After a videotaped interview with a career professional, the pro will generally play the tape back so you can both watch and constructively review how you did. Yes, you may cringe at your blunders, but you will learn from them. After all, you may have little time in a real interview to make the right impression. The research of a University of Toledo psychology professor has shown that the interview outcome is determined in the first 30 seconds. “What makes the lasting impression are the silent signals, the facial expressions, the cut of the suit, and the beauty of the speaker,” writes Jenni Laidman in describing the research.
Observing yourself on tape will help you deal with vocal issues, such as a heavy accent, a baby-soft voice, failure to articulate clearly, speaking too quickly or too slowly, and talking through your nose.
An important key while reviewing the videotaped interview is to put yourself inside the employer’s head and note how you come across to the viewer. Are you conveying the demeanor and message you want to? As you watch the tape, note the length of your responses, which should be two to three minutes.
Simulated interviews are generally computer-based, enabling you to practice interviewing, but with a virtual interviewer instead of a real person. You also must largely self-assess your performance instead of getting feedback another person. Such simulations are usually offered by career professionals, especially at colleges. My university, Stetson University, for example, offers Perfect Interview, a multimedia software package with 1,500+ interview questions, answers, and hints on digital video. After logging on, the user specifies the type and length of interview that he or she wants to practice. The interview begins, and the questions appear on the computer screen in full-motion video and sound. The user must answer on the spot, just as in a real interview. A video capture feature allows the user to record and playback answers to each interview question.