Job seekers may want to brush up on their skills in front of the camera, new research shows.
A study by staffing firm OfficeTeam revealed that more than 60 percent of businesses are conducting job interviews via video, up significantly from just 14 percent one year ago.
In addition, 13 percent of the human resources managers surveyed expect to increase the use of videoconferencing in their job selection process.
"Many companies are embracing video interviews, which are often conducted online via webcam, as a way to quickly and cost-effectively evaluate applicants," said Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam. "Job seekers can use these virtual meetings to put their best foot forward, just as they would in person."
However, there are special considerations when meeting via video, according to Hoskins.
"You need to not only be prepared to say the right things, but also make sure you and your surroundings appear professional on camera," he said.
OfficeTeam offers several tips for job candidates who have to participate in a video interview, including:
- Test the technology: Familiarize yourself with the video tools and functionality in advance to troubleshoot issues. Also, if your computer is prone to problems, consider having a backup on hand.
- Choose the right location: Conduct the meeting in an area with good lighting that's free of distractions or anything within view that could be perceived as unprofessional. Beware of things like windows in the background, which can cast dark shadows, or barking dogs that may make it difficult to hear.
- Take a trial run:Ask a friend to videoconference with you and provide feedback on how close you should sit to the camera. He or she also can recommend adjustments for your surroundings.
- Suit up: Dress and groom the way you would for a face-to-face interview, and don't assume you'll only be visible from the waist up. Avoid bold patterns and colors that don't show up well on video.
- Exude confidence: Look at the camera when answering questions so it appears you're talking directly to the employer. Also, don't forget to smile and sit up straight.
- Be heard: Make sure your responses are audible to the interviewer. Speak loudly and clearly into the microphone.
- Treat it like a real interview: Approach the meeting with all the seriousness and preparation you would give to an in-person interview. This includes having questions ready and following up with a thank-you note.
The research was based on surveys of 500 HR managers at U.S. companies with 20 or more employees.