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Build Your Career Get the Job

Video Interviews: Preparing to Get the Job

Video Interviews: Preparing to Get the Job
Credit: Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock

Twenty years ago, the only way to have a face-to-face conversation with a potential employer was to physically go to the office and speak with a hiring manager. In the last decade or so, advancements in webcam and video-conferencing technology have made it possible to conduct job interviews from anywhere in the world, and more and more employers are taking advantage of this opportunity to make the interviewing process easier and more convenient.

"For hiring managers, the utilization of video interviews means having the ability to make personal connections with candidates no matter how near or far they live to their company's office," said Josh Tolan, CEO of video interviewing solutions provider Spark Hire. "[It] also helps create a positive candidate experience, which is very important but often dismissed. By using video interviews, companies can streamline their hiring process to reach smarter hiring decisions faster. Candidates will appreciate knowing the status of their application and not feeling like they've been left hanging."

In a recent Spark Hire infographic, the company discussed the two major types of video interviews hiring managers conduct: live and one-way. [The Modern Job Hunt: 4 Ways to Stand Out From the Crowd]

A live video interview, as the name suggests, allows employers and candidates to connect remotely in real-time, which offers the convenience of a phone interview with the advantage of the personal connection you can get from an in-person meeting. Employers may use video-chat services like Skype or Google Hangouts to conduct this interview, but depending on the platform capabilities, the hiring manager may be able to record the interview and share it with other colleagues involved in the hiring process. In general, phone and in-person interviews are not recorded, which gives you as a candidate the opportunity to have your great (or not-so-great) interview performance preserved.

A one-way interview is becoming an increasingly common tactic among hiring managers as a way to quickly and efficiently screen candidates. According to the Spark Hire infographic, employers can conduct 10 one-way interviews in the time it takes to conduct one phone interview. One-way interviews require applicants to respond to preset interview questions, which allows them to think through their answers and present their best selves when they submit their videos. It's also a plus for the hiring manager, who can watch the video anywhere and at any time and doesn't have to clear his or her schedule for a full-on interview.

When you're applying for jobs, there's a good chance you'll be asked to conduct one or both of these types of interviews, so it's smart to be prepared. In fact, an OfficeTeam survey found that more than 60 percent of companies use video interviewing for their hiring needs.

"It's very important that candidates familiarize themselves with the technology because they will most likely be asked to participate in a video interview during their job search," Tolan told Business News Daily. "If candidates take the time to research best practices for video interviews such as proper lighting, attire and body language, they'll better their chances of getting hired."

Here are a few more tips we gathered for succeeding in the age of video.

  • Know how to use the technology.
  • Set up a clean, neutral background with good lighting.
  • Keep your résumé and any notes you have in front of you for quick reference.
  • Dress professionally, as you would for an in-person interview.
  • Remain still and focused, and look straight into the camera when speaking.

For more advice, check out Business News Daily's video interview do's and don'ts list here.

Nicole Fallon

Nicole Fallon received her Bachelor's degree in Media, Culture and Communication from New York University. She began freelancing for Business News Daily in 2010 and joined the team as a staff writer three years later. She currently serves as the assistant editor. Reach her by email, or follow her on Twitter.

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