Using web for interviews on the rise
It’s important to know pros and cons of etiquette, technology
For a variety of reasons, businesses and other organizations increasingly rely on Skype, Apple FaceTime and other widely available online video streaming applications to conduct interviews.
According to The Aberdeen Group, a market research firm, 10 percent of companies used video as part of the hiring process in 2010; in 2011, that number jumped to 42 percent for senior executives, management and entry-level job functions.
While virtual interviews save money and time associated with travel, they are not without issues for both the interviewers and interviewees. For younger job seekers, particularly millennials who are more comfortable with the technology than their older counterparts, interviewing online requires no less preparation than interviewing face-to-face.
Deb Eischen, professor of business at Southern Wesleyan University, contends that reasons for a job candidate to be apprehensive actually increase when interviewing online, rather than in person.
“It’s difficult to build a rapport with an inanimate object,” Eischen said. “The spontaneity of communications is often quite challenging when interviewing using technology that is often not performing at optimum levels.”
Eischen added that virtual interviews place additional responsibility on job seekers to provide an environment conducive to making a good first impression while trying to eliminate potential distractions. She stressed that job seekers should ensure that the background is neutral, free from distractions such as posters or decorations that are considered unprofessional, and the room should be adequately lighted. Proper planning also means making sure the surrounding environment is free of noises during the interview, which requires the cooperation of others living in the same house or apartment.
“After all, the home is where a person lives and is not intended to have the characteristics of a broadcast studio or organizational boardroom,” she said.
Eischen adds that job seekers should avoid the temptation to dress too casually below the waist.
“The interviewee must be fully dressed for the interview, and not feel overly confident that the interviewers will not be able to see what he or she is wearing from the waist down,” she said.
Eischen recommends that job seekers do online research and take advantage of books, seminars and webinars for advice on effectively interviewing online.
“It has yet to be determined if the video interviews result in better hiring decisions than the face-to-face venue that has been the ‘bedrock’ of the workplace for generations,” she said.
“There is one piece of advice for the job-seeker that has traditionally been a winning strategy in the traditional interview and still will apply – smile – only this time, direct the smile to the camera,” Eischen said.
Southern Wesleyan University is a Christ-centered, student-focused learning community devoted to transforming lives by challenging students to be dedicated scholars and servant-leaders who impact the world for Christ. For details about degree programs, go online to swu.edu.