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3 Things To Consider When Participating in Video Interviews

Zak Brocchini

  • 12-10-2020
  • Blog articles

Video interviews were gaining popularity in our practice since at least 2013, people loved not having to commute to a meeting which turned an hour-long interview into an entire afternoon.  Then came Covid.  Out of necessity, we’ve all become accustomed to video meetings.  As Covid winds down, virtual interviews will likely remain standard practice, especially in the technology sector.  With video interviews there are some key things to be aware of.

Test Your Technology

Tech hiccups are unavoidable, but many can be tested in advance.  If you’re interviewing for a position with a remote or hybrid work schedule, make sure you have enough bandwidth and a good router.  If you don’t, upgrade your equipment or service.

Practice connecting and using your equipment if you’re not doing a lot of video meetings regularly.  Make sure the lighting is good and the background isn’t distracting.  How’s the audio quality?  If you’re using a headset charge it and check it’s paired in advance.  If you are going to share your screen, have the material ready and make sure there’s nothing on your screen you don’t want others to see.  Know how to turn your audio or video off quickly in case you have a need for privacy.

If a tech issue does arise, take it in stride and remain positive.  How you react to this gives the other party a good glimpse into how you handle adversity, and what it’ll be like working with you when there are challenges.

Your Security Practices

I frequently see people having video chats in places like Starbucks, the train, and other places with public WIFI.  Stop doing that!  Curious people are always listening, and loose lips sink ships!

There is a very real risk that third parties could gain access to confidential materials discussed or displayed when using public WIFI.  When it comes to the train, know that everyone around you hears your side of the conversation, it is not private, and it’s annoying the people around you.  That’s why they keep clearing their throat and coughing.  If both parties are using a secure WIFI connection, it goes a long way to maintaining security and privacy.  Using a paid subscription software with a unique access id is the best option.

Ease of Recording

It’s very easy for either party to record an audio or video interview, as well as to take screen shots of any material presented without the other party knowing.  There are several software platforms that offer this service.  I would advise not to use them or otherwise record interviews.

One reason is there may be legal ramifications to the recording.  In some states both parties must consent to the recording in advance, others only require one party consent.  Most interviewers won’t know the laws in every (or any) particular jurisdiction, which will open the door for lawsuits.  Save yourself the trouble and potential expense.

Having to worry that everything you say and do is being recorded will discourage open dialogue and rapport building.  Nobody will get to know each other or share something that might be uncomfortable if they think the moment is being recorded and possibly shown to others or used against them in the future.  People may also post their interviews to social media, either to help others interviewing for the same job, or to embarrass the interviewer or company that didn’t hire someone.  Any of these will hurt the interview process, hurt your brand, and potentially hurt you personally.

If someone asks to record an interview, I would say no.  I prefer to encourage a free-flowing conversation vs Big Brother watching you.  When people are more comfortable you learn a lot more about them.  That’s what an interview is for…

Video Interviews are new grounds for some candidates and managers.  Try to anticipate some of the potential issues beforehand to get the most out of a video chat.  It’s an amazing productivity tool for both parties when used effectively.

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