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SkypeComputer-to-computer video technology will revolutionize the interim candidate placement business, facilitating timely, more on-target selection decisions.

Video profiles of candidates, typically a summary of the face-to-face interview with the recruiter, while still a rare part of 99 percent of traditional retained search firms even though anecdotal evidence and client feedback suggests it is a very valuable tool, will be increasingly used in the interim placement sector beginning this year.

Moreover, computer-to-computer video screening interviews will become more common in full-service retained searches.

Being effective on video will be a necessary skill set for candidates as this technology becomes more widely used.  Here are some hints to enhance the “close-up” in the screening interview:

  1. Position the camera to capture a nice head/shoulder shot. If you are too far from the camera, you create a space barrier with the interviewer.
  2. If you are using an executive chair, lock it to prevent “rocking” back and forth or swiveling side to side.
  3. Check your volume and controls before the call. You do not want to do trouble shooting regarding video or audio issues once the call begins.
  4. Dress in TV compatible business attire — for example, conservative blues or grays are always good. Do not wear distracting colors or patterns.
  5. Set your camera at eye level. You do NOT want a shot where the laptop, mobile phone or iPad is resting on your desk, looking up at you.  Just consider this, would you want to interview someone looking up their nose, and at the ceiling, beyond their head?  To avoid this disastrous view, create a tripod for your phone or iPad using books.  The same technique should be used with your laptop or computer monitor with a camera.
  6. Avoid backlight. This means, do not sit in front of a window.  The backlight makes it difficult, if not impossible, to clearly see your face.
  7. Be cognizant of your background. I have done computer-to-computer candidate interviews with some questionable background distractions, including personal laundry items hanging from an indoor clothesline.
  8. Be sure family members are notified of the video interview so you will not have embarrassing interruptions.
  9. Bandwidth is important. Dial-up connections are problematic.  If you are engaged in an active search, you might want to “buy up” on the bandwidth speed for the six to eight months you are in a search.