Career Control: The 4 P’s for Performing on Camera
In line with government advice and to protect for our colleagues, clients, candidates and everyone else, we have shut our offices and regrouped to the safety of our homes. We are still very much open for business and are naturally experiencing a surge in requests for interviews to be conducted on-line.
Whilst on-line interviews will never replace face to face meetings, they are more commonplace in the early stages of a process and a vitally important part of any process involving international stakeholders. Whatever your view on interviewing in front of a camera, if you’re looking to keep a recruitment process moving during these challenging times, it is imperative to put in a good performance. Here are some key factors to consider;
1. Prepare yourself
As with all interviews, preparation is absolutely key to success. All of the normal interview preparation rules apply; your knowledge of the company, the role and your experience will be questioned. You should have thoughtful answers ready for discussions, supported with relevant examples and interesting questions of your own. Interviewing is a two-way process and you may have to work a little harder in this setting to encourage this and drive open dialogue.
2. Prepare your space
Your environment could say as much as about you as anything that you might discuss during the call. Whilst an errant child may be a good ice breaker, ensure that you are in a quiet and controlled space, with good natural light and a well-positioned camera is going to ensure that all of the focus is on you and the conversation. Confirm what technology medium the interview will use, with a wide range of tools available such as Teams, Zoom, Blue Jeans and WebEx (there are many more) some of which may require you to create an account, download an app or update your current software.
Run a practice session with a trusted friend or associate, firstly to test your tech is up to speed; lights, camera, broadband all needs to be up to the task. Secondly, video interviewing is not as natural an experience as sitting opposite someone during a conversation, so practice focusing on the camera, rather than looking at the screen…. the desk, email alerts, out of the window. Thirdly, this is also a good opportunity to find a seating arrangement that allows you to keep a good, stable and natural posture. Finally, trial run your outfit in front of the camera. Bold colours, blacks and whites can all affect the cameras colour balancing software, whilst stripes and patterns can cause flickering and juddering. Go for something soft and simple and if in doubt a blue always works well.
4. Pace yourself
To ensure that you get your message across in the right way, you’re going to need to get your pace and tone of communication right. If you’ve been working from home for a few days or longer, it may also be an idea to take a few paces outside to reset yourself before the interview starts. Once the interview has started, keep the pace and tone conversational and as natural as possible. Also, be especially mindful that even with the best of internet connections, there can be some lag, so be sure to leave space between your answers and questions to allow the interviewer to respond and interject. The same applies when the interviewer is speaking, that you leave time and space for them to finish so that you’re not talking over each other.
Approach an online interview, as with any other interview, as a professional business meeting and you can’t go too far wrong. Prepare, Prepare, Practice and Pace yourself so that your audience hears and understands you message and what you bring to the table. Of course, the more that you enjoy the meeting and embrace the questions that you’re asked, the more authentic and natural your delivery.