not going to be able to picture you as a sales rep who can put a customer at ease while making a sale.

Overall, the best rule of thumb is to treat a video interview like you would an in-person interview.  As with any interaction pertaining to a potential job, always put your best foot forward.  This video interview is your opportunity to really sell yourself to the employer, so be prepared to present yourself well.

Preparing for a video interview is similar to getting ready for your first phone interview with an employer. Click here for valuable advice on how to get ready.

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