We’ve talked about video interviewing software and the value it adds to the graduate recruitment in previous blogs. When video interviewing is applied to a graduate recruitment programme, the applicant has a huge opportunity to differentiate themselves from their competition who may have similar qualifications on paper. Attitude, aptitude and personality can all be assessed through video which are all soft skills that are as important as qualifications. But what about at the other end of the scale for those who are at the top of their game? Can video give executives the same opportunity when landing that next big role?
The short answer, is yes. The big difference between the two groups is the executive will be expected to demonstrate an appropriate level of content, influence and experience within their responses. So, for an executive who is about to be invited to a video interview, preparation and execution of video interview content are paramount.
Video interviewing is growing in use by executive recruiters who are using video interviewing as an essential component of their retained solutions for their clients, offering an early stage introduction to the talent pool they source for consideration. For executives preparing for a video interview there are some key elements and tips to preparing content for the interview.
Executive recruiters tend to ensure that executive applicants have visibility of the questions ahead of recording so they can prepare their answers accordingly. Preparation is key, so here are a few pointers on how to turn out an excellent recorded video interview:
This is the same for any interview. Research the company thoroughly so you have a good understanding of their culture, objectives and any latest developments. This will help you shape your answers using current and relevant information.
Bullet points are the best way to cover what you want to say. Work on your opening, middle and closing points for each response, covering the key headline topics rather than writing a script.
Look at the length of response time set by the recruiter for each question and further refine your bullet points. With response times, don’t feel the need to continue to speak on if you have time left to use up. If you have made your point and feel you have covered the question succinctly then move on. Precision of responses shows decisiveness at this level.
Bullet points vs scripting
We recommend you do not read your responses from a script. This can look staged, rehearsed and can cause your natural communication style to become stifled. Unless you are a professional actor who can learn their lines, you are better sticking to bullet points and adding your own unique energy and drive to get your points across.
Avoid any extra content outside of answering the question as sometimes this can waste precious response time allotted to a specific question or point. Don’t stray off topic too much unless you can show relevance.
Time your answers during practice and ensure that you can get your key points across in the allotted time. If you have someone to bounce your answers off all the better. A mirror is a good back up for practicing when there is no person available. Most video systems will give you a practice question to check the way you are coming across on the screen so you can adjust accordingly.
Eye contact with the camera
Remember you are presenting to a webcam. The webcam is your audience so look straight into the camera, not at your image on the screen. The reviewer will be much more engaged and enjoy your presentation better.
Prepare your environment
Here is a check list to prepare your environment for a good recording but besides the check list, there a few things to understand about a webcam. Webcams work similarly to digital photo cameras. If you have bright light behind the subject, the webcam will focus on the areas of light and the subject will appear dark. Make sure the light is on your face, not behind you. In addition, if you have a blurry lens, then guess what? You will have a blurry recording. Also, make sure you don’t have a plastic, protective cover obscuring the lens so you get a clear take. The webcam can only work with what you provide so lots of light and a clean lens will help.
The many executives we see completing interviews for The Needle have also told us they fully understand why an employer would want to use this technology. Many of them have been HR Directors. They also fed back that it’s a great opportunity to get themselves in front of the employer at the early stages which works for them. The one comment that was most interesting was that they said it wasn’t easy. When asked why, they all said they needed to put some work in, prepare, practice and make sure they did a great presentation, but if they did the work, it would play in their favour and help their application. So, the most important point we can get across to you is to prepare for success and make sure you put the effort in because it will be worth it!