How to survive a Video Interview

To think that 20 years ago every interview was set up as a F2F (face to face), that’s right you went into the office.  Dressed to the nines – suit, skirt/dress, shined shoes all freshly scrubbed.  There weren’t any telephone interviews.  Skype wasn’t even invented.  And now we have video interviews.

In 2012 63% of 500 HR Managers surveyed conducted video interviews.  That was up 14% from 2011.  13% expect their companies to increase their use of video interviewing over the next years.  Office Team Survey.



Lights, Camera, Action.  How do you prepare for a video interview?

Check your Equipment

You don’t want your battery to run out before your interview is over so make sure everything is running smoothly.  Clean the lens on your camera, nothing worse than a fingerprint showing up in the middle of your face.  Practice with a friend so you can find the appropriate volume for a normal speaking voice.  You don’t want to have to yell and you don’t want to miss the question because you can’t hear the interviewer properly.

Where are you going to set up your Interview?

Find an area that is quiet from distractions.  You don’t want to hear the dog barking as people walk down your street.  Make sure the area is clean and clutter free.  If you are doing it in your bedroom you don’t want the Sports Illustrated Bathing Suit calendar showing up in the picture.  Empty or full beer bottles on your counter won’t set a very good example.

Dress like you were meeting in Person

Dressing professionally makes you feel more in control and self-confident.  So put your dress or suit and tie on, make-up, hair, shave.  All the things you would do if you were heading to the office to meet the interviewer. Try not to wear white as it can look very bright through a camera, also busy patterns can be distracting.


Have your camera set up at a level so you are looking up just a little bit.  This will emphasize your face more than your body and will make you look a little slimmer.  It also helps to stop the camera from looking up your nose if you do a bit of a stretch.  REMEMBER – don’t look down or the interviewers will be looking at the top of your head.  Look directly at the camera, maintain eye contact and smile.

Cheat Notes

Yes you can use cheat notes, perfect for writing down your interview questions, but remember that rustling paper can be picked up by the microphone and is very distracting.  You also don’t want your eyes roving around the room or looking down leaving the interviewer looking at the top of your head.

Truthfully it isn’t that much different than a F2F.

  • Be prepared – practice those interview questions and research the company
  • Sit up tall and don’t wiggle around too much.
  • Relax and speak clearly
  • Remember to thank everyone for their time


Don’t treat a video interview lightly.  You have to have the qualifications and you have to be able to sell yourself.  All you are doing is using a different venue.  So Take 1 and wow them the first time.

happyfacehanddrawn Good luck job hunting


Lynne Carlson started her career off in administration, moved to Cobol Programming and for the last 14 years worked in all things recruitment.  Absolutely loves social media and excited about all the new innovations appearing every day!




Job Tips

#JobTips: It is okay to use hand gestures during the #interview, just don’t over do them.  Knocking over the water glass could be a disaster.





P4Capital Round Table -Goldman Sachs

P4Capital is beginning a series of Podcasts and interviews featuring our executive team, who will be discussing pressing concerns for the Canadian financial industry.

Today’s topic – Goldman Sachs and the importance of reputation.




What roles are needed for a company to thrive in the digital revolution – Part 3

Part 3 of our series

Let’s continue on with the newest installment in looking at digital positions.  The Digital Revolution is upon us.  As organizations start to build out their front office technology teams, there are many different skills and positions that are needed.

Let’s keep the list the same for now:

Social Media

User Experience (UX)

User Interface (UI)

Web Programmers

Graphic Designers

Data Scientists

Data Analysts

Digital Business Analysts

Digital Strategists

Digital Architects

Web Analytics



Real-Time Database Administrators

CRM Implementers


To recap; If you want to be part of a winning front-office digital team you need to always keep in mind the purpose of your position; to drive sales, full stop.

This week we look at the Digital Architects, Digital PM’s, Web Analytics (again) and RT Database Administrators.

Digital Architects


Digital Architects:  Architects in technology come in many different forms (solution, data, application etc…) but in the digital world the term architect is largely used to indicate someone who can incorporate the front office systems into the middleware and enterprise systems of large organizations.  This is a very important skill that allows the sales and marketing teams to connect with the technology infrastructure teams.  Ultimately it aids in revenue generation by streamlining the processes of an organization.

Digital Project Managers


Digital Project Mangers:  The nature of front office projects compare to traditional IT projects is one that generally involves a more co-operative project.  Not only do you need developers and testers but you might need artists, user experience and web analysts or more.  As a result THE key skill of a digital PM is the ability to be a strong scrum master who knows how to be a gatekeeper not just a facilitator.

Web Analytics


Web Analytics:  We talked about web analytics in edition 1 but it is worth revisiting as it can be such an inclusive title.  One of the more detailed roles within this broader category is using the Adobe Digital Marketing Suite.  Experts in Adobe or their competitor’s digital marketing tools can find themselves looking at potentially ludicrous contract opportunities.  The digital marketing suite allows for many things such as

Real Time Data Architects and Administrators


Real Time Data Architects and Administrators:  This is the one “Digital” position that probably is still being paid for by the IT department but is of critical importance to the success of digital departments.  Databases such as Hadoop that allow for data to be stored in such a way that it can be used in real time provide a significant advantage to front-office teams.   The people that understand how to setup and run data centres using these technologies are empowering the analytic and data science teams of the front office to perform their roles to the utmost of their capabilities.

That’s it for part 3, we will take a look at a few more positions in coming weeks.  Remember if your position reports to the CMO, CDO or VP of Sales, the value you provide to an organization is in some way related to increasing sales and revenue!

Andrew is one of the newest members of Planet4IT, but he brings with him a fresh new perspective.

With one eye on the job market and the other on the IT world, he’s the man to go to for information on how the latest advancements in Data, Digital Marketing and Social Media are effecting business.

Andrew encourages you to reach out to him through not only telephone or email, but LinkedIn and Twitter as well



Tom Cruise in Minority Report

It knows your face!

I remember going to see Minority Report when I was in high school. The movie was lacklustre, but one thing stuck out in my mind – the custom advertisements that reacted to Tom Cruise’s eyes.

Tom Cruise in Minority Report

For those of you who don’t remember or skipped the movie, the premise was this: advertisements (or billboards in this case) would scan Tom Cruise’s eyes as he walked by to identify them. After identification, these ads would give custom recommendations to our hero based on his data and previous purchases.

Futurist real time data at its finest.

However, headlines in recent weeks have been covering stories that seem like they could have be ripped straight from this dis-utopian world.

Real time data and facial recognition are no longer science fiction- they have become science fact.

What is it?

An individual’s face can be as unique as a fingerprint. It might even be more reliable, as a face won’t smug or streak on surfaces.

Every face has numerous, unique features. There are the surface identifiers, like scars or skin tone, but there are also deeper, structural landmarks. These include:

  • Distance between the eyes
  • Width of the nose
  • Depth of the eye sockets
  • The shape of the cheekbones
  • The length of the jaw line

Most of us can recognize our friends and family by a quick glance at their faces. It happens so quickly most of us don’t even think about it. (Of course there are exceptions to this rule, but for the sake of length we’re going to skip them for now).

What Facial Recognition technology does is try to give that ability to a computer or algorithm.


As with most innovations we discuss on this blog, this isn’t a new idea.

It began in the mid 1960s. Scientists began to work on using computers to recognize human faces. Since those first tentative steps, the technology has come a long way.

Until recently, facial recognition software used a 2D image database to identify individuals.

Image courtesy of

For this to work, the subject needed to be looking directly at the camera. There could be little variance in light or facial expression between the database image, and the one that was being identified.

Obviously, very few pictures met this strict criteria, so facial recognition failed more often than it succeeded.

But technology never truly remains stagnate, and that’s doubly so in the digital revolution.

Facial recognition technology just made the leap from 2D to 3D. New software uses a 3D model, which allows for much looser criteria when comparing photos.

Image courtesy of

3D software uses the distinctive features of a face – the eyes, nose, and bone structure – to identify the subject.

Instead of relying on lighting or expression, this new technology relies on the structure of the face itself. It makes the software more reliable and infallible.


Although these police divisions are not being led by Tom Cruise, law enforcement agencies the world over are using this technology to their advantage.


Take the FBI for example. They have just finished developing the Next Generation Identification System.

This system is now fully operational and is being used.

The FBI announced two services last fall that completed the system.

  • Rap Back allows officials to receive “ongoing status notifications” about reported criminal history of people “in positions of trust, such as schoolteachers.”
  • Interstate Photo System. This is the big one. This is a facial-recognition program that allows law-enforcement to cross-reference photographic images with criminal databases in real time.

In short, the Interstate Photo System lets the FBI use facial recognition.

Privacy groups don’t like The Next Generation Identification system for obvious reasons. They have repeated time and time again that this system ignores privacy laws.

They claim the lack of oversight raises serious civil liberty and privacy concerns.

Also, This system is largely untested. A report from 2010 found that the Interstate Photo System could potentially fail one in every five times it was used. That could lead to a lot of false positives. As it stands, that is a rate of failure higher than traditional fingerprinting – smudges and all.


Dubai is another example of facial recognition being used by law enforcement. That Dubai is using this highly experimental technology should come as so surprise – this is a culture where the police use top of the line sports cars to keep up with the rich population.

Reports indicate  they have moved one step closer to achieving real time facial recognition by adding it to Google Glass.

Did I mention that the Dubai police department will get to use Google Glass? I hope they don’t have to buy their own uniforms!


According to a Dubai Police representative,  this software allows police to identify criminal’s faces and alert the detective through the glasses.

This initiative will be rolled out in two phases.

  • In the first phase, the technology will be used to fight traffic violations and any other vehicular offences.
  • In the second phase, the police Detectives will get a chance to use the wearable’s in their day to day crime solving business.

The New York City police department is also testing this. They began using Google Glass at the beginning of 2014, but have not yet posted the results of their tests.

Science fiction or  science fact?

This technology has far reaching implications as well. It is becoming present in many different companies – not just law enforcement. Check out some of the ways that this technology is being used by businesses right now!


Mastercard claims it has completed a “successful” facial recognition payments trial.

Mastercard tested a beta mobile app on over 140 000 transactions. These tests involved Mastercard employees from around the world using both iOS and Android devices.



Every laugh at the Teatrenu comedy club in Barcelona will cost you 0.30 euros, with a price cap of 24 euros.

Stand-up idea: A comedy club in Barcelona is betting you can't, and it is even basing its ticket prices on how often comedians can make its audience laugh

That’s right! Facial recognotion is being used to charger perlaugh at this comedy club. The software is installed on the back of the seat in front of the customer.

The project was developed to combat falling audience numbers.

Partnering with advertising agency The Cyranos McCann, the experiment was a reaction to increased government taxes on theatre tickets, which in turn led to drops in audience numbers.

The results of the experiment have so far proved positive with ticket prices up by 6 euros, according to the theatre.

The system was so successful, it is now being copied in other theatres around Spain.

A number of people have tried, and reportedly failed, to sit through a comedy show without laughing in an attempt to get a free ticket.