Schools Facilitate Recruiting With Webcams

March 5, 2010

video interviewUniversities, business and law schools across the country have installed video conferencing technology to help their students and alumni find jobs.

"Employers love the fact that they can do at least a first round of interviewing by seeing the person through video," said Julie Lucas, with the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver, who was quoted by ABC News. She noted that video conferencing saves time and money for employers.

Over 300 colleges and 50 MBA programs have signed up with InterviewStream, a service which conducts webcam interviews, according to co-founder Randy Bitting. He told ABC News that his company also helps people "get used to speaking on a webcam" before participating in a real interview. The cost can range from $2,500 to $4,000, and employers pay about $60 an interview.

Similarly, The Wall Street Journal reports that video technology is proving to be beneficial for business schools in less convenient locations that wish to attract recruiters. The University of Virginia's Darden School of Business and Cornell University's Johnson School of Business, for example, have both installed video conferencing in their career centers for this purpose.

The technology is also helpful to smaller schools, such as American University's Kogod School of Business in Washington, D.C., which attracted just 22 employers last year. By contrast, larger schools can draw over 150 employers.

"Virtual interviews provide a way for companies to pull from multiple schools without draining all their recruiting resources," explained Arlene Hill, director of career services at AU, who was quoted in the Journal.

Video interviews, however, require different considerations than in-person interviews, and students are being prepared accordingly. advises job candidates to steer clear of wearing white, black, red, small prints, stripes and plaids--all of which do not appear well on camera. Those who wear glasses should avoid tinted lenses so as not to interfere with eye contact. Additionally, glossy lipstick and glittery jewelry should be avoided as well, because they reflect light and can be distracting.

Others tips for successful video interviewing include making sure that the lighting is flattering, focusing on the webcam rather than the monitor, and nodding rather than saying "yes" or "uh-huh." Unlike with an in-person interview, point out that "such verbal listening cues may be lost or may interrupt and confuse the speaker because of an audio delay."

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