Employers: Click Here for Tips on Hosting Better Video Interviews with Marketers
Sometimes appearing for an in-person interview for potential marketing jobs is impractical, especially when it’s far away from your current location or just a preliminary interview. In these cases, video interviewing is often the next-best possibility.
As of last year, almost 40% of firms were using or preparing to integrate video interviews into their hiring process. A strong interview is a vital part of getting that big marketing job you want, so it’s important to be prepared to do it in person, over the phone, and by video chat if necessary.
So if you are in job-interview mode, or think you will be soon, here are some tips to consider:
Gather the Right Hardware
Many devices and laptops now come with built-in cameras and microphones. But their quality doesn’t always match what the occasion calls for. Make sure your hardware will send the picture and audio you want to represent yourself with.
If your built-in equipment isn’t getting the job done, affordable webcams and external microphones that deliver a respectable quality have become widely available. Find something that suits you and test it extensively beforehand to make sure everything is set up properly.
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“Your webcam should be quality, have the capability to zoom – to compensate for camera set-up distance – and include a good built-in microphone,” says Nick Balletta, chief executive officer of Talkpoint, a webcasting technology company in New York City.
Download the Necessary Software
Work with the person setting up your video interview to ensure you have the right video chatting software at the ready. The most popular choices are Skype and Google Hangouts, but some organizations may prefer something else.
Set up a professional account on the designated service. Be careful not to attach it to any unprofessional personal information, like an inappropriate account name, email or photo. Test the service to ensure it works properly with your equipment.
Give Your Set Up a Test Drive
Perform a “mini-test run” to work out kinks. Ideally, practice talking to someone else with a computer’s webcam, so you can see how you look and sound. Make sure the camera angle frames your head and doesn’t give an unflattering perspective.
“People tend to be more nervous on camera than in real life, because as infrequently as we may do job interviews, most of us have conversations on camera even less often,” says Christine Allen, a Syracuse, New York-based psychologist, consultant and executive coach.
Just don’t come off as too rehearsed, says Stephanie Kinkaid, the program coordinator for the career and leadership center at Monmouth College in Monmouth, Illinois. “Be yourself,” she says.
If you’re interviewing from home, you might be tempted to skip a shower or interview in the comfort of sweatpants. Don’t even think about it.
Prepare for the video like any interview or similarly professional occasion. It will put you in a professional mindset and get you looking your best. Cameras are already not flattering for most people–don’t make the problem any worse.
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Feel free to have a few notes prepared, along with your resume and any other documents you may want to resume. But avoid having a pile of papers in the camera shot and take care to avoid looking at them too much. You don’t want your interviewers to think you’re reading from a “cheatsheet.”
Set up in a well-lit room, and situate yourself so you’re not in front of a window or similar light source that will cause glares or darken your profile in shadow.
Some professional tips for looking your best on webcam
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If you have kids or pets, herd them out of earshot during the interview. Be sure to unplug or silence your landline, and shut down your cell phone. Make sure your appliances any other potential sources of distractions are off.
Nailing the Interview
For the most part, you’ll treat this interview like you would for any other marketing jobs. In case you need a refresher, here’s our recommendations for what to do before, during and after:
Call in right at the agree upon time and introduce yourself. If the video equipment is making you nervous, Allen suggests being up-front about that: “It may help break the ice.” There’s no shame in admitting you don’t have much experience video chatting.
Your experience, work ethic and the discussion itself are the most important facets of the interview. But it is difficult to be taken seriously if you look odd to the interviewer.
Look at the camera eye, both when listening and talking. It is tempting to watch the interviewer’s image, but if you do, you will make very little perceived “eye contact” from the interviewer’s perspective. “It will seem like you’re looking at the floor,” Elizaga says.
Don’t look yourself on your computer screen, or it will appear that you are not making eye contact, says Michael Joseph, 24, an account executive at a public relations firm in Burlington, Vermont. Joseph did two video interviews when he landed his first job after graduating from West Virginia University.
Don’t look yourself on your computer screen, or it will appear that you are not making eye contact
If it helps, make the image of yourself on your computer screen thumbnail-sized and position it on your screen so that it is directly under the Web camera. “If you check it, you won’t look like you’re looking away,” Joseph says.
Finishing and Following Up
Without the usual handshakes and farewell process, winding down a video interview can seem a little awkward.
It seems obvious, but be sure to thank the interviewer for his or her time. And while conducting a video interview can seem daunting, once you have everything down, “think of this like a phone call,” Elizaga says. “This is no different – it’s just that now, people can see you.”
Unlike traditional interviews, video conferencing offers you the unique ability to follow up with someone immediately after the interview. Consider doing so, especially if you promised to forward them additional information or documents afterwards. This opportunity to be particularly responsive and speedy can help you stand out.
And of course, include your thanks for their time and hopes that you’ll get the opportunity to meet them in person soon!
More Advice for Less-Common Interviews for Marketing Jobs
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