Getting Ready for a Video Interview

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Finance professionals are often put off by the idea of a video interview with an employer. However, the use is growing. If you happen to be the lucky one getting ready to setup the webcam, here are some words of advice from Dave Falardeau, director of 10K Financial Recruiters, on how to ace the interview.

· First, acknowledge that a video interview isn't necessarily a bad thing. While it might seem impersonal at first, do remember that you were fortunate enough to get a call back. Plus, you've reduced the time it would take for a traditional face-to-face interview.

· Remember that the video interview is just a preliminary one, and it can often be brief. Make the best impression possible, just as you would do in person.

· The best defense, to quote the old saying, is a good offense. Make sure to be well-prepared before you sit in front of the webcam. Do your homework on the company and the position.

· According to Falardeau, more often than not, video interviews are done for lower level candidates. Generally, there are more candidates to choose from at this level, and so an employer may want to whittle down the number of people to call back for a face-to-face meeting. Consider it a prescreening tool, similar to the phone interview that many banks and investment firms are doing today.

· As with any interview, good communication skills and a professional appearance are a big factor. It helps to do a bit of rehearsing when it comes to describing your professional skills.

· Make sure the background behind you is professional. For instance, get rid of the soda cans, and instead, opt for a video interview in front of a blank background or even a neatly organized bookshelf.

· Body language is still a big part of the interview. Don't forget to sit up tall, smile and make eye contact with the camera. Avoid fidgeting and fiddling with your pencil.

At the end of the day, says Falardeau, be positive. Don't let your fear of the camera spoil your chances for the job. Before the actual interview, it might be useful to practice with a friend who also has a webcam. Set the shot up so that your torso is visible, says Falardeau, just as if the employer were looking at you from across a desk. Remember that the angle of the camera matters as well.

Have you done a video interview before? Share your comments below.