The Many Advantages of Video Interviews

There's a certain appeal to selling your skills from your sofa.

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Hannah Morgan
Hannah Morgan
Video interviewing is not new, but you can expect to see more of it. In a world where every device seems to have a built-in camera, video interviews are just one more way employers learn more about you faster and easier. And it isn't just employers who will benefit: Learn why this is good news for job seekers too.

Brief History

Video interviewing used to require expensive equipment, which meant the interviewee had to travel to a facility with video conferencing capability. Costs were involved in using this technology, therefore, companies used it sparingly. Video conferencing was live and still as uncomfortable as a regular interview. Then came webcams and Skype, and video interview calls began to grow. Still live, these interviews could be scheduled with anyone with a webcam and an internet connection, increasing reach and cutting expenses. Today, almost every device has a camera and the functionality to record video to save for future review (Notice the word "record"). The stress and anxiety of having only one shot at the perfect answer has been eliminated.

Why Employers Love It

Dan Finnigan, president and CEO of Jobvite, a social recruiting platform, says, "Advances in social, mobile and cloud technologies have changed recruiting tremendously. Recruitment is now marketing, and companies need to market their job opportunities like they do their products to consumers. This has spurred a growing demand for video interviewing from both recruiters and hiring managers."

New advancements will allow recruiters and hiring managers to see more candidates. With a simple click of a button, recruiters can invite numerous candidates to submit their recorded video responses. This reduces the time HR or recruiters need to invest in conducting the interview.

Finnigan says he believes Jobvite's new video interview capabilities will create a better experience for the candidate and improve the employer's brand at the same time. These capabilities will not only accelerate candidate screening, but they also reduce remote hiring costs and facilitate panel feedback early in the hiring process leading to better candidate matches. The time saved and the feedback enabled will allow recruiters to understand their talent funnels and level of engagement better.

Benefits to the Job Seeker

Have you ever said, "if I could only get an interview, I could prove I'm a great fit?" Video interviewing can help make this happen. It takes seconds for employers to send out a video interview request versus hours scheduling and conducting a single in-person conversation. With this technology, recruiters can conceivably interview more people.

Plus, there are no more surprises. Instead of getting caught off guard by a rogue question, you now have time to think deeply about the answer you provide. The interview may now feel more like an open-book test versus an interrogation because you can ensure you've taken your time and provided the best answer possible.

Last, you no longer have to stress over traveling to the employer's office. Video interviews are done from your location, which eliminates traveling to a place you're unfamiliar with and meeting people you don't know. You'll save money on gas or transportation too. Never fear, this is a preliminary screening, so chances are you'll eventually be invited for an in-person interview if you make it to the next stage in the selection process.

What to Watch Out For

Prepare for the video interview just as you would prepare for a traditional interview. This means research the company, read the job description thoroughly so you know what skills you want to emphasize, prepare your answers and finally, practice them out loud. But what should you pay attention to besides lighting, background distractions, what you are wearing and where you are looking? Finnigan warns of these interview gaffes.

  • Not paying attention to the question
  • Lack of enthusiasm
  • Losing focus during the answer
  • Using inappropriate language
  • Finnigan's final words of encouragement for video interviewer are practice, re-record if necessary and make sure you're familiar with your camera's settings. Oh, and don't sweat the small stuff!

    Hannah Morgan is a speaker and author providing no-nonsense career advice; she guides job seekers and helps them navigate today's treacherous job search terrain. Hannah shares information about the latest trends, such as reputation management, social networking strategies, and other effective search techniques on her blog, Career Sherpa.