TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 04, 2012 14:45 PM
In a difficult economy, there are many steps jobseekers can take to give themselves a leg up on the competition. They can take a career test in an effort to identify their ideal profession or they can return to school to enhance their knowledge and skill set in a particular area. In an increasingly technological world, those who are looking for work may also want to figure out how to use a webcam, if they are not already familiar.
While many companies still get to know job candidates through face-to-face interviews, a number of them are also relying on computers to conduct video interviews.
Video sessions on the rise
Recently, OfficeTeam, a provider of staffing services, commissioned a survey of more than 500 human resources (HR) managers working at companies with at least 20 employees. Findings reveal that 63 percent of respondents currently conduct video interviews. This is a significant increase over the 14 percent of professionals who said the same last year.
In 2011, only 1 percent of HR managers said they use video technology to interview candidates very often. This number rose to 53 percent in 2012. As a result, the number of employers not conducting interviews with video technology has dropped from 42 percent in 2011 to 25 percent in 2012.
Reasons for video interviews
For many companies, switching to a video interview format provides an easier way to get to know candidates from other states and countries. In the case of other employers, it is not so much about embracing technology as it is about keeping costs low.
"Many companies are embracing video interviews, which are often conducted online via webcam, as a way to quickly and cost-effectively evaluate applicants," said Robert Hosking, OfficeTeam's executive director. "Jobseekers can use these virtual meetings to put their best foot forward, just as they would in person."
How jobseekers can prepare for video interviews
Video sessions have the potential to create awkward scenarios for some jobseekers. For instance, Sean Beaver, Kiewit Power's recruitment manager, has seen his fair share of uncomfortable moments while conducting one-way video interviews with candidates, The Wall Street Journal reported. In one session, an applicant's wife appeared and asked who her husband was talking to, while a cat crossed the screen in another.
To avoid an awkward video interview, OfficeTeam suggests candidates fully understand the technology they will be using before an interview and select a location that will be free of distractions. Furthermore, just because jobseekers are at home, does not mean they can wear their pajamas. Instead, they should dress just as they would for a face-to-face interview.