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Ace your video interview by honing your soft skills

SOURCE: Agnes BUN/AFP
For some, video interviews can easily kick their nervousness and anxiety into high gear.


By U2B Staff 

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Virtual interviews are becoming the norm with a pandemic on hand. One-way video interviews — where job seekers answer pre-scripted interview questions by a specific date — are also becoming an increasingly common way for companies to suss out candidates before inviting them for a face-to-face interview.

According to marketing recruitment agency Talent Hub, since 2011, the use of video interviewing has risen 49%. They found that six in 10 HR managers use video to interview candidates, bolstered by reasons such as the ease of choosing a time that works for them and the overall convenience that comes with doing a video interview.

If you don’t regularly have conversations via tools like Skype, Zoom or Google Hangouts, video interviews can easily kick your nervousness and anxiety into high gear. It’s normal to feel awkward when speaking in front of a camera rather than a real person, but a little practice can put the anxiety under more manageable levels.

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So how do you convey your skills over a computer screen?

Speaking to CNBC Make It, Zoom Head of Global Talent Acquisition Phil Haynes said the four annoying mistakes that get in the way of otherwise qualified candidates include fidgeting and looking at your phone, failing to make eye contact by looking at your screen rather than your webcam, being overly worried by factors beyond your control (eg. door bell ringing, etc.) and giving unenthusiastic answers. 

So while you may be a qualified candidate with all the right set of technical skills, your soft skills can make or break a video interview. 

Building your soft skills to excel in your career 

You may be the perfect candidate on paper, but how do you demonstrate this via a video interview? How you project your voice, articulate your thoughts and experiences, hold your posture and show your enthusiasm can play a role in standing out from the competition. 

If you’re looking to strengthen your career prospects with soft skills, there are many options for doing so. Online learning platforms such as Coursera and edX have made it easy and convenient for anyone to hone their skills in this area. 

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The Communication Strategies for a Virtual Age course on Coursera will teach you to apply communication principles and techniques for in-person and virtual teams, refine your communication style to better persuade and influence others and incorporate strategies to have positive difficult conversations and make people feel valued and listened to, among others.

edX offers a MicroMasters programme in Humanities and Soft Skills will help you develop a style of leadership that is suited to your strengths and the needs of the situation, implement the key negotiation skills and styles to carry out effective negotiations and reach satisfactory agreements and develop communication skills such as assertiveness and empathy, to name a few.

Building your soft skills isn’t merely for acing your video interview, but these new skills can also help with career success in general, so it pays to invest some of your time in honing your skill in the area.