There are two types of video interviews — live interviews (using Skype, FaceTime, or LiveMessenger) and recorded Question-and-Answer interviews, also called “time-shifted” video interviews.
In a recorded interview, the jobseeker is directed to a website to answer questions on video, using their computer’s webcam. Video interviews provide an apples-to-apples approach to assessing candidates. All applicants are asked the same questions, and the hiring manager can review and rate the responses. These interviews can be easily set up by the company’s HR staff and the recording forwarded to the hiring manager for selection for the next round of interviews.
Some of the technology providers for time-shifted video interviews include:
- HireVue (hirevue.com)
- InterviewStream (interviewstream.com)
- Take the Interview (taketheinterview.com)
- JobOn (https://www.jobon.com/)
- VideoView (https://videoview.com/)
More common, however, are live video interviews.
A recent survey by OfficeTeam found that 63 percent of HR managers use video technology to conduct job interviews. This was a significant increase from 14 percent who conducted Skype interviews in 2011.
Skype usage has increased dramatically in recent years: more than 300 million minutes of video calls are logged every day. An increasing number of those calls are job interviews.
Video Interview Preparation
You can conduct a video interview on a laptop with a webcam, a traditional computer with a webcam, or using the Skype app on your iPad.
Even though the interview is being conducted by webcam, this is a “real” live interview, and you should be as prepared as if you were sitting across the desk from the interviewer. In fact, you may have to prepare more! After all, you do not have to clean your room before going off to an in-person job interview, but you do need to clear a space for your Skype interview.
Be mindful of where you set up for your video interview. Be sure the area is free of visual distractions (clutter). Carefully consider what is in the background of your Skype interview. Make the background interesting, but not distracting. Plain white walls are fine, but boring. Can you frame a desk or bookshelves behind you instead?
Check out your technology well in advance of the interview. Make sure you have Internet connectivity and that your webcam and microphone are working. You may also have to download the software if it is the first time you are using the application.
One of the best things you can do to prepare for a live video interview is practice. Practice doing a couple of Skype interviews with friends or family members before your job interview. Check the lighting and your volume.
As with a phone interview, recording your practice video interview can help you identify areas to work on, or fix. Have your test partner take a few screenshots if you cannot record the call. You want to make sure your webcam is providing a decent picture. (High definition webcams are available for under $100 if yours is not providing a clear picture.)
Clarify with the interviewer who will initiate the Skype call and double-check the username. Also be sure to account for any time zone differences.
Next, we will look at Video Interview Do’s and Don’ts