4 Strategies for Nailing the Video Interview

August 2, 2018

With video interviewing on the rise, today’s job seeker must embrace a new role: director of the job interview. As if interviewing wasn’t stressful enough, candidates must now set the proper scene, play the part on camera, and be tech savvy enough to execute the video interview without a hitch. 

In just a decade, employers responding to the NACE Recruiting Benchmarks Survey indicated an increase in video interviewing from 7 percent in 2006 to 55 percent in 2016. And with heavy hitters like Goldman Sachs and KPMG using video interviews in recruitment, it is clear that this tool isn’t going anywhere.

Innovative recruiting tools like video interviewing can provide a myriad of benefits to the employer. Indeed, according to LinkedIn’s Global Recruiting Trends 2018, KPMG has realized greater efficiency and a more diverse talent pool through video interviewing.

But jobseekers can also benefit from this brave new world of interviewing. Cross-country jobs may no longer seem so out of reach. Time spent traveling to and from an interview and actually at an interview can now be used to apply to more jobs. And you can complete the video interviews from your own home—somewhere you are most comfortable—at a time convenient for you, which can only boost your confidence.

But just because you’re home, doesn’t mean you can loaf in your jammies on a bean bag chair and drone on to your computer camera. You should still treat a video interview like any other, which means you’ll need to prepare and be organized.

Goldman Sachs created the following video, outlining some tips for jobseekers embarking on one-sided video interviews (i.e., video interviews in which the program provides you questions and you provide answers, but don’t actually interact with any people).  Check out the video, and then keep reading for some of our key takeaways.

1.  Approach a Video Interview Like You Would an In-Person Interview

One important piece of advice in Goldman Sachs’ video is to treat a video interview the same as you would a regular interview. You should research the company and prepare answers to questions just like would if you were meeting the recruiting team in person. In fact, practice might be more important for a one-sided interview because it may seem so foreign to you. Talking out loud in a room by yourself will probably feel strange. Practicing your answers to questions as well as how to engage in this type of setting will go a long way. You may want to set up a room just as you will for the interview, sit as you will for the interview, and practice answering questions with your computer’s video camera so that you are a pro by the time the real interview comes along.

2.  Be Aware of Your Demeanor

Smile—you’re on camera! And that camera is going to record your every move, facial expression, and word. Your interview will be memorialized in the recruiting vault of the firm forever. Sounds scary. But with a little practice and awareness of how you’re carrying yourself, you’ll be fine. 

First, you know yourself. If you tend to slouch or bite your lip, make an effort to avoid those and any other habits that may distract. Consider video taping some of your practice interviews to catch any body language, facial expressions, or word use that isn’t ideal. Also, as Goldman advises, make sure that you are speaking slowly so that the recruiting team will be able to understand you. Finally, relax as much as you can. The people on the other side are just like you—people. Pretend you are talking to them. As Goldman notes in its video, “treat it like a conversation.”

3.  Stay Focused

Without an audience to keep you in check, it can be easy to get long winded. Preparation is imperative to keep you focused on the topic and the answer that best fits. Goldman urges candidates to be “concise but specific.” By thinking about potential questions in advance and preparing answers, you can keep yourself on track during the interview. The goal is not to speak for the entire time allotted—it is to provide the best answer with the most direct language you can.

4.  Be Yourself

Goldman describes this last tip as the most important. In the end, you want to work at a company where you fit, so being yourself in your interview is paramount. Although you’re on camera, you shouldn’t be acting. Be genuine and focus on providing answers that respond to the question asked and convey why you’re the best fit for the position.

With a little preparation and practice with the camera, you’ll be ready for your close up.

by Mary Kate Sheridan

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