More and more employers are using video interviews (via Skype or Google Hangouts) to conduct preliminary interviews or as a replacement for a face-to-face meeting. As this practice becomes commonplace, it’s important that job seekers are camera-ready and comfortable with this type of interview.
It is crucial to make a good first impression! Practice with a friend or recruiter to check the following:
- Use a Skype username/address that is simple and easy to identify (such as your first initial plus your last name, ie: jsmith).
- Ensure that the sound is clear and the room is free of background noise or strong echoes. Don’t forget to turn off any phone and computer sound alerts that could be distracting.
- The lighting looks even on your face and is not too dark or too bright.
- The background behind you looks tidy with common objects such as books, plants, a lamp, or other basic decorative items.
- The camera is at eye level so you appear to be looking straight at your interviewer. You may need to prop your camera or laptop on a box or a stack of books to achieve this.
- Maintain eye contact throughout your interview and try not to fidget or look off in the distance; you want to mimic being in the same room as your interviewer. If you have items that you need to remember, write them on a post-it note and stick on the edge of your laptop. It’s good to have a copy of your resume nearby, too!
- Dress as you would for an in-person interview, and make sure your hair is neat and any makeup looks appropriate for a business setting.
This humorous video, created by Matt Gnaizda, does a great job of illustrating many of the points above:
Remember, prepare like you would for a regular interview, and treat the video call as if you are in the same room as the other person. Follow these steps, and you’ll be a video interview pro in no time!