The job search and hiring process is an amusing combination of progressive and antiquated practices. For example, an employer wants candidates who are dynamic and forward-thinking, but who also use phrases involving “to whom.” Interview practices can be particularly slow to change with the times, so how do you suggest something new and fresh like a video interview to your potential employer? The key is in explaining the benefits of video interview over a traditional interview, and in varying your tactics depending on what the employer is asking for. Here are some ways job seekers can suggest a video interview to potential employers.
The phone interview is probably the easiest to swap for a video interview- and the most helpful. A video interview allows hiring managers to record the interview to share with other managers and team members. It’s an easy-to-use, digital record of their meeting with job seekers, and can be an invaluable reference in the hiring process for employers. If a hiring manager calls to schedule a phone interview with you, you can suggest a video interview for the above reasons. It will set you apart as a candidate, and give you a valuable first impression with anyone who sees your interview. You can even nudge them along by sending a video resume, or profile video, along with your paper resume when you initially apply.
Some employers will be reluctant to hold off on an in-person interview in the early stages of the hiring process. However, feel free to point out the advantages of a video interview as a screening tool— especially if the new office is far away. For one, it allows for greater flexibility of scheduling between the employer and you. Since job seekers no longer have to figure out the logistics of traveling for an interview, it is easier for employers to find a time that works best for everyone. This is especially helpful if the employer wants to pinpoint passive job seekers in their hiring process, or job seekers that are currently employed. With a video interview, negotiating a current work schedule is much simpler. Nixing the gas used in traveling to your interview is just an added benefit for the environment.
Keep this information in mind as you talk to the hiring manager about the possibility of a video interview. A good way to start the conversation is by asking, “Have you ever done a video interview with a candidate?” If the answer is “yes,” you can express your interest in a video interview pretty easily. If the answer is “no,” explain some of the benefits of a video interview in the hiring process if used by employers.
Use your best judgment about the enthusiasm of the hiring manager. Don’t offend by being too pushy, or dismissive of traditional interviews. Many hiring managers have a particular way of going about the hiring process and may not be into the idea at first. Keep your tone polite and conversational, and the thoughtfulness should reflect well on you as a candidate— even if at the end of the conversation you still have to travel for an interview. Such is the life of a job seeker. Good luck!
How would you suggest a video interview to a potential employer? Hiring managers: how would you feel about a candidate asking for a video interview? Leave a comment below, or send me a tweet: @ithinkther4iamb #jobseeker
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