For years Goldman Sachs visited elite schools like Harvard and Yale to interview promising undergraduates in person. Last year, the financial behemoth changed it’s recruiting methodology dramatically. Rather than offering campus visits, the company is opting to use a prerecorded-video platform called HireVue paired with new electronic screening tools for resumes.
Goldman Sachs is far from the first company to embrace video interviewing. As businesses strive to cast a wider net to score top talent, virtual interviews are becoming commonplace. However, many job hunters still struggle with video-phobia.
There are two types of video interviews that job hunters may encounter. The first are video interviews that record your answers to predetermined questions without another person interacting with you. The second is when you video conference with another person and talk face-to-face in a virtual environment.
For job hunters, video interviewing has numerous unique implications. It’s essential to understand how to make the best impression possible, and these tips can help you look like a pro.
Check your tech: Make sure you understand your computer’s camera and microphone before beginning the interview. Tech delays make you come off looking unpolished and unprofessional.
Set the camera at eye level: You want to mimic the appearance of an an-person conversation. If you’re looking down at the camera it will feel like a parent talking to a child.
Dress professional head to toe: Tempted to dress up only from the waist up? That can be a big mistake. If you shift or need to stand up to adjust your camera, you may expose those comfy red sweatpants.
Clean your surroundings: It’s not just what you wear that gets noticed — surroundings should be neat and tidy, too. Clean up and make sure there’s nothing distracting in the background.
Note lighting: Try to set up lighting so that your face is illuminated rather than back-lit, which produces unwanted shadows.
Select a quiet location: Many people conduct video interviews at coffee shops, but that can produce lots of unwanted background noise. If you don’t have a quiet space at home, visit a friend’s house or use a private room at the local library.
Make “eye” contact: Look at the camera, not at the screen. Consider the camera the “eyes” of the person on the receiving end of the conversation. Just like when talking in person, eye contact is important.
Power up: If you’re video interviewing via smartphone or tablet, make sure you have plenty of battery life and a backup if necessary. If you run out of juice, you’ll look unprepared.
Pace the conversation: When nerves and excitement blend in an interview, people talk quickly. It’s especially important to talk slowly and clearly on a video interview to ensure whoever reviews the footage understands you.
Let your personality shine: Of course you want be professional, but the technical nature of video interviewing sometimes makes people appear robotic. Smile, use nonverbal communication and be conversational. A little personality can go a long way.