What you need for best results when doing a video interview on the go.
This is a guest post by Josh Tolan. If you’d also lie to guest post here on Pure Jobs, follow these guest post guidelines.
Don’t run out and buy that new pair of dress shoes just yet — your next job interview might require a webcam or mobile device instead.
A new OfficeTeam survey revealed that 63 percent of HR managers said their company often conducts job interviews via video. Additionally, 13 percent think their company will use video more frequently in the next three years. Although most of these video interviews utilize webcam and video conferencing technology, mobile devices are also an option for recorded video interviews.
So how can you ensure you appear polished and professional if your next job application requires answering interview questions from your cell phone camera?
Here are some tips for overcoming video interview challenges on a mobile device:
Choose a quiet, well-lit area
Lighting is crucial when you’re using a camera on a cell phone — you want your interviewer to see your face, right?
For instance, if there’s a window in the background, it might cast a dark shadow and make it difficult for the hiring manager to see you during the interview. It’s also wise to keep your dogs, roommates, and/or family members away from the room you’re using to eliminate background noise and distractions.
Mind your background
Make sure you’re the focus of the video, not your kitchen or those lovely posters plastered on your bedroom walls. Sit in front of a plain wall to keep the focus where it belongs — on you.
Test the technology
Look through the frequently asked questions (FAQ) portion of the service you are using so you have an idea of how it works and how to troubleshoot any problems you may face.
Don’t assume you can wear your favorite T-shirt just because you’re not meeting face-to-face!
Dress as you would if you were walking into the hiring manager’s office, but avoid bold patterns and certain colors (such as red or magenta), as they don’t show up well on video.
It’s also wise to avoid wearing bracelets or earrings that might make noise as you move your hands and head while talking.
Show off your confidence
When answering questions, look straight into the camera (not at your screen) as if you were talking face-to-face with the employer. Sit up properly in your chair, speaking loudly and clearly so your answers are audible. And don’t forget to smile!
Put your device in a static location
If you’ve ever held out your arm for a long period of time, you know it’s easy for your arm to get tired. If you’re holding your mobile device out in front of you, it might start shaking as the muscles in your arm become strained.
Instead, prop up your cell phone or mobile device and make sure the camera is pointed in your direction. You might even ask someone else to hold the phone (quietly) for you in order to frame your face and shoulders in the camera.
Now you don’t have to worry about a shaky cell phone shaking up your confidence.
Practice before the real thing
Everyone says it because it’s true: practice makes perfect. Before accepting a video interview on your mobile device, practice the most common interview questions likely to get thrown your way. You might want to get friends or family members to come up with questions you’re likely to hear. Get your answer down, and when you’re asked in the video interview, you’ll be concise and confident.
Ask good questions
If you understand the company’s culture, values, and mission you’ll be able to ask informative questions. Good questions let your interviewer know you’re serious about your future at the company. Don’t think that, just because the interview is taking place on your cell phone, you can skip the question portion.
Avoid calls, texts, and other notifications
Make sure your family and friends know you have a video interview, and therefore understand you’re not to be disturbed.
If possible, turn off all other mobile notifications, such as completed updates and calendar reminders. It will be distracting to you and the interviewer if your phone continuously buzzes and beeps throughout the video interview!
Mind your appearance
In the first televised presidential debate, Richard Nixon fell prey to the television cameras when he refused to put on makeup. As a result, he appeared sweaty and nervous on screen. Remember that what you look like on camera sends a clear message to your interviewer.
You might want to think about dabbing on a little makeup or concealer. At the very least, make sure you aren’t recording in the hottest room in your house. You want to look cool and calm, not sweaty and nervous.
Don’t forget the follow-up
In an in-person interview, the walk to the door or the elevator can be your opportunity to ask about the next steps in the process. You discover what the company’s hiring timetable is and file away how long you should wait before following up. In a mobile interview, it can be easy for forget to ask about the next steps before you put away your phone. Make sure you know whether the company will get back to you in two days or two weeks.
With more HR managers anticipating conducting interviews via video, and mobile job seeking going mainstream, you may soon be using your cell phone camera for more than just cute Instagram pictures of your dog.
Question of the article
Have you ever completed a video interview with a mobile device? Let us know in the comments.
About the Author
Josh Tolan is the CEO of Spark Hire, a video powered hiring network that connects job seekers and employers through video resumes and online interviews. Connect with him and Spark Hire on Facebook and Twitter.