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video interview

Job interviewing is taking a new high tech twist. Companies who traditionally reviewed your resume and called you for a face-to-face interview are streamlining that process with video interviews. If you’re in the job market, you may well be asked to interview via webcam, smartphone, or through an online video interviewing company.

Thinking like a TV personality and preparing for a video interview have more in common than you might imagine. A performer playing in a TV show studies the character he or she plays to understand the character’s personality, motivations and beliefs. They “get into the role.” So can you. Two-thirds of 500 companies surveyed said they use video interviews.

Two Video Interview Styles

Many video interviews are done live using a web cam or a smartphone. Yet companies like HireVue.com, Rivs.com, and Jobularity.com have broken new ground with “automated interviews.” They provide employers various software tools that allow job applicants to upload their video response to questions the employer posts to the interview website in advance. This style of video interviewing gives you time to practice again and again before you post your final video response.

Whether you’re interviewing live or recording an automated interview, here are some best practices that can help you ace the interview.

Prepare and Rehearse

Based on your research on the company and the job position, draw up a list of questions interviewers typically ask using guidance from sites like Forbes and U.S. News.

If you’re using a PC or Mac but don’t have video recording software, set up a personal YouTube channel to make private recordings from your webcam. You’ll also want to ensure you have a fast DSL Internet connection to avoid any video or sound lag.

Record yourself, then play it back. Alternately, ask a friend to meet you on Skype or a Google Hangout to play the role of the interviewer.

Then, as you watch yourself on playback, consider these factors:

  • The interviewer’s perception of you – Remove any clutter, pets and other distractions from the view of your webcam or smartphone. Turn off any noisy appliances or background sound your microphone may pick up. Your interviewer wants to perceive you as a well-organized business person. Assure the lighting and the sound level of your voice are correct. Confirm that your head and shoulders are centered in the frame. You need to be seen and heard clearly.
  • Your body language – As you rehearse, take note of your body language. Did you keep eye contact throughout the mock interview by looking into the camera when you spoke? Avoid the tendency to watch the screen while you’re talking. Did you sit up straight in your chair? Did the audio come through as you expected? Did you speak clearly and at a normal conversational pace?
  • Your interview style – Be sure to smile as you introduce yourself. Throughout the interview, acknowledge what’s being said to you by nodding or smiling to show you’re listening. Don’t avoid a little small talk at the start of the interview. Even though you’re not in the room with the interviewer, you can break the ice as if you were.
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