Video job interviews: do’s and don’ts

Video interviews are now an integral part of the hiring process. Participating in an interview in the comfort of your own home has its advantages, but beware of gaffes…

According to a survey of 600 senior executives conducted for the staffing firm Robert Half, candidates who undergo interviews by videoconference sometimes lack professionalism in front of the camera.

The leaders surveyed reported clumsiness of three kinds. Here they are.

1. Unwelcome interruptions
A dog entering the setting, a child asking his or her mother what she is doing, candidates interrupting the interview to answer the door, others talking to their spouses… Interviews disrupted by interventions by the job seeker’s entourage are common, according to the executives consulted.

2. Too much familiarity
Others have found that in video interviews, some candidates feel a little too comfortable. Eating, dressing, playing video games and flirting with the interviewer are among the undesirable behaviours that recruiters have reported in this category.

3. The unfavourable framework
One candidate chose to be interviewed at his home, despite renovations underway. The videoconference took place with hammer and saw sounds as background music.

A lack of seriousness
This list of odd numbers makes Marie Jacques, CHRP, laugh. This headhunter admits that she too had to deal with job seekers who didn’t seem to take the video interview seriously.

She gives the example of a man who was aiming for an important position in a financial institution: “On paper, his record was almost too good to be true. But when he opened the screen, he was in a robe, badly combed and not wearing his midterm! You could see his kitchen and fridge in the background. In addition, he was answering questions in an aggressive tone. It was awful! »

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The recruitment specialist deplores the fact that video interviews, which are often used to screen applications before the final round of interviews, are trivialized. “All stages of the selection process are important,” she says.

How to shine in video interviews

Mastering the video interview is now a necessity, as it is increasingly used on the employer side. And not only the “live” form, but also the pre-recorded one.

Marie Jacques gives us her advice on how to prepare for any of these video interviews.

1. Conduct pre-testing
“Sometimes you have to go through it three or four times before it works,” says the recruitment consultant. So it’s best to familiarize yourself with the video application in advance. In the case of the pre-recorded interview, care should be taken to know the response parameters in advance (3 minutes maximum, for example).

2. Doing Homework
Marie-Jacques recommends preparing for this type of interview as well as for a face-to-face interview: “You have to read the entire company’s website and prepare your own questions. The candidate must also be prepared to talk about his or her background, accomplishments and goals. »

She also advises printing a copy of her CV and job offer for easy reference during the discussion.

3. Choosing a conducive environment
For optimal communication, a quiet location is chosen. Preferably a room with a lockable door.

A glitch occurs during the interview? It is better to acknowledge it and apologize than to pretend it didn’t happen. “It’s a matter of maturity and professionalism,” says Jacques.

4. Putting yourself in the boss’s shoes
She advises job seekers to imagine themselves in the role of the recruiter to identify areas for improvement in their performance. What would they think of a candidate who stops to take a call or whose room shows a pile of laundry to be folded in the background?

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5. Don’t neglect follow-up
“What I often miss in the candidates I interview is the ability to show that they love what they do and that they really want the job,” notes Marie-Jacques. In addition to showing interest during the video interview, sending a thank-you email after the fact is a good way to prove your motivation and stand out as a candidate, concludes the recruitment specialist.

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