Blog posts preparing you for your video interview are popping up online more and more often now that the technology has gained greater acceptance among recruiters and hiring managers who wish to improve their hiring processes. As a job candidate preparing for an interview, tips offered to improve the way you appear and sound are valuable but what about the technological challenges for which you should also be prepared? If you aren’t just new to video interviewing but to the Internet and computers in general, here are a few things you should know.
What browser are you using? Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome and Safari are examples of browsers so if you surf the web at all then odds are you are using one of these four. If you have technical issues and need to call a support line, you will need to know which of these you are using. Most will work fine with a video interview but if your browser isn’t up to date then you could have a problem. Most video interviewing systems use Adobe Flash Player to facilitate the video interview. If your interview won’t work because of a Flash incompatibility error, I recommend downloading Google Chrome since Flash is built into that browser.
Do you have a headset? One-way virtual interviews don’t require a headset and really neither do live interviews however to get the best sound quality from a live interview, wearing a headset is best. Doing so will prevent your interviewer’s voice from exiting your speakers and then feeding back through your microphone which creates a looping, echo effect. If you are using a laptop, only a headset or ear buds are required but if you are on a desktop computer, then a headset with a built-in microphone should be used.
How many microphones are you using? If you are using a laptop computer then you may use your computer’s internal microphone to conduct the interview. However if conducting a live interview, you may experience a microphone conflict if you have more than one microphone active. For example, if you are on your laptop and you are wearing a headset with a built-in microphone the microphone in your computer may conflict with the microphone in your headset. Only one microphone can be truly in use for the video interview but if you have two that are active your computer the video interviewing system may choose the wrong one. Most vendors will provide a step to test your microphone prior to starting your interview. If your microphone is not picking up sound, try selecting a different mic. from the microphone drop down list likely provided in the interview software.
What type of Internet connection do you have? No, I’m not talking about Wi-Fi. Most everyone is connected wirelessly. I mean do you have fiber, cable, DSL, satellite or “gasp”, dial-up? Fiber, DSL and cable are great but satellite and video interviews don’t play well together. As for dial-up, well, you are still probably waiting for the rest of this sentence to load. Poor thing! If your video/audio is choppy the degradation could be the result of poor internet speed. Make sure no one else in the house is streaming movies or downloading large files or playing online games. If the trouble persists, try unplugging your router for a few seconds and then plug it back in. If the problem continues then it could be that you need a new router (older than 3-4 years is ancient). But your computer may be the culprit which brings us to…
How old is your computer? Computers, unlike many of your home’s appliances, become obsolete quickly. If your computer is four years old and older or routinely takes much longer than it should opening programs and shutting down, you should consider a different device. A slow computer can degrade the quality of your video no matter how fast the connection speed. As an alternative to the computer many vendors offer video interviewing apps. for tablets and smartphones. Try one of these to improve performance. If you have no such devices to use, make sure that the video interview is the only program running on your machine. I would also suggest restarting your computer prior to beginning to optimize performance.
More than 95% of interviewees won’t experience any of these problems, but if you do these tips above can help you pinpoint and solve some problems. Unless of course you are still on dial-up!