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What is a Video Interview?

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  • Written By: M.C. Huguelet
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 06 November 2016
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A video interview is a job interview conducted remotely through the use of a computer webcam and, in many cases, specialized software. There are two main types of video interviews: virtual interviews and live interviews. Use of a video interview is intended to benefit employers by saving the expense of bringing a candidate in for an in-person interview, and providing a recording which can be shared with colleagues and reviewed multiple times. Job candidates are said to benefit from the scheduling freedom allowed by the process. For best results, those invited to interview for a job by video should take steps to prepare themselves before the interview session.

Generally, a video interview is recorded using webcam technology. The webcam used for the interview may be sent to the candidate to be used in his own home, or may be set up in a remote location, such as the branch office of a company headquartered elsewhere. Some technologically savvy companies operate their own video interviewing systems, while other firms contract a third-party company which has been established solely for the purpose of facilitating remote interviews.

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There are two main types of video interviews: virtual interviews and live interviews. A virtual interview is generally completed at a time that is convenient for the candidate. When he opens the appropriate program and begins the interview, he is shown a question which he must read and respond to within a set time limit. This process repeats until all questions have been answered. The resulting recording is later viewed by the employer’s hiring staff.

A live video interview is generally quite similar to a traditional job interview, except that candidate and employer speak via webcast instead of in person. To begin a video interview, a job candidate generally uses his computer to dial into a video conferencing system at a specified time. Once connected, he answers his potential employer's questions. Usually, the video call is recorded so the employers can later return to it if necessary.

Supporters of video interviews hold that the process saves employers the expense of transporting candidates to in-person interviews, and allows interview sessions to be easily shared among relevant staff members. The process is also said to benefit interview candidates by allowing them, in some cases, to choose their own interview time, and eliminating the need to travel. Some detractors argue that the video interview is impersonal or even dehumanizing, however.

Those invited to interview for a job by video may wish to prepare before completing the interview session. It is helpful to set up the webcam which will be used for the interview in advance and to practice operating it to avoid technical difficulties during the session. In addition, it can be useful to study one’s on-camera appearance, adjusting posture, eye contact, and lighting as needed.

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