Treat video interview as if in person

On the Job

January 10, 2007|By Hanah Cho | Hanah Cho,Sun Columnist

The next time you snag that job interview, you may be asked to do it via video.

Videoconference job interviewing is becoming an increasingly popular option for companies crunched for time, looking to save costs and quickly get "face time" with far-away candidates, according to recruiters.

"It's not surprising because employers do videoconferencing with colleagues and clients around the globe," says Clay Parcells, a Baltimore-area regional managing principal at Right Management, a consulting and outplacement firm.

"It has caught on in the last year and a half as more employers are using them as they qualify candidates for open jobs," Parcells explained.

Increased familiarity with the technology is partly fueling its usage, but don't expect video interviews to replace face-to-face evaluations. Recruiters liken video meetings to interviews via telephone, meaning companies are only making an early assessment.

Kim Bishop, who specializes in recruiting senior executives in financial services, technology and banking industries at talent management firm Korn/Ferry International, uses video interviews to assess candidates.

"I don't think it'll replace people wanting to meet with candidates or employers face to face," she says. "It's a vehicle and tool for companies and candidates to more quickly have initial conversations."

Recruiters say video interviews are like in-person job meetings. Don't get frazzled by equipment glitches, and remember that proper attire always matters.

"People need to remember that it's just like going into a face-to-face meeting," Bishop says. "Whatever your attire would be should be the same. I once had someone who stood up at the end of the videoconference and the camera was still on and he had jeans on."

Regardless of how you're interviewed, do your homework.

"Anytime a candidate is doing a phone interview or a videoconference or one-on-one or group interview, be well-prepared," Parcells says.

And if you're a videoconference newbie, Bishop suggests arriving early at the location where the interview will take place to take care of any technical issues.

Speak clearly and slowly into the microphone, and look at the camera. Remember there is someone on the other side, so maintain eye contact.

Have you been interviewed via video? Tell me your experience. Send your stories, tips and questions to working@baltsun.com. Please include your first name and your city. "On the Job" is published Monday at www.baltimoresun.com. Hanah Cho's podcast can be found at www.baltimoresun.com/onthejob.

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