Video interviewing is becoming more common in the hiring process. Advanced technology and the accessibility of video chat apps and programs give job seekers and employers face-to-face interaction without having to meet in person.
Although your job interview may take place in a casual atmosphere, that doesn’t mean you should have a casual attitude about it. It is still a job interview, with the same implications as an in-person office meeting.
Preparation and set up for the video interview is crucial. Consider this advice as you set up, dress up and take on your next video interview.
Set the stage: Choose a quiet space where you can control the surroundings. If you can, try to avoid public places or spots with background activity. Ensure that your backdrop is simple, clean and well-lit. Face a window to take advantage of natural light or set up a lamp behind your camera. Facing the light will help eliminate distracting shadows from your face and background.
Avoid distractions by cleaning off your desk and keeping a glass of water, a pen and paper and a copy of your resume handy. Close applications that may be running on your computer or phone and set all notifications to “do not disturb.”
Tech check: Find out beforehand what app or video platform the employer would like to use and download if need be. Test the application with your internet, audio and video connections, to ensure its stability. It is a great idea to test with a friend to ensure that everything works properly.
Set up your camera at eye level, leaving 10-20% of the screen above your head empty. If your computer is too low, use books to prop it up. If using your phone or tablet, you can also use books or something stable to prop it up.
Using headphones will help prevent echos in the audio and a microphone will help your voice come through clearly.
Dress the part: You may be in your bedroom or kitchen, but you still need to look like a professional. Wear what you would wear to an in-person interview at the company, from head to toe. You will feel and act more professionally if you look the part.
Steer clear of very bright, distracting colors or prints, like stripes, that may cause a visual glitch on camera. Avoid jewelry that makes noise or causes a glare.
During the interview: Similar to an office interview, you want to convey optimism and positive body language. Maintain good posture with your feet on the floor and your back straight, with arms rested on your desk or lap.
Eye contact is essential. When you are talking, make sure you are looking at the camera and not the screen. When listening, smile and nod to show you are engaged. Use hand gestures when it feels appropriate, keeping your movements small and close to your body. Avoid fidgeting, touching your face or looking away from your device.
At the end of the interview, be sure to thank the interviewer for their time and follow up the next day with a thank you email.
If things don’t go to plan: Make sure you have a secondary way to contact your interviewer. If you lose audio, video, or internet connection, call your interviewer and see if you can continue by phone or reschedule.
If an unexpected noise or disruption occurs, simply apologize for the interruption, ask for a moment to step away, or wait for the noise to subside. Mute your microphone and secure the space before beginning the interview again.
With these tips, along with your traditional interview prep, you will be well on your way to making a great first impression. For additional interview tips, read our post about Behavioral Interviewing.
Company Release – 2/25/2019 2:41 PM ET
HARTFORD, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– The Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE: TRV) has announced an innovative new benefit for its employees that takes the tough choice out of paying down student debt or saving for retirement.
With The Travelers Paying It Forward Savings Program, payments by eligible U.S. employees toward their student loans will qualify for the company’s 401(k) Plan “matching” program.
The new program will help tackle two of the biggest financial challenges Americans face today: getting out from under the burden of student loan debt and building healthy savings for retirement.
“We have the most talented workforce in our industry and benefit immeasurably from the education and expertise they bring to their work,” said Alan Schnitzer, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Travelers. “Yet many of our colleagues all too often struggle to save for retirement because student loans weigh so heavily on their finances. Investing in their education shouldn’t stop our employees from investing in their future. We are promoting a standard of employee care that enables them to do both.”
According to the Federal Reserve, student loan debt in the United States reached more than $1.5 trillion at the end of 2018. Starting to save early is key to a healthy retirement fund, yet the Fed’s latest Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households noted that 41 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds said they had no retirement savings. The report also highlighted that 42 percent of those who attended college, representing 30 percent of all adults, have incurred at least some debt for their education.
As part of its leading benefits package, Travelers currently has a “matching” program for employee contributions to 401(k) accounts. Beginning in January 2020, when The Travelers Paying It Forward Savings Program takes effect, student loan payments will also be taken into account when determining the company’s 401(k) contribution.
Employees, including those who are not in a position to contribute at all to their 401(k) accounts because of student loans, who participate in the new program could accumulate tens of thousands of dollars in their 401(k) accounts over a decade, which could be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars at retirement. That demonstrates the importance of starting to save for retirement early in order to realize the benefit of compounding returns over time.
Travelers hires thousands of employees each year under the age of 35, most of whom have college degrees and many of whom have advanced degrees.
“This program is truly life changing for those of us who are chipping away at our debt and still trying to build for our futures,” said Sasha Kashalapov, a user experience designer who joined Travelers in 2018 with a degree in visual communication design. “It speaks volumes about how a company that cares about its employees invests in their personal well-being and success.”
Blake Perry, a claim manager at Travelers, said, “In a long list of initiatives I’ve seen Travelers implement to support and invest in employees during my nine years with the organization, I believe this is among the most impactful of them all. I look forward to participating fully!” Blake joined Travelers in 2010 and has a degree in political science as well as an advanced degree in law.
The Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE: TRV) is a leading provider of property casualty insurance for auto, home and business. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Travelers has approximately 30,000 employees and generated revenues of approximately $30 billion in 2018. For more information, visit www.travelers.com.
View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20190225005944/en/
Matt Bordonaro, 860-277-7014
Source: The Travelers Companies, Inc.
An in-person interview can be a critical step in the hiring process and can help a recruiter or hiring manager determine whether a job candidate fits the organizational safety culture and core safety values of your company. Studies have shown that behavioral interviewing1 can be an effective interviewing technique and can help the interviewer understand more about how a candidate might act when faced with a workplace concern or safety issue.
The premise behind behavioral interviewing is that a person’s past behavior can more accurately predict future performance in similar situations. By asking a job candidate how they performed in specific real-life settings, you’ll gain a better idea of how that person may behave if they work at your company. By considering a candidate’s propensity to adopt safe workplace practices, business owners can gain insight into how they will embrace the company’s safety culture.
1 Predictive Validity of a Behavioral Interview Technique; Oliphant, Hansen and Oliphant; Marketing Management Journal, Fall 2008.