Is a new way of interviewing coming?

02 Apr 14:00 by Emma Moxpile


As the need for remote working becomes widespread, the desire for video interviews – with employers or recruiters – has also increased exponentially. They may, at first glance, be more convenient – allowing you to interview without the travel – but they present their own risks too; our seasoned recruiter, Emily Moxpile, explains the latest trend and the things job seekers have to remember.

After ten years in recruitment I have seen some heavy changes in candidate skills, the job market and what kind of role job seekers look for; but changes in interviewing technique may be the starkest yet. Marketers on the job hunt will do well to heed advice on presenting themselves better through video messaging.

Previously, a large part of my job was talking to potential candidates over the phone and, if possible, bringing them in for a face-to-face catch up. Over a mobile call, we can determine what they are like in presenting themselves and how they react to certain questions, but the desire to see candidates in person means we can make more of those judgments and adjustments that will help at the interview stage.

Simply put, a phone call can’t tell us everything – though years of experience have built up a pretty good idea based on this – so we look to have that in person interaction. Yet, this also means that candidates need to be aware of other considerations when they are having an interview over Skype – or any other platform – in order to maximise their chances.


They can see you

This is the most obvious difference from a phone call, but it comes with the most adjustments. Over a phone call, there is more potential to ‘blag’ by stalling for an answer, but body language will usually betray this over visual networking. The advice remains the same though; think about it and take your time to answer, that extra two seconds could be vital in giving a clear and concise solution to what you are being asked about. I will say, give a little bit extra preparation though. If you have the answer in the back of your mind you are less likely to panic. Also, a pause on a video could help with any delay in the signal.

Presentation is also important in interviews, and the visual element means you must look professional. Over the phone, we really don’t know, or care, what you wear, but first impressions count, and those impressions are visual ones. Wear a nice shirt.

It also means that you must find a suitable place to make the call. Sure, this applies over the phone too, but you can find any old location that is suitably quiet; over a video call, if you’re making the call from a park bench, that will be an un-necessary distraction.


You need to be seen

In the same way your phone will need battery, make sure that whatever device you use is all charged up. Older phones, like my personal one, tend to run out of battery when still showing 15%. It’s annoying in real-life, but it’s fatal to a job interview.

Make sure your background is light and visible, and practice, practice and practice some more. It’s very important to have a run through in your chosen location, and you must be seen to be confident, clear and concise with your answers. There’s no reason not to be, remember, you will be talking about you; nobody knows you better than you do.


Why this is more relevant to marketers

In my previous role recruiting sales people, there was often a false assumption that they all needed to be like characters from ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’; in other words, super-strong alpha males who can shout louder than anyone else. This is false because, whilst those types exist and often thrive, any sales involving long-term relationships often favours characters comfortable with multiple systems and complex personalities; these usually aren’t the loudest in the room.

Though marketing is wider reaching than sales, since recruiting for the profession one thing has become very clear; marketers need to present themselves well and clearly and they are increasingly seen as the strategy of the organisation. A marketing candidate not totally comfortable with the video format will struggle more than a sales person or engineer.


In the long-term

World War Two started a long-term trend of women coming into the jobs force. The Industrial Revolution made far-reaching changes to the economic environment. It’s likely that the current pandemic will force us, at least in my industry, to think about how we interview and how we screen candidates. Video interviewing will make a small dent in adapting to how candidates want to be approached and begin to answer very real questions around flexible working.

The benefits of video interviews are clear and obvious, but marketers should be prepared; they will be the ones most affected.


If you want to see what roles are on the market, search CIM marketing jobs now.