Interview Tips in the Age of Video Communication Platforms

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by Nurse VIBE Nurse VIBE, MSN, RN (New)

Specializes in Emergency Nursing, Nurse leader, Executive.

Undeniably, the world of interviewing has evolved exponentially through the use of technology and social media. This article goes over the pros and cons of video interviews and the impact that social media may have on the hiring process. I even share some video interviewing tips at the end!

How Video Interviews and Social Media Impact The Hiring Process

Interview Tips in the Age of Video Communication Platforms

It is undeniable that the world of interviewing has evolved exponentially through the use of technology and social media. According to the Harvard Business Review “up to 86% of employers use job interviews mediated by technology, a growing portion of which are automated video interviews (AVIs).”. Common video communication platforms (VCP) utilized include Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Skype. The use of virtual interviews grew common mostly due to the COVID 19 pandemic, in efforts of preventing the spread. 

There are some benefits to interviewing candidates virtually. For example, video conference interviews save time and travel for the applicant, it allows for multiple team members to join in (who may be in different locations), and it expands the interviewers reach to connect with talent globally. However, if given the opportunity to interview in-person it may be beneficial to do so according to some studies. 

A study conducted by researchers at Missouri S&T showed that in-person interviewees were favored when compared to those who interviewed via a virtual job interview. These results suggest that interviewers should “look for ways of avoiding unfair bias in favor of in-person applicants. One way of doing so would be to interview all applicants in the same way.”

With regard to social media, a 2018 survey conducted by the website CareerBuilder, demonstrated that seven in ten employers who took the survey stated that they use social media to research candidates throughout the recruitment process. More than half of those respondents also admitted that there had been social media content found which resulted in candidates not getting the job (although many shared the purpose of searching candidates' social media was to find “Information that supports their qualifications for the job”.

Finally, the below interview tips are based on my experience and may not be points that automatically disqualify a potential candidate from receiving a job offer. However, they may be taken into strong consideration when any hiring manager/s are making the final decision. Taking competition into account, applicants should place every effort into setting themselves apart in a positive manner during the interview/s, in order to stand apart and help secure the position!

VIDEO INTERVIEW TIPS:

1. Sign in Early: 

Sometimes video conferencing can be unpredictable. Even if you sign off right after testing the sign-in, make sure to give it a try early in order to make sure the link works and your internet access is good. Check your device's battery life and ensure you have enough power to go 30-60 minutes. 

Also, add your name before the interview starts. I have seen some interesting names left on zoom accounts during an interview. 

2. Lights, Camera, Action: 

Put your camera on! Believe it or not, I have had candidates not put themselves on camera and get frustrated when I asked if they would like to. Dress professionally; wearing scrubs, jackets, or casual wear is not appropriate for an interview. 

Lighting and sound are also important. You do not want to be in too dim of an environment where you’re barely visible. You also want to be in a quiet setting where you can hear the interviewer, and they can hear you. 

3. Location: 

Interviewers are looking at your background environment; be aware of what posters and other items are behind you. A blurred background is one great option! If choosing to have a virtual background, make sure it’s not too distracting. A neutral tone or office/library type of background works well too. 

4. Body Language: 

If you are using a mobile device refrain from walking back and forth; it gives off a sense that you’re disinterested and it is distracting for the interviewer.

While sitting, make sure you're upright with good posture. Do not prop your head on your hands as though bored with the conversation, or tired.

Try to have a table or surface where you can stand your device near head level versus holding it too low or too high at an awkward position. 

5. Stay Focused:

It can be very tempting to open up other web tabs while in an interview, particularly if it is taking long. Try not to surf the web or check emails however, most times the interviewer can tell if you are multitasking during the interview, either through the reflection of your screen on your glasses or through your eye movements.


References

More Than Half of Employers Have Found Content on Social Media That Caused Them NOT to Hire a Candidate, According to Recent CareerBuilder Survey

New research shows that a zoom interview actually hurts your job chances. Heingartner, D. H. D., & Heingartner, D. (2022, October 3).

Where Automated Job Interviews Fall Short. Harvard Business Review. 

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5 Comment(s)

Nurse Beth, MSN

Specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho. Has 30 years experience. 151 Articles; 2,721 Posts

Excellent! Being mindful of your background is such good advice. Avoid a messy bedroom or worse (lingerie tossed over a chair).

Close your door to keep pets out and silence your front door doorbell, using a sign if need be.

Consider a halo light 🙂 bc we all look fresh and at our best in good lighting.

Some people dress professionally from the waist up only, but dressing professionally head to toe puts you in the mindset.

foxypaws, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in Operating room. Has 1 years experience. 7 Posts

I felt so odd doing a video interview after over a decade away from the workforce. 

barcode120x, BSN, MSN, NP

Specializes in Telemetry. Has 7 years experience. 643 Posts

^
I feel you. I had only done two nursing interviews after nursing school and hadn't had an interview since (been 7.5 years) until last month where I went through 2 video interviews. I went through 5 total interviews for my current position and I do have to say that the video interviews were the ones I felt most calm and relaxed.

foxypaws, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in Operating room. Has 1 years experience. 7 Posts

^
5 interviews! Oh my goodness I would have been sweating that. I actually like interviewing in person better. I find it easier to interpret body language and the general atmosphere. Digital is just entirely too informal for me. 

PositiveEnergy

PositiveEnergy, MSN, PhD, RN, APN

Specializes in Family, Maternal-Child Health. Has 44 years experience. 2 Articles; 16 Posts

Though I prefer in-person interviewing, it is always a good alternative to have online interviewing, particularly as you mentioned when distance for the candidate is problematic, as well as for others.  If one thinks about it, with an in-person interview the interviewer often does all the organizing and setting up to make the interview happen (getting the room, scheduling, making the environment just right....).  So the candidate comes into the perfect interview setting.  However, think about all those key points you mentioned (particularly about one's environment, distractors, using other devices...) that can occur on an online interview.  If the online candidate is sharp he/she will exhibit during their interview that they are implementing proper etiquette skills.  Certainly their behavior tells you something about this person's management skills, organizational skills, commitment... and how they will perform on-the-job.