From May, 2017

7 Deadly Sins of Video Interviewing

Are you ready for your video interview?  If you have not been invited to take one, chances are you soon will be.  More and more companies are integrating the technology into their hiring process at a rapid pace.  As with a phone interview or in-person interview, there are dos and don’ts but because many video interviews are automated, you the interviewee likely won’t be speaking directly to anyone therefore not all the same rules of etiquette apply.

Below are 7 hiccups that may derail your video interviewing success.

1.       Dressing inappropriately – While you may get away with wearing sweats during your phone screen, you must take better care to look your best during a video interview whether it is a live interview or one-way automated interview.  The person reviewing your interview will see you from at least the chest up so dressing professionally is important.  Please consider too that your interview may be shared with several other individuals thus increasing your exposure.

2.       Sitting in an untidy area – Be aware that the camera will be recording the room where you choose to complete the interview. Backgrounds are often overlooked during video interviews because they generally don’t come into play during a phone screen or in-person interview.  An unkempt background provides a good opportunity to leave a bad first impression. 

3.       Knowing nothing about the opportunity – Video interviews are employed to filter out unknowledgeable, dispassionate candidates prior to a face-to-face interview.  Don’t be surprised if during your video interview you are asked how you heard about the opportunity, what you know about the company or why you want the job?  Your fumbled answer may be shared with several decision makers not to mention viewed repeatedly.

4.       Cheating – Generally questions are not presented to candidates in advance.  Avoid trying to skip ahead through the interview process to get a glance at all the questions.  The technology likely won’t allow you to go back to the beginning, the interviewing platform will submit your empty responses, and the hiring manager will know what you tried to do.

5.       Skipping the instructions – Many candidates skim through the instructions and then appear lost once the interview begins, not fully understanding what is expected of them.  They appear unaware the application has begun recording and blankly stare into the camera.  They usually catch on around question three but by then the damage is done.  Others do not properly test out their camera and microphone and proceed through without one or both devices not working.  This results in an interview without audio, video or both!

6.       Rambling – Candidates may be provided 90 seconds or more to provide their response but often continue speaking even after they have provided a brief but sufficient answer.  Why?  Because they feel it behooves them to fill the remainder of their time.  Be succinct and to the point!

7.       Waiting until the last minute – You’ve been given five days to complete the video interview but wait until 11:30 p.m. on the last day to begin.   Unfortunately if your webcam isn’t responding, your computer has crashed or your internet is down you may miss your chance.  And can you believe it, tech support isn’t answering the phone at mid-night?  Don’t procrastinate!  Get it done!

Granted, these seven deadly sins have nothing on Kevin Spacey’s and if violated you won’t lose your head, but you may lose the job!

Workplace Incivility Is At An All Time High

According to Christine Porath, Associate Professor at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business, 25% of employees surveyed in 1998 reported being treated rudely at work at least once a week.  That number rose to 55% in 2011 and increased further to 62% in 2016.  A second poll by Weber Shandwick, Powell Tate, and KRC Research showed that 70% of Americans think that political incivility has reached “crisis” levels. 

Catherine Mattice, president of Civility Partners LLC, describes incivility as, “…any sort of rudeness, any sort of micro-aggression, anything you do that causes the other person to feel uncomfortable or unhappy.”

At the watercooler the talk is no longer about Game of Thrones’ episodes but rather discussions about the President’s latest policy decisions, immigration and a border wall.  All of these topics have a chance of alienating/infuriating particular races, religions and nationalities.  Not all incivility however originates with political disagreements.  A survey Porath took two years ago showed that over half of workers behaved uncivilly because of work overload and, oddly, forty percent claimed they had no time to be nice, while a quarter behaved rudely because their bosses also behaved as such.  Other factors contributing to the rise of rudeness are cultural clashes and an increase in narcissism among younger adults.

What is the price of workplace unrest?  According to a study by Porath and Amir Erez, professor of management at the University of Florida, an individual’s cognitive skills dropped thirty percent after rude treatment.  Harmful treatment may cause physical or mental health problems as well.  The American Psychological Association estimates that workplace stress costs companies billions every year in employee turnover, absenteeism and lower productivity.  A poll of 800 managers and employees conducted by Porath revealed that those treated disrespectfully at work intentionally decreased the quality of their work and the amount of time invested in it.  In addition, workplace harassment may lead to expensive lawsuits. 

Clearly incivility is a destructive force but how important is showing respect? According to Porath, respect shown by a leader is the most important key to producing commitment and engagement from employees.  It outweighs showing recognition and appreciation, feedback and even opportunities for growth.

So listen, forget about President Trump for a moment!  Game of Thrones will return in July.  Once again we can talk about the war in Westeros rather than the war in the workplace.