Like it or not, video skills are indispensable if you want to grow your career, your business, and your reputation. The role of video as an everyday work tool is expanding post-pandemic. Hiring managers are replacing the screening function of résumés with video interviews.
Virtual interviews are the preferred form of screening job candidates today, according to a recent survey from Indeed. More than 80 percent of employers in the sample are using video interviews, and more than 90 percent plan to continue using them.
And virtual screening is not only reserved for the professional job market. Recently, I coached a prep school student who had to submit a two-minute video to campaign for class president. Another client practiced with me to defend her Ph.D. dissertation on Zoom.
Though the trend towards video job interviews began pre-pandemic, today they are standard practice for a broad array of professions and industries. The reasons include the minimal cost since candidates can interview from anywhere. Most workers honed their video skills during the lockdown, so there is a high level of familiarity. Add to these the immersive nature of video, which allows hiring managers to look at the candidate’s face, expressions, and body language more intimately than they could in person. The audio and video are recorded for replay so the decision makers can review what you said and how you said it.
Video interviewing for a board of directors’ position, your dream job, or just a move up the ladder are all high-stakes propositions, so there is much to know to get it right. Don’t take anything for granted.
There are two main types of virtual interviews: the live interview with a person at the other end and the one-way interview with pre-loaded questions and chatbots. Both require lots of preparation.
I created a tip sheet with nine steps to ace your virtual job interviews, which you can download here.
9 Ways to Ace a Virtual Job Interview.
From my perspective, the three most important tips are:
1. Set the stage. This means a well-lit natural setting that has minimal clutter and distractions. Avoid plain white walls and virtual backgrounds that make you look like an amoeba.
2. Look at the lens as if it were the interviewer. Make eye contact virtually, smile and gesture as if you were there in person.
3. Do not read. If you were in front of a live person, you would not read your answers. On Zoom, you cannot hide the eye shifting as you read from your cheat sheet. Reading will show in your voice, too, and undermines your poise and confidence. Use notecards instead to jot down the most important points you want to cover, not your entire answer. Practice often by recording yourself and watching the video until you feel ready for showtime.