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Video Calling - The Recipe to Success

Written by: Ashley Kate HR
Published on: 20 Oct 2014

Video Calling – The recipe to success


No longer getting any joy with those old tried and tested recipes that have landed you jobs in the past?

3 HR jobs, 1 job mixing bowl, 1 CV, 1 email, a generous helping of pleasantries in my cover letter and send for half an hour until ready, right?

Some recipes are like your Grandmas Beef Stew jamie& Dumplings, safe, straight forward and reliable. They may work time and time again but then Jamie Oliver comes along and turns it on its head, spices things up a bit and bish bash bosh this Beef Stew & dumplings is EPIC! However, it does take practice to get it right.

You would be forgiven for thinking that this is a cooking blog at this moment in time but bare with me…

The icing on today’s job finding cake is Remote Interviewing, namely video interviews. Skype and FaceTime calls can turn your job prospects from a non-starter into a main course.

The increasing development of Smart Phone technology means that video calling is accessible to almost everyone. It has most certainly become a firm fixture in most recruitment processes, cutting down on travelling and ensuring consultants can now have virtual face to face preliminary interviews with their prospective candidates.  This makes video interviews an ever growing tool which If used correctly, could be the main ingredient in securing you that all important next HR role.

Which applications are available to use in a Video Interview ?

FaceTime and Skype are two Internet calling applications developed to allow users to communicate with other people over the Internet. Each application allows for video chatting, but this is where their similarities end. While Skype is a full-featured Internet calling application, FaceTime is a more focused video chatting application, making the two more different than a cursory glance might suggest. Read more :

If you can use a web browser, you can use Skype or Facetime and like the best things in life, it is completely free. It will travel with you and gives you the option to be anywhere you want to be within the push of a button. Getting a video call right has the same effect as leaving a face to face interview knowing you’ve made a positive impression. So, let’s get cooking….

My basic, fool proof recipe for conjuring the perfect video call;simpson


Prepare the ‘Techy’ things:

  • Get your equipment set up ready. You should have already accepted the Skype request, If you don’t connect, the interviewer will not be able to see you. For Facetime, make sure you have given the interviewer your correct contact number or email address! An easy mistake to make as Facetime is referred to as a call but can also be used from an IPad or Tablet by dialling your email address.
  • Ensure that you have a sufficient signal on your software or a strong Wifi connection. You wouldn’t open the oven door before the cupcakes have risen would you?!
  • Turn off any alerts you have on the software that you’re using. Any noise other than your voice will be a distraction. Imagine your phone ringing in a face to face interview!
  • Make sure that the microphone on your device is turned on and that the volume is at the right level.
  • Look at the camera and not the interviewer, eye contact is important.
  • Make a test call ahead of the interview so that you are confident that everything is in place for the best possible video call. Cooks don’t get Michelin stars without practice. If you’re getting too many blips, it’s best to stop the call and start again. The future employers may take away that you’re a problem-solver, and you would provide top-quality service if employed by them. Not to mention that fixing this kind of issue is just plain polite.

The proof is well and truly in the pudding so after mastering the basics think about adding the below for the best possible outcome.skypeinterviewfail

  • When you’re relying on video or phone equipment, there’s a good chance you’ll experience a technical glitch: a weak connection, interference or garbled signals. You may hesitate to draw attention to the problem, but you don’t want to give an inaccurate answer because you didn’t understand the question. A simple “excuse me?” works fine. But if the problem persists, bring it up.
  • Dress to impress as first impressions are important. This is an interview and you are being judged for your maximum suitability for important job opportunities. Don’t be tempted to wear your lounge wear on your bottom half just in case you do have to get up to fix a technical problem!
  • Be aware of your surroundings. The interviewer can see you and also what is around you. Take a look at what is behind you, yes, now is the time to remove the odd socks off the radiator, and dare I say the Pink Floyd poster off the back of the door. A clear, clean background works best.
  • Close the door to the room you are in, a roaming pet, or child can be very off putting!
  • For once, multi-tasking is not a positive skill. Give the interviewer your full attention. Yes, you are facing the camera alone but unlike telephone interviews, the person on the other end is aware of your body language. Don’t de distracted by things happening around you.
  • One advantage to a video interview is that you don’t have to remember everything you want to mention. You can have notes in front of you (without your interviewer knowing). Have your CV with you, your achievements, news about the company, questions you want to ask and potential talking points. Of course, you don’t want to be reading off the page verbatim, so make sure you’re familiar with your material, and keep your notes in an easily bullet pointed format to get what you need at quick glance.
  • Smile! Not only does this break the ice but it will develop a rapport, if needs be stick a post-it not up with a funny face to remind you to smile (out of the interviewers sight!)

Now you have the ingredients and have mastered the recipe, you have every chance of being offered your dream job. Who knows, the next time you video call it could be you sitting at the other end of the camera cooking up the perfect Skype or Facetime call as the interviewer!

jamesonbikeThis blog was written by James Beighton, James has been with Ashley Kate HR for over six years. He works closely with candidates, ensuring they are fully informed and equipped ready for interview.  A stout Sheffield United supporter and a true northerner! This is James’ first contribution to the Ashley Kate HR Blog, we look forward to receiving more fantastic articles in the future!

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