We all know that overcoming the anxiety of facing an interview isn’t an easy task and when it comes to interviews over video calling our apprehensions grow by leaps and bounds. Seldom do we try to get to the bottom of this anxiety to resolve it once and for all, rather we succumb to it and turn our anxiety into a nightmare.
How to avoid interview related stress?
To avoid this interview related stress it is essential to understand the basic principles of the recruitment process, only then can we put our best foot forward. With the advent of user friendly proprietary Voice over IP services, video interviews have become a favourite amongst the recruiters, so it is important for candidates to become well versed with this medium of recruitment process.
Benefits of video interviews
A video interview with employers can be as effective as a personal interview plus it can be conducted for candidates in any corner of the world, this makes the screening process a lot easier for recruiters and helps them save a bundle of money on transport and accommodation. With employers becoming increasingly aware of the diverse benefits of video interviewing, their dependency on it has also increased proportionately. Since this equation is getting stronger day by day, it is advisable to get familiar with the regular dos and don’ts of video interviewing to avoid any pratfalls while you are at it.
Most of the candidates find in-person interviews more intimidating than video interviews, which could be true at many levels, but video interviews are no cakewalk either. When it comes to video interviews there are many tricky spots where one could easily slip and only a veteran can help in identifying these oddball situations. Frankly, discussing common interview questions will not suffice as every industry has its own prerequisites, having said that, there are few basic rules which hold good for every job interview and over any type of interview. These hidden principles are not discussed by all and can save you from coming apart at seams during a job interview, not only that, with these rules you can ladle out enough fake confidence, if not real, to cover up your flaws.
Here is a list of rules which you must abide to and make video interviews a cakewalk for you.
• Never disregard the instruction set
When a company schedules a candidate for video interview it usually provides an instruction set to the candidate on how to operate the webcam and adjusting the microphone to meet the required sound levels. One must read the instruction set carefully to avoid any kind of gaffe, it also shows how serious you are for the job. Ideally a good 15 minutes are given to every candidate for going through the instruction set, focus on the microphone section, empirically speaking most of the issues faced during a video call are because of a faulty microphone or lack of knowledge on how to use it.
• Dress appropriately, do not dress to kill!
We all like to make an impression during an interview with our attire, with job interviews it is prudent to not go overboard and save yourself the embarrassment. A little research about the company that you are appearing an interview for never hurts, it gives you an insight about the kind of attire that would be acceptable by the recruiter. For an instance, a culturally strong company with a conservative approach will never be comfortable hiring a candidate who dresses up provocatively, this goes specially for women. Try to fit into the universally accepted dress codes, interview is not the time to unleash the designer in you.
Women, keep your make up to minimal, but definitely do the essentials, after all looks do impress. Try not experimenting with colors and steer clear of provocative colors, recruiters may find it distasteful and mistake you for an unacceptable identity.
Men, you can afford to keep it simple, and dandy men can indulge in a bit of make up to cover those blemishes and improve the skin tone. The dress code for men has to be formal with well kempt hair. As you can see, the rules for grooming are pretty much the same as those in case of in-person interviews, but some candidates do not pay any heed to these rules while appearing for a video interview and the results are disastrous.
• Maintain eye contact
Video interviews are supposed to be a simulation of in-person interviews so try to look into the cam to give a sense to the recruiter that you are looking right at him. Try not looking into your resume time and again this can make you look unsure about yourself or your achievements besides while doing so you break the eye contact. If you do it too many time it might look like you are just reading out your resume.
To get a sense of how you are appearing on the other side end of the video interview, ask the operator to enable the picture-in-picture option as most of the Voice over IP services have this option. Looking at your virtual self on screen helps you to work on your gestures and restrict your head movement to minimal. Monitoring yourself can not only improve your body language but it can also boost your confidence levels, which is very much required during an interview.
• Practice makes you perfect
If you are appearing a video interview for the first time, having a conversation with a webcam may seem awkward to you, almost like going on a date with someone who stays mum all the time. To avoid a situation like this you can practise with a webcam at your own time, enter into a comfort zone with your virtual self on the screen and see what angles work best for you. Like they say, better be sure than sorry, this is a great exercise to be sure about your image on screen, with a little practice you can give your best shot even without the picture-in-picture option.
• Keep your desk clutter free
Having a cluttered desk can be very distracting for you, especially during a video interview and it gives off an impression of you being unorganised. Such vibes are easily picked by veteran recruiters and it is certainly not the most idyllic impression that you would want your recruiter to have. A well organised desk also helps you to save time in searching and makes you appear alert and prompt. Even if you are the most unorganised person, try to keep your desk clean and organised during the day of the interview, a clean desk can look very appealing over video interviews and speaks volumes about your organising skills.
• Steer clear of any distractions or disturbances
Video calls are extremely vulnerable to any kind of electrical interference and a strong electromagnetic interference like that of a mobile phone can severely affect the quality of the video call, so try to keep your mobile phones away during the interview. Any kind of disturbance is unwelcoming during an interview, it can cause severe distraction and affect your performance. Another tip to have a distraction free interview is, never schedule your interview between two appointments. Most people fail to do o, they consider video interview a cakewalk and schedule it between business meetings and end up looking all anxious during the interview. If you are anxious do not let it show from your body language, tapping a pen or shuffling papers are classic examples of anxiety plus they produce noise which may pester the recruiter.
• Do not speak unnecessarily and maintain brevity
Well, this holds good for any kind of interview, if you are not precise and beat around the bush, you can either pass for an extremely talkative person or a person who can not articulate his thoughts. These reputations are not conducive to get a candidate through an interview. Prepare for questions which are generally asked in interviews and keep your answers ready, especially during a video interview recruiters have little patience to listen to gibberish, so get to the point as soon as possible. For effective communication try to neutralize your accent, if you have any, it may not sound impressive on at the recruiter’s side and he may struggle to understand you.
Use impressive language while answering questions, with video interviews you have the advantage of buying some extra time before answering a question by pretending to not have heard the question in the first go.