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08
February
2012

Just Talk into the Webcam

Skills for Web 3.0

Just Talk into the Webcam

When I think about how far technology has come in the last 10 years I am always amazed. When you google the name of a restaurant on your i-phone, click the map to get real time directions from your current location with a hot link to dial the number, you wonder how we ever got by with phone books and maps.  

There is no question technology has changed forever the way we do certain things, and generally it is much easier.

But every once in a while something comes along that requires a new skill. Something you never expected you would have to do.

The boom in video interviewing products has put the unexpected task of responding to interview questions via recorded video clips upon thousands of job seekers. 

Have you ever tried talking to a webcam? It's not as easy as it seems. It's kind of like recording your voicemail greeting, only worse, you get to see yourself. It takes me about 5 times to get my voicemail right, I can only imaging how many I would need in a video interview.

The good news is, most of the products allow candidates to practice a little up front, and then give a few "do-over" attempts. How many attempts is usually up to the employer, and some will only give you one shot to get it right.

There are plenty of articles out there providing tips for how to prepare for a video interview. Things like "talk to the camera" and "be natural." But it does not matter how much you prepare, the only thing that will make you good a this is doing it. 

The question is, what do you do if a candidate bombs a video interview? Do you hold it against them? What if they are just really uncomfortable talking to a webcam?

I think it is the same issue as conducting a phone screen. It's just another form of communication and you can evaluate it based on the relevance to the job. I have had people suck pretty bad on the phone, and do fine in the face to face interview. 

But it's also not just the job seeker who needs to be ready for the webcam.

More and more, companies are having recruiters or hiring managers video record the interview questions. It provides an authentic personal touch and let's the candidate know that you are willing to do the same awkward thing you are asking them to do.

I met with Chris Young the founder of Async Interview. He told me that some of his clients are getting really creative. One company will have a different employee record each question. Before they ask the question they provide a quick anecdote of why they like working for the company. A great way to emphasize the employer brand and add a little more to the candidate experience.

And if it's not video interviewing, new products like Talent Circles, InsideConnector, and the social media explosion will have you talking into a webcam before you know it.

You better get some practice, and just make sure you don't look like this guy:

Categories: Industry Trends, Video Interviewing

About the Author

Ed Newman

Ed Newman

Chief Analyst

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