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September 07, 2011

Video Interviewing – 3 Tips & 3 Blunders to Avoid

With the increase in broadband usage, social media adoption and the multiple powerful new technologies today video interviewing will only increase. Do you have high definition, digital television at home? If you do can you recall looking at your favorite sporting event or other show in the old way. It seems fuzzy, doesn’t it? It seems old, out of date. With a clear view of the future expect the video interview to reveal more about candidates. Look at the adoption of video within the business world and you can see the future of video in the hiring process. When I first started discussing the possibilities of video with clients, hiring managers and human resources personnel years ago you could hear the opposition to it screaming. A few comments I overheard include:

There will be opposition to this in employment law because it will allow employers to discriminate

I don’t see a wide adoption of this technology; it’s too hard and too expensive

I don’t think jobseekers will agree to being interviewed this way in the future

My response to many naysayers focused more on education not on some point counterpoint argument. I just asked many folks to look ahead a little bit. Look at what the business world seemed to be moving toward in terms of collaboration in communications and you would see the future. I think it may have been three years ago when a few select executive clients asked for help in coaching them through their online video conferences and interviews. Employers who wanted to see potential executives set up an off-site location where a video interview was conducted. Today, it’s just a part of our collaboration and communication to prepare our clients for quick video screens via Skype or more in-depth Cisco TelePresence type interviews.

What do you have to do to see the future in video interviewing? Look at the wide adoption of technologies like the Cisco TelePresence, integrating business video, collaboration technologies and other ways to deliver face-to-face like communications. If the world of business does it then the world of hiring follows. That’s where we are today. Today my C-level clients get requests regularly to do phone screens or initial Skype screens. Many of them still comment to me that this is new and I never had to do this before  but they do now. A third party recruiter can just ping you as they say and get you online quickly, sizing you up. Its like they met you in person. A principal of two Research Triangle based technology companies, Sam Estridge, said this: For geographically disbursed organizations and those who rely on a virtualized workforce, video interviewing is an indispensable tool for accessing and evaluating top talent. Another North Carolina business leader and technology business owner Mark Alexander: Its not the whole you physically but you need to be a little more cognizant about talking over someone, including non-verbal communication. I think it’s a first and good start to the interview process and it speeds up the time to get in front of the hiring manager.

Here are three trends to watch now in the world of video interviewing for your career transition or advancement:

1. Expect It Because It’s Growing  don’t be low tech and not available when it comes to a video interview request. If you are traveling globally you could use video interviewing or even offer your availability to a recruiter.
2. Prepare Seriously With Media Training if you think a video screen seems informal you probably are not prepared for the video interview. What you say, your body language, your dress and your background can hurt you or help you. You literally need some classic media training. Take this seriously and you will stand out positively.
3. Create Your Interview Brand  prepare some creative content that you want to have available on the web. Developing a boring story about yourself and your career history can be a career killer. You need to go beyond the norm and create or promote classic content. If someone Google searches you will they find a jobseeker or a potential, outstanding candidate for employment?

You need to know that many Fortune 500 brands already use this capacity and many other smaller companies will use it in the future. According to HireVue and InterviewStream, companies can work with live recorded, live non-recorded and virtual platforms to screen you. Our executive clients and my contacts within Execunet report a higher demand and expectation for video interviewing in the future. Recently one of our clients obtained a request to post four one-minute videos on YouTube answering questions and playing roles. The company would privately view these videos and he would hear back on their evaluation.

What does all this video-interviewing adoption mean? It simply reinforces the fact that preparation and expectation matter. To gain on your competition you need to see the headlights on the horizon. It’s not a fuzzy image; it’s a high definition motion picture of you and your future. Be ready for it.

 

Image Credit: instantshift.com

One Response to “Video Interviewing – 3 Tips & 3 Blunders to Avoid”

  1. March 05, 2012 at 3:07 am, Sean Fahey said:

    One piece of advice that really stood out to me after being in this industry for some time is for applicants to try to avoid reciting memorized lines. It comes across as stiff and unnatural. You cannot make the assumption that everyone will know how to deliver words in front of the camera, especially when they are dealing with a bad case of nerves. They seem to be much more comfortable engaging in a friendly chat, while responding to video interview questions.

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