Make a Great Impression in Your Video Interview

Posted on March 2, 2010. Filed under: video interview | Tags: , , , , , |

Video interviews have become a standard practice with many companies and recruiters. In addition to telephone calls candidates need to be prepared to participate in pre-screen video interviews. Your video interview may take place right on your computer with a webcam, whether it is with a specialized service such as Vonei, or a video chat service such as Skype. Being interviewed in front of a webcam brings more importance to how you look, the background of your room, and what you are wearing. Unlike telephone screening calls, you shouldn’t look out the window, down at the floor, or anywhere other than the webcam. Here are tips on how to make a great impression in your video interview.

Preparation: Decide what you want the recruiter to get from your interview, and be prepared to succinctly discuss those points. It helps to write down talking points prior to an interview and practice what you will say. You can’t expect to have your best performance if you are not comfortable with talking into a webcam, so be sure to practice. You can video chat with a friend for their feedback, or you can record webcam practice sessions on your computer. Practice will not only improve your presentation, but it also is a good time to make sure your webcam is working properly, the audio quality is good, and your background image is professional. Find out which video chat service provider will be used by the recruiter. You may be able to sign up for a free account and practice with that service prior to the interview. As the saying goes, prior planning prevents poor results.

Environment: You want the recruiter to focus on you and what you are saying, not a vintage poster on the wall or a noise in the background. The background must be clean and professional. A plain wall, or a clean and organized bookcase/credenza will work great. It is best to be alone in a small, quiet room so the audio does not echo and there are no annoying background noises. No dogs in the room please! Lighting is critical for a good video image on a webcam. Good lighting should be on your face and never behind you. You may need to place a lamp on your desk by your webcam to achieve good lighting on your face. Practice with several lighting configurations until you are happy with the results.

Your Image: As with any interview you should always dress professionally. Remember that the webcam will only capture images waist up, so be sure you wear suitable interview clothing for the position. Try to avoid wearing striped or checked shirts as webcams and Internet connectivity may cause the lines to run together in the video. You want to avoid excessive movement as that can be detracting to the recruiter, so try to maintain a good position in front of the webcam and avoid looking away to notes. Be careful about your facial expressions, just as you would in an in-person interview. At the same time you don’t want to be “stiff”. Show some positive emotion and smile. Use small hand motions to express points, but keep them close to your side so it shows in the webcam view. Keep in mind that with a waist-up image, any motion will seem exaggerated, so even small gestures will be powerful in making a point.

Webcam: A quality webcam will make a big difference in how the recruiter sees you, so be sure to use a webcam that has at least 1.3Mp of image resolution. If you have a lower end webcam, or a low pixel built-in webcam on your laptop, consider getting a quality external webcam prior to your interview. The good news is quality webcams can be purchased online for as low as $20 USD. We’ve seen webcams that claim more than 2Mp resolution, but it isn’t worth the extra money as the video interviewing services and your Internet bandwidth will not be able to take advantage of the size of the images. Our experiences show that 1.3Mp provides great video quality. For audio you can use the built-in webcam mic, or use a headset with microphone. Be sure to practice with your equipment so you are comfortable with how it works, the quality, and how you look while using it. For additional tips see the article How To Improve Your Webcam Video Quality.

Recording: Our final tip is to consider that the video interview could be recorded, either by the recruiter or by you. The recruiter may record simply to pass along good candidates to the hiring company or hiring manager. You can use recordings for self improvement. You can view the recording at a later date and decide how you want to improve your next video interview. You can also share it with friends for critique. If you decide to record be sure to practice with the software in advance of the interview! The last thing you want to do is fiddle around with the recording software controls instead of talking with the recruiter. CamStudio has an easy-to-use, free screen recording tool that you may find helpful in recording your interview. A note of caution; it is a legal requirement to gain consent for recording conversations. Prior to choosing to record the interview you should gain the other party’s consent.

Best of luck on your video job interview! Please share your feedback with us on how these tips worked for you, and any other tips you would recommend.

For more information about Vonei LLC see www.vonei.com. For an online demo of the video interview service email us at info@vonei.com or call us toll free on 888-698-6634.

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Improving the Pre-Screen Process

Posted on February 15, 2010. Filed under: video interview | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

With thousands of applicants applying to organizations with job opportunities, it is very important for the organization to efficiently process and schedule the applicants to pre-screen. If you have a low volume of open positions, the recruiter can simply go through applications and proactively schedule a pre-screen by contacting the candidates. However if you are an organization with many positions to fill, this can be a very time consuming and expensive task. Wouldn’t it be great if the applicants could pick an open appointment time to talk to one of your recruiting specialists? We just found a great tool for simplifying the process: www.checkappointments.com

CheckAppointments allows a firm or recruiter to specify job openings, available interviewers, and interview dates and time slots. The applicants can then go online and pick the appropriate interview slot for them. The applicants do the scheduling work, and the recruiter can simply look at their completed pre-screen schedule. The recruiter can then hold a video interview with the applicants directly from their computer utilizing a video interviewing service such as Vonei. Without leaving the desk, a recruiter can quickly and easily pre-screen candidates with minimal effort.

A great example of an application for using this process is an amusement park which is staffing for the summer season. Positions abound in various areas of the park including Grounds, Food Services, Accommodations, Operations, and Games. Thousands of job applicants want to apply. With an appointment scheduling service all you have to do is fill in the blanks on interviewers, positions, days, and time slots, and then make the jobs known to the community. You can even embed the appointment service within your website with your logo. Applicants can schedule themselves according to the rules you established. Confirming emails can go to the applicants, and you will have a nice, coordinated schedule of people and times. Establish a video interviewing session and you will be able to see and talk to your candidates live without leaving your chair.

Time is money, and the faster you can get through the weeding out process the better. Using online services to both schedule appointments, and conduct the interviews, is a great way to complete the process quickly and efficiently. But how about the cost of these tools? CheckAppointments has an entirely free service for a single recruiter with a single location. And for a team of recruiters with multiple locations a premium plan is available for only $19.95/month. Vonei has an unlimited usage annual service plan for $99. If these tools save just 1 day of productivity they pay for themselves for an entire year.

Of course amusement parks are not the only application for this process. How about career fair days held by colleges or Chamber of Commerce organizations? An efficient scheduling and interviewing process is an aid any time there are many job candidates to pre-screen. Isn’t it time you tried it?

Alan Fitzpatrick is a co-founder of Vonei LLC, home of the $99/year video interviewing service. Additional information can be found at www.vonei.com. CheckAppointments.com is a service of Addy Systems LLC. Additional information can be found at www.checkappointments.com.

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Improve Communication Efficiency in 2010

Posted on January 31, 2010. Filed under: Video Messaging, webcam | Tags: , , , , , , , |

The calendar has turned over to 2010, but the economic challenges of 2009 are continuing to stay with us. Every business person I speak with talks about the need to reduce cost, meet goals with a sharply reduced workforce, and simultaneously improve quality and customer service. Our view is technology is the answer to improving performance in 2010. Communications is a budget line item that contains multiple cost elements. Direct expenses from your telephone, Internet, and audio conferencing vendors fall into this category. One must also include some travel costs into the “communications” expense line. After all, how much of your travel is associated with seeing clients and employees over a large geographic region? How about the cost of bringing job candidates into the office to interview? Airfare, hotel, rental car, and gasoline expenses all need to be included in the overall look at communications. Another cost is the lost productivity due to the time spent in travel when employees could be working instead.

One company that is focused on improving the cost and effectiveness of communications is Wingspan Performance Advisors. “We identified communications as a high potential area for saving money,” explains Wingspan’s president, Terry Dolan. “We cover the US and international markets from our headquarters in North Carolina, so we know all about meetings in far-off places and being on teleconferences at odd times.” WingspanPA focuses on:

  • Building a collaborative effort between our company and our clients
  • Creating strategies founded on analysis and data
  • Supporting our clients’ overall objectives and culture
  • Creating value for your business

WingspanPA utilizes Vonei Meeting service for live multi-person video meetings with clients throughout the world. By seeing all the other parties in the meeting WingsanPA can tell if participants are paying attention, or if they are placing the meeting on mute and multitasking. Vonei’s flat monthly or yearly price structure eliminates the costly per minute fee of traditional audio conferences. Since the service works on any computer over the Internet, there is no need for expensive cash outlays on equipment.

Vonei has vastly improved Wingspan’s remote meetings. “Our meetings are not only more efficient,” says Terry Dolan, “but they’re also much more effective. Every person at the meeting is engaged.” Vonei is so simple to use that Wingspan’s Talent Acquisition team utilizes it as a recruitment tool. “I can have face-to-face meetings with five different candidates in five different cities before lunch time,” says Fred Weber, a Wingspan executive recruiter.

Using online technology like Vonei Meeting can cut communications costs in 2010, while making it easy to continue face-to-face meetings with anyone in the world. To request a demo of the service email info@vonei.com, or call toll free 888-698-6634.

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Helping College Students Find Jobs

Posted on January 24, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

It is no surprise to anyone that the high unemployment rate in the U.S. has made it very difficult for talented, experienced people to find jobs. What is not discussed as frequently is how difficult it is for college seniors, and recent college graduates to find jobs. According to a CNN article, the projection for 2010 is hiring of grads with any degree will decline by 2% compared to 2009. In this tough environment we have some good news and hope for college students and graduates.

There is a new resource designed to help both the college graduate and the employer. 1stGiG.com is the first career service of its kind specifically designed to connect college undergraduates and recent college graduates and the companies that value their skills. There are no jobs posted, but there are countless opportunities for internships and employment.

Here’s how it works:

  • A precision matching matrix identifies compatible profiles between young career-bound talent and potential employers
  • When the talent accepts the match, an introduction is made with the prospective company
  • Over time, both parties make multiple connections, establish a relationship and create “opportunity pools” based on their mutual interest
  • When the right opportunity arises, the parties are prepared to move forward in the hiring process – eliminating the time-consuming process that has been the status quo.

1stGiG.com sources, screens, and presents the graduate with internship and/or career opportunities that meet their specific interests and requirements. Between 70 and 80% of jobs are never advertised. 1stGiG.com expands the opportunity network to put the college graduate on the radar of companies and industries that typically wait for job seekers to come to them, not the other way around. It’s a richer, longer-term approach to career development designed to make the “first gig” a better experience for everyone involved.

1stGiG.com has partnered with Vonei to add a video interviewing service to their site, allowing employers and college graduates to quickly and easily conduct video interviews over the Internet from their computer. In today’s economic reality, employers don’t have the time and money to visit as many campuses as they would like. Video interviewing allows the employer to recruit from anywhere without travel. Video Interviewing service starts as low as $99/year, so it is an extremely cost effective method to link employers and college graduates.

Now is a perfect time to consider using these innovative services. Help graduates start their career and begin benefiting from what only 1stGiG.com offers the early career professional!

For more information about Vonei LLC see www.vonei.com. For an online demo of the video interview service email us at info@vonei.com or call us toll free on 888-698-6634.

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How to Pick a Good Business Webcam (Part II of II)

Posted on November 23, 2009. Filed under: webcam | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Previously I introduced this series on selecting a webcam by briefly discussing Image Resolution, Motion, Features, Service Providers, and external vs. internal models. This second and final installment, built on the list of topics introduced previously in Part I, discusses webcam mounting types, microphones, unique properties of the Mac, conference room options, and sources to purchase your webcam. At the bottom is a list of recommended webcams based on our experiences at Vonei, and an online source where you can purchase them.

A friend of mine pointed out that internal webcams on laptops are convenient, but are usually lower quality and can break more frequently. Closing the laptop screen repeatedly could eventually result in a small crack in the lens or a sensor misalignment due to the shock. My friend’s daughter got a Lenovo for college and the camera was broken in 2-3 months. She uses her laptop quite a bit and opens and closes it frequently. She reported there is now a big black line right in the middle of the picture, a symptom of a cracked lens Having an external webcam is a good safety net as well as a means of getting a higher quality image and motion.

Mounting Types. Webcams are usually optimized for desktop computers or laptop computers. What’s the difference? Desktop computers are likely to need a webcam that accommodates sitting on a flat surface. Clip-on webcams are not as ideal for flat surfaces. Desktop computer CPUs are often placed on the floor. To plug in your USB webcam to the CPU, and have the webcam sitting in a position showing your face requires a long USB cable. If you have a desktop look for these two features. A laptop requires the opposite characteristics. A clip-on webcam is ideal, and the smaller the better for carrying the device while traveling. A laptop is ideal for a short USB cable. After all, who would want several feet of USB cable coiled on their desk when they only need a couple of feet length between the USB port and the top of the laptop screen?

Webcams with microphones. Webcams come with or without a microphone. After the past couple of years in testing webcams I’ve come to the conclusion that it is best to use a computer headset with microphone, and not the microphone in the webcam. Computers are inherently not good speaker phones, and sound from the computer speakers could enter the webcam microphone causing an echo effect. A headset places the “speakers” on the ears, and the microphone right in front of the mouth. A headset provides the best audio experience, making the webcam microphone a non-required feature.

Webcam fps. There are several factors which impact the frames per second produced by your webcam.  For a guide to these factors, a free fps test tool, and tips on how to  improve the fps on any webcam, see the webcam fps test site.

Mac webcams have unique characteristics. Macs are optimized for use with Apple’s services such as iChat. While they do a great job, it is inconvenient for video conferencing with people on PCs or Linux computers. The Macs will not release the webcam to other service applications unless you turn off webcam access to iChat, Photo Booth, and Skype. Also, Mac users need to select the USB webcam when they use their service. This is true even if the webcam is built-in. Why one has to select USB when the webcam is built-in is puzzling, but trust me, unless you do this the Mac webcam may not work on your video service.

Conference Rooms. Webcams are great when the users are sitting right in front of their computer. But what do you do in a large conference room with multiple people? A little known fact is that you can use a video camera, and some digital cameras, as a webcam. You will need a video capture cable to connect your computer to the video camera (source provided below). With a video camera you can mount in on a tripod on the conference room table and show everyone in the room. If the computer is plugged into a large screen monitor, or plugged into a projector and shown on the wall, everyone in the conference room can see the other parties. Plug in a USB speaker phone and you have a very low cost solution, avoiding a large investment in traditional video conferencing equipment.

Final thoughts before the recommendations. Lighting can play a major factor in the quality of the webcam image. Never sit with a window behind you, as the background light source will place your face in shadows. Having a desk lamp is very helpful in shining light on your face, improving both the image contrast and color. Another recommendation is to ensure that the webcam you purchase has been tested with the service provider you plan to use, and that the webcam works on your operating system. No one wants to purchase a webcam with good specifications and then find out it doesn’t work on Vista or has an interoperability issue.

Webcam recommendations and sources. After the past couple of years of experience with webcams I recommend the following units:

Brand Model Online Source Recent Price

Logitech QuickCam Pro 9000 www.newegg.com $75.99

Logitech QuickCam Communication MP www.newegg.com $44.99

Vonei V8019 www.videointerviewkits.com $24.99

Video Capture Cable  www.videointerviewkits.com $24.99

I used to recommend the Microsoft LifeCam VX-3000 ($26.99 at newegg.com) until we had several users complain of interoperability with Flash video. I believe Microsoft placed a software patch on their website to fix this, so if you’re game for downloading software patches the Microsoft webcam may work well for you.  Overall Logitech makes a great lineup of quality webcams.

One service you should try with your new webcam is the free video mail service from http://mailVU.com.  You can record private video messages and send them to anyone in the world for free.  A great feature they offer is the self-destruct function where you can have your video deleted after x views or x days.  Give it a try.

Alan Fitzpatrick is the Co-founder of Vonei LLC which provides live video conferencing service across PCs, Macs, and Linux computers. VideoInterviewKits is an affiliate of Vonei LLC. Additional information about Vonei can be found on http://www.vonei.com.

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The Best $99 You Ever Spent for your Recruiting Business

Posted on November 17, 2009. Filed under: video interview | Tags: , |

Video interviewing is a great way to evaluate a job candidate remotely and lower the cost of recruiting. Many video conference systems are expensive to rent and can cost upwards of $150/hour. Fortunately desktop video conferencing can be used to video interview job candidates, and it can be done for less than $99/year, or $8.25/month. This low entry point makes video interviewing suitable for all recruiters.

Desktop video interviewing is performed right from your computer, whether it is PC, Mac, or Linux. A webcam is needed to show video, and documents such as resumes, application forms, and examples of work can be shared securely and directly right in the video interviewing service. By seeing the candidate you can pre-screen for communication skills, helping you find the right candidate faster.

 

Along with the low entry price point, desktop video interviewing lowers the risk in your investment. There are no hardware costs other than ensuring webcams are available. Most services require no software downloads for you or your candidate, and no set-up fees.

 

Try out video interviewing and save time and money in the recruiting process.

Vonei LLC is a provider of desktop video interviewing and video conferencing services. www.vonei.com.

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How to Pick a Good Business Webcam (Part I of II)

Posted on November 3, 2009. Filed under: webcam | Tags: , , , |

Video communication is advancing from business travelers calling home from the road, to desktop video conferencing, video email, and video interviewing. To take advantage of these applications you need a quality web camera. Most newer laptop computers and netbooks have built in webcams, while desktop do not. The companies I’ve spoken with have indicated the need to identify webcam requirements and have asked what models are best. This article will examine different facets of web cameras, with advice based on our experiences at Vonei.

Image Resolution is critical to a good business video experience. You certainly will not want a fuzzy image when conducting a video interview, or leaving a video email for a customer or prospect. The primary image factor to consider in your webcam is Megapixel resolution Just like a digital camera, the more megapixels the better. We’ve found that webcams with less than 1.3 Megapixels (1,280 pixels by 960 pixels) provide a low quality image. 2.0 Megapixels is better, and in general the higher rating the sharper the picture. At one point CCD cameras were considered superior to CMOS cameras, but after testing with both over the past 2 years I cannot say that one is superior to the other for Internet video applications. CMOS cameras are less expensive and will work fine.

Smoothness of Motion is determined by the Frames Per Second (fps) rating. A 30fps rating provides a smoother motion than 15fps, with less trailing of movement. 30fps is the North American television standard for video. A “talking” head doesn’t have a lot of motion, and 15fps will generally work fine. If you want to broadcast someone moving, say a person doing physical therapy, then the higher fps makes an improvement in the motion. We don’t recommend a camera with less than 15fps as motion delays become obvious. The best choice is to look for the full 30fps specification.  There are several factors which impact the frames per second produced by your webcam on v ideo chat sessions.  For a guide to these factors, a free fps test tool, and tips on how to  improve the fps on any webcam, see the webcam fps test site.

Features such as face-tracking and auto-focus have had mixed reviews. They both sound great on the surface, but if a person is moving around the constantly changing view on the webcam can be very annoying to the other users. For a “talking head” use of a webcam these features are generally not required. One feature I do like is the plug-n-play aspect of the USB 2.0 webcams. Eliminating the need to load software from a disk is a nice plus as it makes it easy to move the webcam between computers.

The service provider you use for your video communications has a major impact over your experience, and your web camera specs could very well exceed their capabilities. Most service providers will limit the data rate to 200-300kbps to accommodate DSL and Cable Modem upstream bandwidth limitations. The service provider selects the rate at which key frames are sent. (A keyframe in a video contains the entire image.) If a keyframe is sent every second when running your webcam at 15fps, the in-between 13 frames are difference frames. The best thing to do is purchase a webcam that meets the pixel and fps specs recommended above, and then try the webcam on various services. You may very well see image quality and motion smoothness differences between providers.

Internal versus External webcams. Internal webcams are great for ease of use, and since they are located at the top center of the screen they give the appearance of looking right into the camera. I wouldn’t buy a laptop without a built-in webcam due to this convenience. However, the built-in models are typically minimum acceptable quality. They are fine for most applications, but not as good as external webcams with better specifications. I like the external webcams (such as Logitech) with the specifications recommended above, and frequently clip one on the top center of my laptop screen right above the built-in webcam. It is a simple matter of selecting this second webcam in the video service you are using. External webcams have the drawback of having an extra device to carry with you, but the benefit of better video has been worth it for me. Of course for desktop computers the external webcam is the only option. Just be sure to place the external webcam as close as possible to the center of your monitor screen so you are seen as looking “into the camera”.

In Part II of this article we will discuss webcam mounting types, microphones, unique properties of the iMac, conference room options, and sources to purchase your webcam.

Alan Fitzpatrick is the Co-founder of Vonei LLC which provides live video conferencing service across PCs, Macs, and Linux computers. Additional information about Vonei can be found on http://www.vonei.com.

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Since Time is Money, Let’s Shorten and Improve Meetings

Posted on October 25, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

Meetings are often required to accomplish objectives and share information. Unfortunately every company I know has too many meetings lasting far longer than needed, and involve too many people. An employee’s time is expensive, perishable and non-replenishable. Wasted meeting time steals from the accomplishment of productive work, steals away time from family and friends, and steals from ourselves. If a meeting organizer is not careful a lot of valuable time can be wasted. Let’s convert time to money, examine the meeting cost, and provide tips on improving meetings to be more cost effective.

Recently a bank employee told me about his twice monthly face-to-face meetings downtown. Ten people are in the meetings, which last about 90 minutes. Seven of the ten people have to drive downtown to get to the meeting, averaging a 30 minute drive each way. Mileage and parking is reimbursed by the bank, and on average each person’s salary is $40/hour. Let’s determine the value of the time of these twice monthly meetings. Each meeting costs $600 in salary, $280 in travel time, and $266 in reimbursable mileage and parking. This is $1,146/meeting, or $2,292/month. Calculate the cost of all the team meetings within the bank each month and see how expensive meetings can be.

A good step in improving meetings is having a specific agenda and objective, assigning pre-meeting preparation tasks, and assigning action items and documenting decisions at the end. A 90 minute meeting should be shortened to 60 minutes, a 60 minute meeting shortened to 45 minutes, etc. Another improvement is to consider the participants in the meeting and only invite those that must attend. How often have you sat through a long meeting only to find that your participation was either not needed, or only needed for five minutes? Wouldn’t it be better if you were only brought in for your five minutes? Maybe the bank needs to have four people in their meetings instead of ten.

Eliminating or reducing travel will cut the cost of meetings. In the bank example, does each person really need to drive downtown twice a month? An audio conference call would save time and money. Each person could call in from their desk, resulting in no mileage or parking cost, and no lost productivity in driving. Unfortunately these calls don’t always help with saving meeting time. Everyone I know places audio conference calls on mute and multi-tasks, checks emails, etc. It becomes evident when a question is asked of a person on the audio call, and that person who wasn’t paying attention, asks for the question to be repeated. Audio conference calls are great for saving travel, but a lot of effort needs to be placed in making them time efficient and not drag on for hours.

At this point you may be thinking that face-to-face meetings have other benefits, such as helping a group of people feel like a team. Audio calls are just not as good as seeing the other people on the team. When you see the other people it serves to build a social connection, helps to establish better working relationships, and fosters a deeper sense of belonging to the group. Not to mention that when you see a person face-to-face it makes it obvious if someone is multitasking or not paying attention. These benefits are real, and it is the reason why the bank choses to hold face-to-face meetings instead of audio conference calls. However with the advent of desktop video conferencing services, businesses can conduct face-to-face meetings from the desktop without the travel.

Instead of an audio conference call for your meetings, try a video meeting. You will see the participants face-to-face, you will eliminate travel cost, and by seeing that everyone is paying attention you can keep meetings focused and short. After all, time is precious.

vonei web conferencing

Vonei LLC provides multi-user desktop video conferencing service. Free demos and trials of the service can be found at http://www.vonei.com

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Reduce business costs now with these 5 technologies

Posted on October 12, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

Today’s economy is forcing businesses of all sizes to examine every cost element and find ways to work at a lower cost. Not only is it imperative in 2009, but most businesses are starting their 2010 planning and need to identify cost savings to put into their budget. Fortunately technology continues to provide productivity enhancing tools. Here are a few recommended areas that should be examined to reduce your costs and improve performance:

  1. Hold online video conferences instead of travel. Computer based video conferencing services like Vonei Meeting offer unlimited use for less than $40/month. A regional bank VP told me they have twice a month meetings, where 7 of the 10 employees will drive 30 minutes to attend in person. The 1 hour of round trip lost productivity across 7 employees more than pays for the service with the first use. Additional savings include gasoline, parking, and reduced carbon pollution by eliminating driving. How much could you save by avoiding travel for meetings?

  2. Use open source software instead of licensing Microsoft software. Many people are switching to Google Apps for similar capabilities for no cost. If you are worried about Google’s insights into your data and communication you can consider OpenOffice and Zimbra. Both are open sourced and you can run them from your own computers and secure the data.

  3. Check for business class Internet service from your cable company. It is typically much less expensive than T-1 based Internet service from a telephone company. If you need 10Mb+ of Internet capacity consider getting an Ethernet connection from a competitive carrier. Ethernet is one of the least expensive transport mechanisms and is very reliable.

  4. For group communications use group chat or instant messaging services. Some video conferencing service providers like Vonei offer group and private chat embedded in their tool for no extra cost. Campfire is a stand alone group chat tool which works well for a small monthly cost. Google and Yahoo instant messaging services are free and are great for one-to-one communication without a phone call. Whether you use the group chat in Vonei or the one-to-one instant messaging services your communication stays within the group. For quick external chat Twitter is a useful tool. You just have to make sure everyone you want to communicate with has an account and regularly checks it.

  5. Use free video recording tools to improve your communication and advertising. An excellent video email service is available for free from Eyejot. You can record videos from your webcam and email them to anyone in the world. Instead of text, recipients will see and hear your message. There are several screen recording tools available for free which allow you to record video of your computer screen. CamStudio and Screenr are two I would recommend checking out. With a webcam one can record anything right from their computer, post it on YouTube, and then embed it or share the link. Here is an example of a recent video I made from my webcam called Why You Should Video Call Your Customers and How To Do It:

The technology tools mentioned above provide cost savings and improvements in the speed and effectiveness of communications. Check them out and leave me your comments.

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Video Resumes – Who Needs Them?

Posted on October 7, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

There is a lot of hype about candidates creating video resumes so they can “show their personality and stand out”. I’m sorry to be a stick-in-the-mud but I don’t think video resumes are very useful for most people. Here’s why:

  • Unless you have the proper equipment and lighting, a homemade video is likely to be of poor quality. Not to mention that the video background may be less than desirable and your personal editing abilities may not be studio quality. You would hate for a poor technical exhibit to reflect negatively on your abilities as a candidate.

  • Most candidates are not great at providing a one to two minute elevator pitch needed for a video resume. A script needs to be developed and fine tuned, and the candidate will need a lot of practice time to both memorize the script and present themselves well. Who coaches the candidate through this process?

  • A candidate may give a poor impression on camera, yet be an excellent fit for a job. Let’s face it, many jobs don’t require the most charismatic presence in front of a camera. If a candidate is interviewing for a back office position do you really think their video presentation skills are a good indication of their performance on the job?

  • Unsolicited video resumes are also likely to be tossed out. Discrimination concerns, as well as the difficulty of picking out key experiences from watching a video, make it easy for the recruiter to simply discard them and focus on the written resume.

vonei web conferencing

You are probably wondering why Vonei, a leader in video communications, is downplaying the role of video resumes. Well we are not downplaying the usefulness of video in the recruiting process, just downplaying the usefulness of a video resume. Live video interviews are certainly a great improvement over phone call screening. As a recruiter you are not simply watching a video resume, but you are conducting a live interview with the added benefit of seeing the candidate without having to pay them to travel for an in-person interview. Live video interview services like Vonei Meeting provide unlimited usage each month for less than $40, making it very economical.

While recorded videos are not that useful for video resumes, they can be used effectively in other parts of the recruiting and on-boarding process. Recorded videos can be great for the hiring manager or recruiter to send the winning candidate a video message welcoming them to the team, or providing useful information about the job or company. These welcome video mails do not have to be professional quality, nor are they elevator pitches. Video emails used for this purpose are valuable, personal touches that improve the overall process.

Would you like a free demo of the Vonei Meeting service and a free trial account? Simply send an email to sales@vonei.com and ask for your demo today.

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