When you start to look for a new job, you probably think about application forms, CVs and interviews. Maybe you also think about aptitude tests, personality tests and making presentations, but what most people do not think about is making a video job application.  At least they don’t presently think about making a videothat could change. More employers are starting to see the value of using a video job application process. When you apply for a job in the future, you may be asked to use this approach, but before that happens, learn how to make the most of the opportunity.

Decide What to Cover

Job interviews are all about questions and answers, so if you’re asked to make a video job application, it makes sense to use the same format as the conventional one. Your prospective employer may send you a list of questions that you should cover in your video, but if not, then you have the opportunity to create your own list.  In such a case, resist the temptation to prepare to reveal your life story: instead, draw up a list of questions that relate to the role you’re applying for. Think carefully about the type of information that will be of interest to an employer.

Here are four questions to include in your list:

  1. Why do I want to join your company?
  2. Why do I believe I will be an asset to your company?
  3. Which of my skills do I believe I can use to your benefit?
  4. What specific contribution do I hope to make to your company?

Add to the list as needed.

Be Prepared

When you prepare for a job interview, you prepare well: you choose the right clothing to wear and focus on creating the right sort of impression when you are on your prospective employer’s premises. In the interview room, you are careful about how you speak; you are most likely formal in your approach, as well as polite and respectful.  You know you are being watched and assessed all the time, so you ensure your behaviour fits the circumstances.

The same is true about your video job application.

You want to create a good impression on video, so you will need to practice how you intend to sit, such as making sure you avoid lounging in your chair. You’ll also need to plan how you’re going to speak, and adopt the right mix of formality and informality in your statements.

Remember that you are speaking to real people, even though they are not in the room with you. Plan to speak to the camera as though it were the chairperson of the interview panel.

Answer the Questions Effectively

You control the process when you create your video job application, so you have every opportunity to do a good job. Do yourself a favourget someone off-camera to ask you the questions you intend to answer, then answer them as though were in an interview.  This approach works, as it’s much easier to sustain a dialogue on camera than it is to deliver a monologue. You know the questions you will be asked, so there is no excuse for a lack of preparedness on your part. Answer with confidence and make sure you cover all the points you want to make.

What’s really helpful about a video job application is that if you don’t like the way you answered a specific question the first time you record your response, you can try again and again until you’re happy with how things look. Be prepared to practice.

Adopt a Professional Approach

It’s important to differentiate yourself from other people when you make your video job application. In a conventional job interview process, a panel will allocate a certain amount of time to each candidate’s interview, and the assessment panel will do the same with video applications.

To make the most of your opportunity to impress, do the following:

  1. Keep your video shortif it’s longer than five minutes, don’t expect people to view it.
  2. Make a good impression right from the beginning.  You never get a second chance to make a first impression, whether on video or in the real world.
  3. Make your best points first. Make people think that you are a knowledgeable and interesting candidate in the first half-minute, and the assessment panel just might decide to watch more of your video.

Video job applications make sense: They save employers time and money, they help with the screening of candidates, and they can help with short-listing candidates as well. If you’re looking for a new job, you need to make sure you present a good impression, whether in an interview or on video.  You might not be asked to shoot a video today or tomorrow, but it could happen sooner than you think: make sure you’re ready for it.

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Featured photo credit: Overhead view of woman working at desk via Shutterstock

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