Mastering The Video Interview: What To To Expect For Candidates And Interviewers

Companies like video interviewing because it’s cheap—$150 or so per candidate instead of the cost of an airline ticket and hotel room, but candidates find the whole thing a mixed bag.

Lisa Sable interviewed for an executive-level position via video a few years ago, but “I felt very uncomfortable throughout the whole interview,” she told HRE Online. “I’m older than 35, so maybe it’s an age thing, but I grew up on person-to-person contact — I like to look someone in the eye and shake their hand.”

guys videoconferencing video chat interview
flickr: cogdogblog

Still, because of the time and money saved, these are likely to become more common. Here’s what to expect as an interviewee.

  • You’ll likely be sent hardware. There are a few companies in the market that are in the business of making video interviews go smoothly. Employers that partner with one of these third-party providers pay a fee so candidates—you—can be sent a Webcam and some IT help.
  • You’re being judged. Sources quoted in HRE Online’s piece admitted to judging a candidate’s work habits based on the sloppiness of his home office.
  • Be ready for a live or recorded interview. What we think of as a “video interview”—two people talking to each other via Webcam—is not what some companies are offering. Sandy, Utah-based HireVue, asks candidates to answer eight to 12 questions via their Webcam, recording the answers and sending them to the hiring managers. Bosses then go through the video responses at their leisure.

And for interviewers:

  • Expect less enthusiasm. It’s harder for people not trained to work with cameras to know how to react to “dead air” if there’s a communications glitch, and they often don’t know how to look enthusiastic without being overbearing. Take this into account.
  • Enlist your IT team. Many of the companies that have started using third-party video interviewing hardware (which often comes with support) have offered extra help from their own IT departments to get candidates set up.