As the trend in video interviewing adoption grows, there is no end to the suggestions for candidates on how to prepare for the technology aspect of the video interview. Many publish great recommendations similar to the points I've summarized below, but one article, in particular, gave a very bad piece of advice: Don't arrive early to video interviews. The author's logic: "There is no waiting area for video conference interviewees; if you attempt to dial in early and your recruiter has a scheduled meeting prior to yours, there’s a good chance that you’ll be intruding — an awkward situation for both you and the interviewer."
Yes, Please DO Arrive Early for Your Video Interview
This is no pearl of wisdom. And, it just highlights another huge difference between a purpose-built video interviewing solution (like Montage's built specifically for hiring) and chat or business conference call tools, built for a much different purpose (think Skype, Zoom, and similar). With Montage, the interview space where our clients and candidates meet is secured for their private meeting. Only the invited participants will be in that space. So clicking the link and entering early is normal and expected.
Entering the interview early - by minutes, hours or days - is a wonderful perk, and not just from a technical check perspective. Arriving early takes a typically stressful situation - a job interview - and makes it comfortable. In fact, our participants usually like to check out the technology ahead of time. With our 24x7 support, you can relax and enjoy the interview experience fully knowing there's help if you need it.
It's Not Just the Candidates
Early arrival and the chance for a tech-check is not just for the candidates. Hiring managers may need a little extra time to get comfortable with the technology too so they can focus on the interview. One advantage of Montage is the ease in including new hiring managers or hiring decision makers from all over the company through online interviewing. Recruiters may or may not have the time to orient the hiring manager to how this process works. No worries, we take care of it.
Showing up a few minutes early is important for the company representatives too. This is the candidates' initial glimpse into what it may be like to work at your company. Recruiters or hiring managers showing up 5-10 minutes late never makes a good impression!
Our Tips for Success
As promised, here's a consolidated list of tips for success (we have a longer version here) when preparing for a video interview:
- Treat a video interview just like an on-premise interview. Be prepared, be appropriately dressed, be friendly, create a personal connection. And, YES, be early.
- Look at and speak to the camera. With Montage, you can hide your own camera video stream to lessen the distraction of looking at yourself during the interview. Eye contact can be accomplished by focusing on the camera.
- Attend to lighting and background. Light up your face from behind the webcam so your features show. This is how personality, interest, and engagement shine through. Remove clutter and the potential for distractions in your background. You want the focus to be on YOU.
- Volume and sound clarity. The video interview itself may use a conference line or voice over IP (VoIP) for the audio portion. When video interviewing with a smart phone, make sure it's fully charged. A good speaker phone or ear buds will help the interview proceed naturally and hands free. After all, hand gestures are part of communication too - but watch out for too much of a good thing.
Michele Ellner tracks trends in talent acquisition as Director of Marketing for Montage. An 18-year veteran of global recruiting, she sees digital interviewing as the next practice for advancing recruiting performance. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.