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Great, Now Companies Don't Even Want To Interview You In Person

I hope you own a relatively new computer with up-to-date video software, because there's a 6 in 10 chance that your next job interview will be conducted via video. Let's get ready for our 15 minutes!

A new OfficeTeam HR manager survey reveals almost two-thirds are conducting job interviews over a video connection. And it could get worse for job applicants, because 13% of companies surveyed said they're likely to do even more online job interviewing over the next three years. Cue The Buggles.

OfficeTeam offers job applicants quick tips for acing an online interview. Dress like you're going to a real job interview. Check. Test your video connection before the interview starts, preferably by doing a trial run the day before with a friend. Check. Treat it like a real job interview. Check. Sit in a cheerful, well-lit room with nice background scenery instead of beaming in from your dank basement dungeon. Check. Sit up, speak up, and look up into the camera. Oh God, I should have taken a teevee news class in college, because it would have come in so handy!

But why are companies interviewing more and more applicants online? Companies say online interviews are a quick and cost-effective way to evaluate job applicants. And we do use this Internet stuff a lot these days, so there's the convenience factor, too.

Unless the applicant is based far, far away, however, I have to wonder what else is going on here since the onus is generally on job applicants to get themselves to an in-person job interview on time. The hiring manager is presumably going to carve 15-to-30 minutes out of his or her schedule whether the job interview is conducted in person or over a webcam. So...to what extent do hiring managers not want to meet in person with job applicants in this recession? Have webcams become something to hide behind?

I mean, these glass-half-empty, uncomfortable questions must be asked eventually if hiring managers plan on doing more and more online interviews for the "convenience" of it. Managers do have some valid social anxiety concerns given the unemployment rate, and conducting interviews over a webcam can put a safe distance between themselves and largely-unknown, largely-local applicants. And if the interview isn't going well, then an Internet connection might be...lost. Oops! We got disconnected somehow. Good luck with your job search. One can't get away as easily in person.

Also, what about cash-strapped job applicants who do not have easy access to video interviewing technology? Are we creating "have and have not" applicant pools? Video killed the job applicant's chances.

Of course, this is all pure conjecture on my part, because no surveys exist to answer my questions. Bummer. Plus, I stayed up way too late listening to Mitt Romney's button-less convention speech and then to all of the post-game analysis because I'm a glutton for punishment. Maybe we should just have him do a 15-to-30-minute online job interview, too.

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