With industry insight telling us recruiters and employers can receive over a hundred applications for a single job ad, it’s no surprise technology is being used to reduce the time and effort spent combing through resumes. The use of video interviews is becoming increasingly popular, providing a better picture of applicants over more traditional techniques, such as phone screens and online survey’s.
This is your opportunity to capture the attention of the recruiter and stand out. Consider the following tips when engaging with a potential employer through a video interview:
Know how it works
A video interview can be live, or recorded and submitted to the employer. Depending on the mode chosen by the employer, you’ll be notified of this before you start. You can use a mobile, tablet or computer to complete your interview, and you’ll most likely receive an email or text message with a link to the program you’ll be interviewing through. Click the link and ensure your technology works, the lighting is flattering and the device is fully charged.
At present, graduate program employers are particularly keen on adding in a recorded video interview as a part of the application process. If you are offered a video interview, the interviewer may present three, four or more short questions on the screen. You’ll need to prepare yourself before activating the software as you will probably be given a time limit to respond e.g. three minutes.
Some employers may also allow you to re-do your response more than once before a final submission. But once it’s submitted, it’s submitted. There is no going back! When you’re happy with your recording (or you’ve run out of re-do’s), you can save the video and move onto the next question. There’s no need to email your responses, they’ll be saved into the platform and can be viewed by the employer at their convenience.
Types of questions
Every industry is unique and every employer’s intentions will be different, so you can’t always pre-empt the questions. But, think of it like an exam – you should prepare for everything that might come up. This includes your work experience, your motivations, your studies and your knowledge of industry etc.
Questions you can expect:
- A practice question to ease you into the platform (this doesn’t count as a response)
- A general question about your interest in the role
- A question to demonstrate your hard or soft skills
- A question to illustrate your personality and passion for your field
- A question testing your knowledge of industry and trends
These questions are effectively an attempt to prompt you to tell a story about your professional brand.
Why the move to video?
This comes as an attempt to break down barriers for candidates restricted by their location, and an inability to get time away from work to attend the interview. It also helps employers and recruiters view more candidates, and quickly weed out those who don’t present well.
- Video interviews are convenient – complete them anywhere at anytime
- They can help you overcome interview nerves – not having the pressure of someone looking at you directly
- More preparation – time to write notes and think of answers before activating the recording
- Showcase your enthusiasm for the role – you can be personable here
- Fair comparison against other candidates – everyone is given the same amount of time and identical questions
Everyone is different, but we would recommend giving questions a go without a memorised or documented script. Copious amounts of notes and a monotone prepared pitch will come across as being too stiff and formal.
Video interviews are designed to be more on the spot – you must respond as naturally as possible to the questions that pop up on the screen. Try be as calm, genuine and conversational as possible – just remember your professional communication etiquette. The employer wants to know that underneath all those good grades, work experience and technical knowledge, you’re a person with a personality they could work with.
For more tips on interview techniques and other job search strategies, check out our Graduate Gateway workshop series coming up next month.