Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

September 12 2012

Get Ready for the Next Generation of Job Interviews

By David McMillin

With hybrid meetings, interactive webinars and webcasts, virtual technology has revolutionized the way you bring the members of your organization together. Now, it's changing another crucial piece of your life: landing your next job.

A new survey from OfficeTeam, a company that specializes in temporary staffing services, shows that 63 percent of companies frequently conducted job interviews via video in 2012. That's quite the jump from 2011 when just 14 percent of companies used virtual technology to get to know their candidates.

"Many companies are embracing video interviews, which are often conducted online via webcam, as a way to quickly and cost-effectively evaluate applicants, Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam, says.

The benefits for an HR department are clear: eliminate travel costs for prospective employees while taking an interview much further than a phone call. But what about the interviewee? If you find yourself preparing for your small screen debut, here are some ways to win over your potential boss.

Impress - Even Without a Handshake

Despite the increasing popularity of video interviews, many job seekers may initially feel unsure about how to approach an on-camera interview. The easiest solution for those uncertainties is to treat the interview just like what it is: a real job interview. You can still showcase your personal skills from behind the computer screen. Rather than look at the screen, be sure to look directly into your computer's camera to simulate a true sense of eye contact.

Practice Makes You Professional

If you've never been asked to interview via webcam, OfficeTeam recommends taking a trial run to double check that your computer and your connection are good-to-go. More importantly, a practice run can identify any potential personal problems before the interview.

Find a friend to connect with you via Skype, Google Chat or Apple's FaceTime, and ask for honest feedback on your appearance. Are you sitting too close to the camera? Is your voice loud enough to clearly understand your responses? What kind of lighting will help the interviewer on the other end be able to see you?

Be a Tech-Savvy Superstar

By now, meeting planners should not be strangers to virtual technology. A virtual interview gives you an opportunity to highlight just how comfortable you are with new technology. Use your knowledge of virtual and hybrid meeting technologies as an icebreaker that will showcase your understanding of the possibilities of innovative technology.

Whether you're actively looking for a new job or you're still years away from considering a career move, don't be surprised if a virtual interview is in your future. The OfficeTeam research shows that 14 percent of HR managers expect to increase their use of web-cam technology to get to know job candidates over the next three years.

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