An August 2012 survey suggests that more than 6 in 10 companies often conduct job interviews via video. Digital interviewing is a great tool for busy HR managers, as more and more companies are clearly recognizing-- in 2011, 1 percent of companies said they used video interviews, compared to 53 percent in 2012.
The survey was developed by OfficeTeam, a Robert Half Company,and conducted by an independent research firm. Results are based on telephone interviews with more than 500 HR managers at companies with more than 20 employees in the United States. Of all respondents, 13 percent projected that their organization will use video more frequently to meet with applicants in the next three years, while eighty-five percent of respondents anticipate that the number of video interviews will remain the same.
"Many companies are embracing video interviews, which are often conducted online via webcam, as a way to quickly and cost-effectively evaluate applicants," said Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam. "Job seekers can use these virtual meetings to put their best foot forward, just as they would in person….You need to not only be prepared to say the right things but also make sure you and your surroundings appear professional on camera," he said.
From OfficeTeam, here are seven tips for candidates participating in video interviews:
1. Test the technology. Familiarize yourself with the video tools and functionality in advance to troubleshoot issues. Also, if your computer is prone to problems, consider having a backup on hand.
2. Choose the right location. Conduct the meeting in an area with good lighting that's free of distractions or anything within view that could be perceived as unprofessional. Beware of things like windows in the background, which can cast dark shadows, or barking dogs that may make it difficult to hear.
3. Take a trial run. Ask a friend to videoconference with you and provide feedback on how close you should sit to the camera. He or she also can recommend adjustments for your surroundings.
4. Suit up. Dress and groom the way you would for a face-to-face interview, anddon't assume you'll only be visible from the waist up. Avoid bold patterns and colors that don't show up well on video.
5. Exude confidence. Look at the camera when answering questions so it appears you're talking directly to the employer. Also, don't forget to smile and sit up straight.
6. Be heard. Make sure your responses are audible to the interviewer. Speak loudly and clearly into the microphone.
7. Treat it like a real interview. Approach the meeting with all the seriousness and preparation you would give to an in-person interview. This includes having questions ready and following up with a thank-you note.