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The Art of the Video Interview

November 30, 2008
by Tim Tolan
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The costs of travel in today’s economic environment have increased the number of video interviews we do when compared to previous years. I actually think it's here to stay. More companies are becoming comfortable with the idea of conducting a video interview as it reduces out of town travel expenses and really serves as a great tool to evaluate a candidate by having a visual interview.

There are a few things that a candidate needs to be prepared for in advance of the actual interview.

1. Make sure you know are familiar with the location of the business that will be conducting the interview in or near your city of residence. Take a quick drive over the day before to make sure you are allowing enough time to be on time. Then...BE EARLY! Arrive 15-20 minutes in advance of your interview time. Ask for assistance if you're not sure how to use the equipment. It's good to ask for a quick overview if in doubt.

2. Get a rough draft of the questions from the recruiter if possible. They will not give you specifics - but should be able to give you good idea of what questions will be covered.

3. Dress for Success. Look the part in your video interview. It is very important that you make an impression with your appearance. Wear what you would normally wear if the interview was in-person.

4. Know your audience in advance. Do as much research about the company and the person conducting the interview that you can. Ask the recruiter for help if you are unable to find out what you need to know on-line. Try to connect with the person early - but get the "small talk" out of the way and let them drive the pace.

5. Keep your answers "on point" as most of the video interviews are scheduled for an hour or so. Don't drag out your answers and stay on topic. Clarify that you have answered the question if you have any doubts. Ask how the interview is going.

6. Avoid moving around and try to be as natural as possible. Moving around may create audio noise. Be natural. Maintain eye contact. If you look nervous - it will come across in high definition color to the person on the other end. Just be yourself and relax!

7. Thank the person conducting the interview and ask about next steps in the process to let them know you are interested (assuming you are).

Video interviewing is here to stay and you should embrace this method of interviewing as it will only get better and more mainstream as we look ahead.

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Comments

Hi TIm. Are there specific things executives can look for when conducting the interview? Could a candidate be so unconfortable with the prospect of a video interview that they offer to fly themselves out to the company? And what could one interpert about an individual that declined a video interview in favor of a face-to-face meeting?

Thanks Tim, that makes a lot of sense. I am not one to get nervous in interviews but I think the prospect of a video interview might "throw me off my game." I wonder if there is a way to practice, to set up a mock video interview. That might be tough, though.

Good questions. First impressions mean so much and a video interview really gives the hiring manager a good feel for the candidate - or not. They are looking for eye contact, communication skills and the overall way the candidate presents themself and the way they answers the questions. I have never heard of a candidate that opted to fly out instead of going with a video interview, but i guess it could happen. It would send a message if they declined to have an interview since the client actually chooses the process they want to follow. It may signal that they are unable to follow instructions or they like to do things their way. in either case it would raise eyebrows on the other side of the table.

Actually it would be easy to do a "mock interview" if the search consultant you are working with uses the same process. Generally speaking, they would interview the candidate by video in advance of the client interview - giving you a chance to do a "dry run" . But, you would still be in the same situation if this was your "maiden voyage" in front of the camera. Once the interview starts - it usually only takes a few minutes to get comfortable with the set-up.
It's really not that bad!

Tim Tolan

Senior Partner, Sanford Rose Associates Healthcare IT Practice

@@TimTolan

http://sanfordrose.net/thetolangroup/

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