7 Tips For a Successful Video Interview

Filed under: Candidate / Job Seeker, Interview, Job Search

7 Tips For a Successful Video Interview

By: Jon Piggins, Director of Business Development

Redfish Technology

 

We’re seeing more of our clients utilize video interviews (both live & recorded) and while they can be an efficient tool in the interview process, they also present some unique challenges. There are plenty of articles out there that give good basic advice; dress as you would for a professional email, have an appropriate setting/backdrop, speak clearly. Here’s some additional advice that comes straight from challenges our candidates & clients have experienced.

 

Test, Prepare & Practice: Live video or recorded interviews can be awkward. Record yourself & playback to see where you might improve your “on air” performance…are you mumbling or fidgeting, could the lighting be better, is the camera angle off (it should be at eye level, showing your upper torso with some space above your head). You can also practice “live” with a friend & ask them to critique you. Look into the camera: Don’t forget to smile and make eye contact when appropriate.

 

Have a pen, notepad and copy of your resume on your desk…just as you would for an in person interview.

 

When scheduling your interview, ask the interviewer for their cell or direct office phone number. In the event you have technical difficulties or the audio/video cuts out, you can call then at that number to troubleshoot, finish via phone, or pick a time to reschedule.

 

Remove all potential distractions: Put your phone on silent & unplug your landline. Put a sign on your door stating that you’re conducting a video interview & to not ring the doorbell or knock. If there is an interruption (someone enters the room, your dog starts barking, etc), apologize to the interviewer, ask for a few moments, mute your microphone & disable your camera. Deal with the source of the interruption and make sure the room is secure before proceeding with the interview.

 

Create cue cards or a “cheat sheet”: This is one way to turn the odds in you favor in a way you can’t during an in-person interview. Write down questions, key points you’d like to hit, information about the company or hiring manager and post them behind the camera so that you can reference them during the interview.

 

Turn off all programs and applications on your computer that could interrupt the interview. Pop-ups, sounds & IM’s have caused embarrassing distractions during interviews.

 

As with any interview, make sure to follow up with a thank you. Pairing an email & handwritten note is best, but even a thoughtful thank you email goes a long way. For more advice on interviewing, or any of your career search needs, feel free to contact us!

5 Tips for a Successful Lunch Interview

Filed under: Candidate / Job Seeker, Job Search, News, Redfish Speaks

5 Tips for a Successful Lunch Interview

By: Jon Piggins, Director of Business Development @ Redfish Technology

 

In today’s busy world where time is at a premium, we’re seeing more of our clients scheduling lunch interviews with our candidates (everyone has to eat, right?). In addition to convenience, holding an interview out in public offers a unique opportunity to gain insight you just don’t get in a conference room or office setting. Here are 5 tips to help you prepare for the next time you’re invited to meet with a prospective employer over lunch.

 

1. Be courteous to everyone (hearing “please” & “thank you” never gets old)

This is where the value of a public setting for your interview comes into play. Your potential employer will be evaluating the answers you provide to their questions just as they would in the office, but they’ll also be looking for cues to indicate how you might be a personality & cultural fit for their team. They’ll be watching for manners, not the “finishing school” type, but to see if you are self-aware & polite in a general sense. A lunch interview provides a less controlled environment, so they’ll be looking to see how you deal with mistakes (eg. you’re delivered something different from what you ordered) and if you show a level of common kindness & respect. Formal interviews & technical exercises do a good job of vetting skill and ability, but human interaction provides insight into a person’s “EQ” (Emotional Intelligence).

 

2. Make smart small talk

Lunch interviews are more casual than those held in a traditional office setting, so they will be more conversational by nature. Never lose sight of the fact that you are indeed in a business setting, not a social event. Keep your topics neutral & positive, don’t bring up things like politics or religion and focus on upbeat subject matter, like new construction you noticed in the area or volunteer work you’re involved with.

 

3. Come prepared

Yes, you’re interviewing in a more relaxed setting, but it’s still an important opportunity for you to reinforce your capabilities & value. You should still be prepared to answer the standard interview questions you’d get in a regular interview. Bring copies of your resume & any relevant work samples, as well as a professional notepad binder & a pen to take notes. As with any interview, you’ll want to send the hiring manager a meaningful thank you email, as well as a handwritten letter.

 

4. Plan ahead, do your research, arrive early, order strategically

Interviewing can be stressful enough…do yourself a favor and research the restaurant ahead of time so that you’re not compounding your anxiety by trying to figure things out at the last minute. Know the restaurant’s exact location & plan your transportation/logistics accordingly (arrive 10 minutes ahead of time). Eat a little bit an hour or so before your interview. Look up the restaurant online to see how the restaurant is organized (noisy, busy, dark) and how people are dressed. Check out the menu & pick a few “safe” options to order (avoid messy, spicy, greasy food). Don’t complain about your food, or send it back (you might be eating at the hiring manager’s favorite restaurant). Do refuse (and don’t request) any alcohol with your meal.

 

5. Know who you’ll be meeting with

Get the names & titles of all the people you’ll be meeting with. Google them & take a look at their Linkedin profile & their social media presence (most likely, they’ll be doing the same for you). If you’ve never met before, seeing their profile picture will make it easier to recognize them at the restaurant, plus Linkedin will reveal connections you have in common. Doing some research will also help you to come up with prepared topics of conversation, including shared interests (see #2).

 

At Redfish, our mission is to build long-term productive partnerships with both candidates and companies. We pride ourselves on offering progressive service to our client partners without leaving honesty, integrity, excellence or performance behind. We aim to spark innovation, breed efficiency, and fuel market dominance by providing talent who can help take your company and product to the next level.

Our philosophy is simple: build long-term relationships by providing top-quality service and confidentiality, leveraging our expertise and resources, and having fun!