Video interviewing is increasingly being embraced by employers as a quick and efficient way of talking to top candidates with busy schedules. In fact, a recent survey by Office Team showed six out of 10 employers are using video interviews in their hiring process. As with all things digital, now video interviews can fit in your pocket thanks to apps for smartphones and mobile tablets. But how do the interview rules differ when speaking with an employer from your mobile device?
All interviews are different and the rules for a mobile video interview aren’t quite the same as for an in-person sit down. Most mobile video interviews will actually be one-sided affairs where you answer written employer-posed questions on video. Unlike an in-person meeting or live video interview, there will be little give-and-take with your interviewer. The benefit, however, is that you can take your time recording your answers. This means your final product should be able to truly wow your potential employer. Just like in any interview, the stakes are high.
If you want to impress employers while using your mobile device, here are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind:
Dress to impress
Just because you won’t be sitting in front of your interviewer doesn’t mean sweatpants are appropriate attire for your mobile video interview. You might think it’s fine because your interviewer will never see your bottom half, but your clothing has the power to affect the way you feel and the way you present yourself.
Dress up in a business suit or other office-appropriate formal wear, even if your employer will only see your top half. This will show your interviewer how serious you’re taking the opportunity and will help you to exude the confidence you need to impress.
Stand out from the crowd
It’s important to remember that just because video interviews are now portable doesn’t actually mean you should record your interview on the go. Take some time choosing your location, don’t just record your video interview answers anywhere. You want to make sure you’re the star of the video, so you’ll want to find a private place to answer questions. In the middle of a crowded room or with your roommate making dinner behind you is not the best bet.
Stage your background just like you would for a video interview or important teleconference. Just because you can interview now from wherever life takes you doesn’t mean all backgrounds are created equal. Try to find a neutral, professional setting so employers focus on you, not your scenery.
Sound it out
Just like your background, the sound quality of your recording is extremely important. If employers can’t hear you, you’ll end up in the trash pile within the first few seconds of your recording. Make sure you choose a very quiet place to record your video interview answers. Turn off all televisions and devices likely to make noises.
Before you submit, watch your answer and make sure you can be clearly heard and understood. You’ll want to make sure to enunciate your words so employers can understand how you’d bring value to their company.
You’re recording a video interview, not the Blair Witch Project, so make sure you stay away from the shaky cam form of filmmaking. It might be tempting to hold your smartphone at arm’s length and record your answer, but this is a bad idea. It’s likely your arm will get tired and even those with impressive arm strength might find they have a hard time keeping their phones held steady.
Instead, try using a tripod or prop your phone into position on a nearby table. Make sure your mobile device isn’t going to fall over while you record your video interview. It’s important to keep your phone in a steady location to ensure the finished product looks and sounds professional.
Turn off notifications
If you’re recording your video answers from your smartphone, it’s a good idea to turn off anything with bells and whistles. Turn off all your notifications and make sure to let your friends and family know you’ll be busy recording.
No employer wants to hear the sound of your phone receiving multiple text messages while you talk about your ability to focus and prioritize. You might be a popular person, but for the space of the video interview put your social life on hold.
Know your stuff
Knowing your stuff is obviously the best way to impress in any interview, whether it’s in person, a live video interview, or a mobile interview. Do plenty of research on the company including what challenges the organization is facing, what their biggest successes have been, and what the corporate culture is like. This will allow you to tailor your answers to transform you from just another candidate into just the person the company needs to succeed.
Because you won’t be face-to-face with your interviewer, it’s easy to submit answers and forget to follow-up. But touching base with the employer after the interview is vitally important. Even though you didn’t see your interviewer or shake their hand doesn’t mean they’re not taking time out of their busy schedules to consider you for the job.
Send a brief note thanking your interviewer for their time and consideration. In the note, make sure to restate your interest in the position and ask when you can expect to hear back about the next stage in the process. This will set you apart from the other submit-and-wait candidates and show employers just how eager you are to land the job.
Mobile interviews play by different rules than traditional in-person meetings or even live video interviews. Make sure you know these tips in order to impress your interviewer and nab the job of your dreams.
Josh Tolan is the CEO of Spark Hire, a video powered hiring network that connects job seekers and employers through video resumes and online interviews. Connect with him and Spark Hire on Facebook and Twitter.