Video interviews are becoming an increasingly common way for companies to narrow down their list of candidates and perhaps even take things all the way to the hiring stage.

Are you ready for your close up? If not, you should be, because your next job interview may take place through the medium of video conferencing.


Why are employers choosing this interview method?

Difficult economic conditions have forced businesses to look closely at their budgets and conducting interviews by video allows employers to cut the time and costs involved in the hiring process. It also means companies can meet a much larger number of candidates in a shorter space of time than traditional face to face interviews would allow.
Video conferencing gives employers the chance to be consistent, by asking the same set of questions to each candidate. It also allows the interview to be replayed and reviewed, so interviewees can be compared without the need to rely on notes, or the memory of the interviewer.


How does it work?

If you are looking to work abroad then your interview may be carried out by using video conferencing software. It may take place at an office or other off-site company location or perhaps even at your own home. If they don’t already have the necessary setup, the company may send you a webcam and the appropriate software. An interview appointment will then be scheduled and you will receive instructions on how to use the software. The process may be one-way, with a pre-determined list of questions and software taking the place of the interviewer, or two-way, where you  and interviewer will speak using the software in real time.


Essential Video Interview Tips

  •  Prepare yourself ahead of time

Since you are not meeting your employer face to face, you should think about sending the interviewer your CV and any other applicable document prior to the day of the interview. Two days before is the best time to send all the relevant papers.

  • Practice

If you are not used to being in front of a camera then a good way of becoming comfortable with it is to practice the interview in the form of a role-play with a friend who is also in front of a camera. This way, you will hopefully gain more confidence which can be used to your advantage when you’ve got the real video interview.

  • Background and light

If you have the video interview at your own home then make sure you test the software and also check your background and lightning. If the sun is shining, the light often blocks out the screen so make sure that that doesn’t happen by checking everything first.

  • Look in the camera

You may be tempted to look at yourself when you have the video interview but it is extremely important that you look throughout the interview at the webcam and not the screen. This will ensure you are keeping good eye contact with your interviewer and also gives the impression that you are very confident.


Can a Video Interview Increase my chances of getting the Job?

The good news is that if you approach it correctly, a video interview can help you be successful in your job search. If you give a good interview using video conferencing software, you’ll show that you’re comfortable with technology. You’ll also have the chance to practice with the software until you’re at ease. If you have picture-in-picture during the interview, you’ll be able to see how you’re coming across to your interviewers and adjust if necessary, something you don’t get the chance to do in a traditional interview format.

If you prepare thoroughly for your video interview and take care to give the best impression possible of yourself, you may be able to secure the job without ever having set foot in the office!

Example of a video interview:


Other Retargets and references:

Some other good tips are at this Yale university document on Video Conferencing Interviews.