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Video Interview: All the tips you need to know

by Aias Katsaros, HR Account Manager & Recruiter | Workathlon

We can all admit that the last few days have been a big challenge for both candidates and employers in all industries. Especially tourism has dealt a major blow and almost all hotels worldwide have been affected. In our beloved Greece, we all consider tourism as one of the two engines that drive our economy forward; therefore the blow has been disproportionately hard and painful for us.

Several people have been quick to despair feeling that everything is lost. However, this is not the right way of thinking. Taking a step back and thinking calmly, most people will realize that, although currently, the situation is tough, in a few months and with the right conditions the industry will bounce up and once again thrive. After all, Greece will still be beautiful, sunny, and full of hospitable people ready to welcome guests once more.

In order to help the country and the industry get back on their feet faster and ensure our health, we have altered our usual way of conducting business. Therefore it is only natural that recruiting is now utilizing a previously known but not very often used method of Video Interviews.

So, staying true to our commitment to always remain close to the needs of hospitality employees, I am sharing some useful information to keep in mind when participating in this kind of interview and increasing your chances of a favorable outcome!

1. Create an online account (Skype, Viber, Whatsapp, Hangouts)

The employer will inform you beforehand which platform they have selected to conduct interviews in. In order to be proactive, we mention some of the most common platforms above. Chances are that most employers will use one of them.

To create an account all you need is an internet connection, a computer, tablet, or smartphone, and a mobile number or e-mail address. Make sure you upload a professional picture of yourself on the account similar to the one in your resume. Additionally, your username should be professional such as your name or initials (if you have an older account from your youth with an ID such as paschalitsa-yolo1993 it will not inspire confidence).

A good idea is to add your video interview account ID to the Resumes that you send in your application to employers in order to make their life easier. I am certain they will appreciate it!

2. Choose & Test your equipment!

Even if you have the equipment ready and setup, do not wait until 10 minutes prior to the interview to see if everything works correctly! Make sure that 1 – 2 days prior to the interview you conduct a test that your computer’s / Tablet’s / Smartphone’s camera, microphone and internet connection work properly.

Do a trial run with a friend or family member, if possible, so you have ample time to adjust if any of your equipment or software is malfunctioning. If using a portable device, make sure it’s fully charged on the day of the interview.

An important thing to keep in mind about camera placement is that people { even models } tend to look horrible when a camera is shooting them from below. For the best angle, position your webcam to be above your eye-line, angled slightly downward.

3. Find the perfect spot

Currently, most people will be interviewing from their home, select a spot that’s free from the distractions of children, roommates or pets. If using WiFi, make sure that you have strong signal and ensure the camera is stationary. Make sure the background is free from clutter and embarrassing items like laundry piles. Set up lighting that’s bright but not glaring, illuminating your face from the front. The nice folks over at Wistia put together a useful set of tips and a video for webcam lighting, which I recommend watching. Natural light yields great results if available and sufficient.

Turn off email, text and social media alerts and other notifications that may show up on the screen during the interview. Turn off programs that might interfere with the webcam and close browser tabs.

4. Dress like a pro!

Dress as you would for an in-person interview. Doing so will make you feel more confident. Don’t try the old newscaster trick of wearing a blazer with sweatpants assuming you’ll only be seen from the waist up. Wear your video interview outfit during your trial run so you can get feedback from your friend or family member about how it looks on screen.

5. Be prepared & on time!

Log in 5 or 10 minutes earlier, so you can be calm and focused when the video interview begins. Have your resume available, along with the job description and any question you may have about the company or position.

6. Pacing your speech

Make sure you speak clearly so the microphone picks up your voice and the interviewer doesn’t have to strain to hear you. Remember that digital connections can sometimes be delayed. To avoid talking over the interviewer or having your first few words cut out, let the interviewer finish the question and then pause for a few seconds before delivering your answer.

7. Maintain eye contact and good body language & always SMILE!

It’s easier for your eyes to wander when the person you’re talking to isn’t in the room. Maintain “eye contact” by looking directly into the camera instead of at the screen. Keep good posture, sitting with your back straight, feet on the ground, and arms resting in your lap or on the desk. If you are reading this, chances are that you have applied for a job in hospitality, therefore smiling is always a plus (do not overdo it). Interviewers and employers are also people, so chances are they have been affected by the situation too! End the video on a positive optimistic note by sharing your appreciation and excitement for the chance to meet them.

Keep in mind that all normal interview rules still apply such as doing research on the employer/company, and following up with a post-interview thank you message within 24 hours. In your message, briefly reinforce why you’re interested in the job and why you’d be a great match for the role and company. Think about adding something that you and the employer discussed while getting to know each other that will eventually make your thank–you message more personal.

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