Q: A recruiter requested that we FaceTime or Google Hangout as part of the interview process. This request made me uncomfortable: I'm not a Kardashian. I pushed to meet in person, but the recruiter opted for a phone call. It didn't go well. Personally, I feel the use of video is a way to potentially discriminate. (I'm in my 50s and African American.) When I declined the video chat, it seemed like the recruiter felt I was hiding something. What do you think about video interviews? Should I have said yes? — David L.
Taylor: If you are unfamiliar with a new technology, it is understandable that it may feel uncomfortable, especially in the high-stakes context of a job search.
But inevitably, the hiring process will reveal the candidate's gender, race, and age, so video interviewing doesn't really present a significant additional risk.
Video interviewing is a growing technology used by employers in recruiting and hiring, and it is not going away. Not only can video help job seekers make a connection with a company earlier in the process without the added expense and disruption of an on-site interview, it allows recruiters to interview more candidates face-to-face earlier in the process.
Don't let your discomfort with the technology be a barrier to using it. The secret to successful video interviewing is practice.
Try out different systems and set-ups. Watch how-to videos on YouTube for guidance on lighting and camera angle. Get comfortable chatting with friends on free video platforms such as Zoom and Skype.