Not too long ago here on NexGoal, we talked about two major video interview mistakes that job seekers cannot make if they hope to make it to the in-person interview stage. Well, it turns out that article was a hit—and job seekers just like yourself are looking for even more guidance when it comes to video interviewing.
Although it is not a new method of being interviewed, many job seekers seem to put a video interview in the same realm as a phone screen. However, the lack of preparation and seriousness displayed by some job seekers has become evident to hiring managers—often leading to a job seeker failing to be brought in for an in-person interview.
Because of this, we decided to poll a few hiring managers to provide three tips for job seekers when it comes to getting ready for their next video interview. Before we get into the tips, all of the hiring managers wanted us to drive home the same message to job seekers, “Please, please take your next video interview seriously.”
Tip No. 1: Preparation is Key
One of the most common responses from hiring managers was that job seekers seem to be far less prepared for a video interview than other types of interviews. From technology issues to messy rooms, these hiring managers have seen it all—and waited impatiently for job seekers to be ready for their video interview because of it.
We discussed checking software requirements in advance of your interview in our previous article, but you should go a little bit further. Have a friend jump on a Google Hangout or Skype call with you 30 minutes before the interview to make sure your camera and microphone are working properly and volume levels are set correctly.
In that same camera and microphone test, ask that friend what they can see in the room behind you. If anything stands out as distracting or messy, remove it from the area. The last thing a job seeker wants is for the hiring manager or person conducting the interview to be distracted by anything other than their responses to the questions being asked.
Tip No. 2: Dress as if You Were Interviewing Face to Face
We have all heard the “I didn’t wear any pants for my video interview” joke from someone over the years. While that may or may not be a real thing job seekers do, many of the hiring managers we spoke with said they have seen far too many candidates not “dressing for success” in their video interview.
Think about the time and effort you put into getting ready for the in-person interview for a second. Why do you do that?
The answer is usually pretty simple—you want the hiring manager to SEE you dressed well and not let clothing be the reason you do not get offered a job. So, why would you take the video interview any less seriously when it comes to what you wear?
Unless someone specifically told you to not dress up for the video interview, how long does it really take to toss on a collared shirt and a tie and slip on a pair of dress pants if you are a guy? Ladies, we understand doing your hair and getting dressed up can take longer than the guys—but if you really want the job you are interviewing for, why not make the extra effort?
To the hiring managers we spoke with, not dressing up for a video interview was classified as “lazy” and “unprofessional” in their book. So we ask you as a job seeker, why would you ever want to be labeled that before you actually walk into an office?
Tip No. 3: Eye Contact is Key
Welcome to the most awkward part of the hiring managers’ tips—make eye contact with the person you are interviewing with.
That seems like a funny suggestion, right? Technically you aren’t really making eye contact with them, you are making eye contact with the web cam you are staring into. However, making real eye contact with a hiring manager has become a major problem for many through video interviews.
Why, you ask?
Well, we are naturally drawn to try and make eye contact with the person on the screen, but unfortunately on the other end of the video it looks like you are avoiding eye contact or looking down. One suggestion we received is to resize the window and move the person’s image up as close to the web cam/camera as possible.
Another hiring manager wanted us to make sure we pointed out that job seekers need to not be afraid to make eye contact in their video interviews. She told us too many people have “shifty” eyes and keep looking around the room, which can be extremely distracting as well.
With the number of companies leaning toward video interviewing for the first interview, more job seekers need to refine their skills when it comes to this interview avenue. From taking it more seriously to learning how to make the correct eye contact, you need to treat a video interview like you would if you were interviewing in the same room as someone.
Over the next couple of weeks we will continue our best and worst of video interviewing series. If you have any tips for job seekers or want to share one of your video interviewing horror stories, feel free to leave them in the comments section or drop us a line here using subject line “Video Interviewing Tips.”