Companies are moving towards prerecorded interviews as part of their overall recruiting strategy. For employers, it’s a great way to efficiently evaluate (read as: weed out) candidates. As a candidate, it is a great way to interview without needing time off of work and without incurring travel costs.
That said, the recorded interview can be challenging and you should definitely take some time to prepare. The basics of interviewing definitely still apply, but here are some additional recommendations for recordings:
- Find a quiet, private room that has an inoffensive backdrop. You want to make sure the quality of the recording is decent, so it is important to find a place where your recording can be heard without background noise. Don’t worry if your computer doesn’t have the best sound quality, as long as your answers can be heard clearly. Find a time where you can interview without interruption, so you don’t have to worry about background noise and distractions.
- Backdrops. Make sure to angle the camera so the background is inoffensive (I recommend a blank wall). If you wouldn’t want your employer to see something, make sure it’s not in the background. I once was in a meeting where the camera unintentionally went on and the person was getting her hair done (talk about a bad impression).
- Wear a suit (at least from the waist up)! Even if you are interviewing in your bedroom, keep in mind this is a professional interview. Make sure to dress professionally (at least where the camera can see you).
- Practice in front of the camera. Some online interview software will allow you to practice in advance of the official recording. Being recorded is a very different experience than meeting with someone in person. Definitely take advantage of these practice sessions. Also, make sure to record yourself on your own, and play it back to see how you appear. Make sure to smile and appear friendly.
- Notes. While it’s totally okay to take notes and have them handy in front of the camera, keep them to the bare minimum. It should not appear that you are taking notes at all.
- Watch your “umms” and “likes”. It’s a pretty common habit for people to fill quiet with noise, when thinking or nervous. Practice pausing silently when you are asked questions, rather than using filler words. This will make you appear more professional. It’s okay to sparingly use phrases such as “Let me think about that for a moment” and “That’s a great question.” You want to make sure to appear natural in front of the camera.
While being recorded can be a little bit nerve wracking, you can ace it with preparation and practice.