My uncle loved his camcorder. He would record hours of footage at every family event. My mother tried to shy away from being on video every chance she could. It is a good thing she is retired because she would not like the way technology is changing the way we interview for jobs.
Live Video Interview
Many individuals are aware of or have been a part of a live video interview. Typically the potential employer, hiring manger or recruiter uses Skype, Google Hangouts, Facetime, or another live video platform to facilitate the interview. The live video interview mimics an in-person interview and allows for more interpersonal communication than a phone interview would provide.
Asynchronous Video Interview
There is another type of video interviewing that is becoming more and more prevalent: asynchronous (one-way) pre-recorded video interviews. In this process, the hiring manager or recruiter creates questions they would like to pose to potential candidates for a specific position. They likely also set time limits for each answer. Interview candidates are sent a unique web link which allows them to record their answers to those questions on their own time. With some applications the interviewer may be able to re-do an answer if they do not like what they said or how they sounded, but with other formats it is ‘one and done’. The hiring manager or recruiter receives the video recording of the interview and can review it at his or her convenience. The video recording can be sent to multiple individuals in cases where a hiring committee has been put together.
This interview model can also overcome any scheduling and logistics issues if multiple individuals are needed to assess the individual candidates. It can benefit the candidate who may have a hard time getting away from their current position to conduct the interview during traditional work hours. The model may also allow for consistency across interviews as every candidate is asked the same questions in the same order with the same amount of time to answer. Companies who are using asynchronous pre-recorded video interviews are typically using them for early round interviews. They will use in-person or live video interviews for those candidates who make it to the next round.
Tips for Asynchronous Video Interviews
There are some unique components to an asynchronous model to prepare for along with the traditional interview preparation you would do with any job interview (research, practice, etc.).
- The company may give you practice questions or a practice session. If provided, definitely utilize this as an opportunity to test out the logistics of the recording, to gain comfort in the model, but also to assess what you and your background will look like to the potential employer.
- Ensure a positive environment is portrayed. Make sure your lighting looks good and that your pets, roommates and family members are not in the room or come through the room.
- Good eye contact is still key. Keep good eye contact with your webcam as you would a hiring manager.
- Make sure to thank the interviewer after you are done answering the last question. If appropriate, state your interest in the position.
- Dress for an interview – complete with shoes.
Here’s a true story for you to hit this last point home. A client of mine recently conducted a live video interview. At the end of her interview, the hiring manager asked her to schedule a follow-up meeting. My client needed to get up from her chair to grab her phone with her calendar on it to find a day/time that worked. She had worn ‘complete’ interview attire and was very happy she did as the hiring manager saw her entire outfit when she stood up.
As technology advances, so do job search and hiring methods. If you are uncomfortable using your webcam or tablet or phone to record videos, begin to play around with the technology now. It’s better to get comfortable now so if the time comes for you to use technology in an interviewing process, your level of confidence in using the technology won’t be a concern.