Advice for a Positive Video Interview Experience

Video Interview GraphThe use of video interviews is growing rapidly as more employers are taking advantage of the technology. The video job interview offers the convenience of a phone interview with the added benefit of a face-to-face conversation. What’s not to like?

Well, according to Software Advice’s recent study on the candidate’s view of video interviews, candidates unfamiliar with the process are wary of this type of interview. Which makes sense considering it is human nature to fear the unknown and unfamiliar. Job interviewing is stressful enough without the added worry of connectivity, being in front of a camera, and being recorded. These are the biggest issues for candidates unfamiliar with the practice, according to Software Advice’s 2015 study of Applicant Preferences for Video Job Interviews:

Key Findings

  1. Forty-seven percent of respondents with prior video interview experience prefer video interviews over phone interviews, while 67% of those with no video interview experience prefer phone interviews.
  2. Possible connectivity issues (27%) and being uncomfortable on camera (21%) are considered the most significant drawbacks by respondents.
  3. Most of the recent job applicants surveyed (57%) prefer a live video interview to a pre-recorded video interview (28%).

What Can You Do?

There are steps both recruiters and candidates can take to increase the comfort level for the candidate and help put them at ease with the video interview process. Below we look at each key finding from the study and suggest advice to both candidates and recruiters.

FINDING #1: Candidates who have video interview experience prefer it to phone interviews, and those who don’t have video interview experience prefer a phone interview.

Advice for Candidates: This study reports that 46% of recent job applicants responded that they have never interviewed for a full-time job through video, while 24% have only done so once. Candidates should welcome the opportunity to participate in video interviews to gain experience and get comfortable with the technology. Chances are, with experience, you’ll end up preferring a video interview to a phone conversation.
Remember that you are interviewing the employer as much as they are interviewing you. Consider the benefits of the video interview over a phone interview. You’ll gain more information about the recruiter and company from the face-to-face meeting.

Advice for Recruiters: Include video interviews as a marketing tool to show your company as technologically advanced and innovative. To increase candidate comfort level with the technology, make the experience as personal as possible. Add an introduction video to introduce yourself and explain the process ahead of time.

FINDING #2: Connectivity issues and discomfort in front of a camera are the top reasons for candidates’ apprehension to video interviews.

Advice for Candidates: If possible, do a trial run before the meeting to test your connectivity and audio and video quality. Read advice on how to secure your connection and tips on preparing for a video interview. A helpful article is Silence the Bird, and Other Video Interviewing Tips.

Advice for Recruiters: Offer the candidate tips on optimizing connectivity and using your video interview platform. Allow them an opportunity to test the environment ahead of the scheduled interview if possible.

FINDING #3: Live video is preferred over pre-recorded interviews.

Advice for Candidates: A pre-recorded interview is a one-way dialog where the candidate answers questions as they are being recorded. The best advice to get comfortable with this format is to prepare your answers as you would for a face-to-face interview. Practice your responses and prepare some notes that you can easily refer to as a prompt without being too obvious. Record yourself answering a few questions beforehand to see how you are coming across on camera. Are you smiling? Are you looking at the camera rather than reading from your notes? Practice, practice, practice!

Advice for Recruiters: Record yourself asking the question, preferably as a video, to make the candidate feel more comfortable. It adds a personal touch over the candidate just reading the question in text.

This study also found that a negative interview experience can impact a candidate’s actions, such as declining the job, telling others not to apply, and leaving a negative review on Glassdoor. It behooves an employer to ensure the candidate has a positive experience with the video interview, which is often the first interaction with their company.

Candidates should familiarize themselves with the process prior to participating, and recruiters should make the process as personal and friendly as possible. “Knowing how to create a positive video interviewing experience can help employers find their ideal candidate,” says Brian Westfall, Market Research Associate for video interviewing software comparison site Software Advice. With a little extra preparation and thoughtfulness in these areas, the virtual conversation will be more effective for both parties.

Software Advice’s Applicant Preferences for Video Job Interviews IndustryView 2015 Survey
Study summary by Brian Westfall, Market Research Associate, Software Advice, January 8, 2015


4 thoughts on “Advice for a Positive Video Interview Experience

    • Agreed — and job seekers need to get familiar and comfortable with the process. Thanks for your comment!

  1. Practice – practice – practice. It is SO easy to make a mistake. See the video on my company website. I am no stranger to public speaking and that video took many tries before I was satisfied with it.

    • Doris – So true! And it’s always a good idea to try out the tech platform before your interview if possible.

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