While you may be tempted to try to become the next viral video interview hit, if you really want to impress a potential employer, maintaining a balance of professionalism with creativity is key. Video interviews continue to gain popularity with large organizations due to their potential to save a company both time and money. They also allow organizations to screen larger pools, because the recruiter can now stop the interview once they determine the candidate may or may not be a match.
What does this mean for you? The positive is an increase in odds that you will receive an initial interview screen if you meet the employer’s minimum requirements. The negative — yes, there’s always a negative — you also have a greater chance of being turned off after five minutes if you fail to spark the interest of the interviewer.
The old adage couldn’t be more than true — you never get a second chance tomakeafirstimpression. If you want to impress an interviewer for all the right reasons, use the following four tips to create engaging video interviews.
1. Check off the basics: First things first, ensuring you have met the basics for video interviewing will allow you to move on past the professionalism piece and on to the fun part — creating engagement.
- Dress professionally: Choose the same attire you would wear to an in-person interview with the potential employer.
- Mind your manners (and your tongue): Speak slowly and clearly, avoid using jargon, slang, or obscenities, and maintain eye contact with the camera. Distractions are painfully evident when being recorded.
- Practice makes perfect: If you haven’t spent a lot of time in front of the camera, be sure to make some practice videos before filming the real thing. Explore different backgrounds and colors that will suit the camera and your face. The more you practice, the better you will get at letting your true self shine on camera.
2. Try to remember there is a person behind the camera: Conversational styles tend to work best in video interviews and resumes. You want to draw your interviewer in and get their attention. They can get the basics from your resume, but the video interview allows them to get a true sense of who you are as a person. Again, practice will help you sound like you are talking to someone vs. appearing flat and nervous.
3. Show what you know: If you want to impress a recruiter or interviewer, tailor your responses to interview questions to show what you know about them in your responses. For example, if asked why you are interested in XYZ company, you might want to say that a theme of the organizations you have worked for is they use the newest technologies, and you really like that XYZ is not afraid to think outside of the box.
While this may seem like Interviewing 101, personalizing your responses is the number one thing the interviewer will be looking for. The employer wants a more comprehensive picture of you than what you can provide on a resume alone. They want to see that you are excited about their company and that you’ve done your homework.
4. Engage your viewer: Engaging with your interviewer as though you were sitting in the same room can be a real challenge when participating in video interviews. It is important to look directly at the camera during your interview and to avoid looking around at distractions. Looking around may send a signal to your interviewer that you aren’t interested in what’s being discussed. Unlike face-to-face interactions you don’t have the benefit of the viewer shifting their eye contact from you on occasion, so you have to work twice as hard to maintain your own with the camera.
Print out any materials you may need such as your resume, notes, etc. and avoid opening and closing documents on your computer during your recording. Additionally, be sure to silence any phones so that you don’t have to worry about one going off while you’re responding.
What tips do you have to ensure your video interview doesn’t get quickly deleted?
Josh Tolan is the CEO of SparkHire, which combines a video job board and online interviewing platform to enrich interaction between job seekers and employers. Connect with him and Spark Hire onFacebook andTwitter.