Per health and safety recommendations, many organizations are suspending nonessential visits, canceling tours, and rescheduling events. Creating a “virtual experience” in place of a live event, live streaming conferences or lectures, and utilizing video conferencing for meetings and interviews have quickly become commonplace.
Those who often work from home or collaborate with colleagues in other offices are familiar with the video meeting. Job seekers and hiring managers know that video interviews have become an important tool in human resources. Candidates from across the state, country or world can be considered for a position, and video interviews eliminate travel time and expenses.
A Helbling search consultant, who recently scheduled first-round interviews via Skype for several candidates of a university client, notes it is a common way to perform initial interviews. However, the decision to go virtual can also be situation-based. Another Helbling client conducted in-person interviews in the first round but decided on video interviews for the second round to prevent contamination of its sterile and controlled environment by outside visitors to the research facility. Whether the current health crisis prompts a need, or video conferencing is a regular occurrence, consider these 10 tips to make it great
Decide whether you will use a phone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer. Use a stand or prop for a handheld device. Have a backup device ready in case of technical difficulties.
Download and test the app or system at least a day prior the scheduled date. Having to install something new right before your meeting or interview may compound nerves.
Choose a setting for your interview or meeting.
- A private location away from people, pets, and noise from traffic, refrigerators, HVAC systems or fans
- With a chair at a clean desk or table
- With a nearby outlet so you can charge your device if needed
- Without distracting personal items like artwork, photos, religious or political displays. Features such as background blur (Teams) and virtual background (Zoom) can also improve your setting.
Beware of backlighting. A window or bright light behind you will cause you to look like a dark silhouette on screen. Lighting too close to you can cast shadows on your face. It is optimum to have a lamp or window four to six feet in front of you (and the device you are using).
Practice looking at the camera and not at the display of yourself or the other party. Conduct a trial run with a friend or family member who can provide feedback. Utilize a recording feature so you can review your facial expressions and delivery.
Dress for success. Hairstyles and makeup (if applicable) may look different on camera than in person. Avoid patterns like prints and stripes on clothing. Choose solid colored pieces that complement your skin tone. Don professional attire from head to toe in case you must stand.
Close other programs on the device you are using and set other devices including watches and phones to silent mode so they will not interrupt you.
Keep your resume, notes or other reference items accessible to help keep you on track.
Speak succinctly and clearly and allow for lag time. Home internet connections may not be of the same speed or quality as a commercial facility. Pause before answering or asking questions to prevent an overlap of dialogue.
Smile and show enthusiasm for the opportunity to connect.