Virtual hiring is the standard now, with 86% of companies now using technology like on demand video interviews, also known as one-way video interviews, to recruit and meet candidates. As an alternative to phone screens, an on demand interview is a quick way for recruiters and hiring managers to determine if candidates meet the role requirements and fit the company culture.
As the candidate, a one-way video interview is generally the first step in your interview process. You can expect to receive an email with a link inviting you to answer pre-chosen questions from the recruiter or hiring manager. Then, using the camera on your computer, smartphone, or tablet, you will record your answers to the on demand video interview questions and submit them for review.
While some people may find video interviews intimidating, especially since recruiters can make a decision whether to hire you within the first 90 seconds, the key is preparation. With these 6 on demand video interview tips, you will easily wow your prospective employer and stand out amongst all of their top candidates:
With video streaming, online gaming, etc., there can be a lot of demands on your Wi-Fi. Ensuring you have a strong, uninterrupted internet connection is important to completing your on demand interview. If your Wi-Fi is slow or spotty, consider using your mobile hotspot.
Also, make sure to test that your microphone and camera are working. If you are in a large room or one with high ceilings, you may want to use headphones to record your audio to avoid an echo.
Having a quiet, clear, and well-lit space will show your best self in your on demand interview. Eliminate all possible distractions and interruptions by turning your cell phone on silent, and if you’re at home, make sure people in the house know you are completing an interview.
If you can, record in a space where you can close the door. Also, remember to give yourself ample time to answer each question – an hour should be sufficient.
For your backdrop, choose a neutral color wall with limited clutter, as these will be distracting to the recruiter or hiring manager. Placing a plant in the background could add some feng shui but having an unmade bed could portray disorganization.
Proper lighting is essential for good video quality. Sunlight works well if the window is in front of you, but not behind you. Turn on any available lights in the room and check to make sure there is no glare on your screen. You can add a simple desk lamp behind your camera to make you look a little more radiant.
The way you dress will give the recruiter or hiring manager a sense of who you are, and in any interview, you want to communicate professionalism with your attire.
Aim to look put together while allowing your clothes to compliment your personality and not distract from your answers and experience (i.e. stay away from bright colors and loud patterns).
A good rule of thumb is to dress one level nicer than what employees normally wear to the office. Check out the company’s website, Glassdoor or LinkedIn for pictures of employees. As an example, if you see employees in T-shirts and jeans you could aim for a business casual look with a polo or collared shirt.
A prospective employer wants to know that you have done your research about the company and are excited to work for them.
Make sure you research their company website, Glassdoor and LinkedIn pages and understand what they do, who their customers are, and the markets they serve. Go further by looking at press releases on their website, listen to earnings calls (if they are a public company), and set up Google Alerts to be notified about recent company events.
Practicing common interview questions is always a good idea to prepare so you can answer any question confidently. Like in an in-person interview, it is important not to ramble, so keep the recruiter or hiring manager engaged by making your answers clear and concise.
Make sure to weave company information into your answers and incorporate concrete examples of projects you have worked on and their outcomes. This information will demonstrate to the recruiter and hiring manager that you did your due diligence and that you can be successful in the role.
Not only is it important to stress the hard skills you have, like knowing how to use a particular software, but also the soft skills many employers look for to confirm that you are a team player and will be a great fit for the company.
Look directly into the camera when recording your on demand interview because it portrays to the recruiter or hiring manager that you are talking directly to them. Position your webcam so when you sit down, it is at eye-level. Then, when you are recording your answer, look into the camera as if you are having a conversation with someone sitting in front of you.
While looking at the camera instead of the screen can be unnatural at first, practicing when you test that your camera is working can help make it more comfortable. You can also try putting a sticker, post-it note, or taping a picture of someone next to the camera to continually draw your eye to that point.
Interviewing can be nerve-racking, even for the most experienced. Take a few minutes before you start recording to do some quick deep breathing exercises to reduce anxiety or to do a power pose to increase confidence.
One of the most important things to remember when video interviewing is to be your authentic self. Smile when you give your answers and give them a glimpse to the human side of you as a candidate. At the end of the day, recruiters and hiring managers are human beings too and they want to be able to connect with you.
Completing an on demand video can cause uncertainty, but if you prepare, practice, and demonstrate enthusiasm and confidence, you can show recruiters and hiring managers that you are the person they want for the job.
While video interviewing software can look and feel different, your experience as a candidate will be similar no matter which video interview platform you use. For additional on demand video interview tips and best practices we share with our interview on demand users, check out this candidate training course or these video interview tips to rock your next interview.
Monique Mahler is the VP, Marketing & Partnerships at interviewstream. She is an avid researcher of facts, a self proclaimed marketing geek, and an equestrian in her spare time.