Human Resources Blog - Spark Hire

3 Winning Video Interview Secrets From President Obama

For months, you couldn’t turn your head without seeing a political ad. In election season, politics is everywhere and political debates are on the tip of every tongue. Now, America has finally voted and chosen to re-elect President Barack Obama to a second term. You don’t get elected as President of the United States, or fight a prolonged campaign against Governor Mitt Romney, without learning a thing or two.

As an employer, you might not be looking to win an election, but you are looking to land the perfect employee. Unlike Obama, you’re not battling just one candidate but a field of qualified applicants eager and hungry for the job. This September, there were approximately 3.4 unemployed people for every open position. In a healthy economy, this average should be closer to 2-to-1.

So how can you tell the superstar candidates from the duds in a video interview? How do you elect the right person for the job? Maybe you should take a page out of the winning playbook of President Obama. You might not be offering candidates an oval office, but the competition for your open positions is still sure to be fierce.

Here are some tips from Obama’s winning presidential bid to help you snag the right candidate:

Know Your Brand
In President Obama’s victory speech, he repeated the word “forward” several times. It’s no mystery why, considering “forward” was his catchphrase for the 2012 election cycle. This brand was repeated to let voters know Obama is focused on the future and improving the lives of million of Americans.

Just like Obama, you should realize the importance of your employer brand. You might not be putting up lawn signs, but the way your company brands itself is an important component in attracting the right candidates. Make sure your career page is adequately telling the story of your company and why interested candidates should want to work there.

Be familiar with your company culture, and be able to sell this culture in the video interview. The easiest way to make sure you’re winning the candidates your company needs to move forward is to stress why they would want to work at your organization.

Know Your Base
President Obama’s engaged and active base was a big factor in winning the election. He sent out email after email to keep his supporters informed, passionate, and donating to his campaign. Obama’s campaign realized connecting with the voters was an important way to keep him ahead in the polls.

Like Obama, it’s important to campaign for your company. Make sure to stay connected with your base of interested applicants and potential candidates. Take to social media to connect with candidates, it will help keep your company in the forefront of their minds. Tap into talent communities, which are the places your talent gathers online to share stories and swap advice.

Once you’ve connected with a base of talented candidates, you’ll have an attractive pipeline you can mine when a position opens up. You’ll have plenty of people who will be both qualified and excited to connect with your company in the video interview.

Don’t Be Afraid To Be Passionate
President Obama wasn’t afraid to show his passion in his second presidential campaign. One of the most common observations about Mitt Romney was that he often seemed too calm and collected.

Just like in presidential politics, a little passion can go a long way when convincing top talent that your company is a great place to work. Don’t hold back in the video interview, let potential candidates know exactly what makes your company so special. If top talent can see how passionate you are about the company, they will be excited to join an organization with truly engaged employees.

Your jobs might not come with a White House or an Oval Office, but this doesn’t mean you can’t attract presidential-level talent. Just take some of these winning tips from President Obama and you’ll be on your way to finding the superstars your company needs.

What are some hiring tips you can take from the campaign of President Obama? Share in the comments!

IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by rod.rudloff

Heather Huhman

Heather R. Huhman is the Career & Recruiting Advisor for Spark Hire. She writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets, and is the author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships: The Truth About Getting from Classroom to Cubicle (2011), and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010).