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What We Can Learn From the Recent Los Angeles Mayoral Candidate Video Interviews

Think video interviews are still a niche market? Think again. Recently, the Los Angeles Times conducted video interviews with this year’s L.A. mayoral candidates, having each candidate answer a specific question in a video response–a mayoral one-way video interview! Obviously, you won’t have access to the high production value or coaching these mayoral candidates did. However, you can take tips on diction, content, and body language which you can use in your job search and video interviews.

The Times’ video interviews can be found here.  For the first question, the candidates were asked, “Describe a problem you have solved in your career that pitted you against your usual principles or your usual allies and how it demonstrates the skills that would make you excel as mayor.” Sound familiar? I believe I’ve been asked a similar question, subbing out the mayor aspect, in every job interview I’ve had. Each candidate had his or her strengths and weaknesses. Candidate Perry provided a well-rounded answer, although her response became overly breathy at the end and she appeared almost nervous. Be sure to maintain a calm, but authoritative voice in your interviews. On the whole, Candidate Garcetti did a nice job of being prepared, speaking slowly, enunciating, and making eye contact. Additionally, Candidate Greuel did an excellent job speaking to the camera. One thing to consider in answering a question such as this one is to elaborate on one specific event, taking the interviewer, or audience, through all the steps of the process. Finally, Candidate James showed passion for his work in his answer. However, his speech is fast and lacks natural breaks, preventing the audience from taking in everything he says.

The second question is fairly common to job interviews as well; describing what you would bring to the company to help it grow over the coming years. Again, be sure to answer the question in detail, without rambling tangentially. Allow the audience to follow your answer by speaking slowly and taking natural breaks. Even the most prepared person can end up saying ‘uh’ or ‘um’ their fair share, so make sure to practice before going on camera with a mock interview.

Learning from these seasoned politicians and business professionals can help improve both your traditional and video interviewing skills. As video technology spreads, you’re likely to have at least one video interview, no matter the occupation.

Have you participated in a video interview? What are some tips you can share with individuals preparing for their first one? Share your wisdom in the comments below!

IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by Alan Cleaver

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Jen works as a Marketing Project Manager for a restaurant, a kitchen assistant for cooking classes, helps with database management, does some freelance writing, and more. She received her B.A. from the University of Maryland in Government & Politics in 2011. Currently, she resides in the Washington, D.C. area and is an avid sports fan.

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