With Skype and other video conferencing tools becoming increasingly popular, your potential employer may ask you to participate in a video job interview. While it may sound simple to be interviewed at home, there are rules to follow and preparations to make if you expect to nail this type of interview:
Dress to Impress
Visit the company’s website and Facebook page to see what their employees are wearing at work. Men should get a haircut and shave; ladies should get their hair done and wear makeup. No jammie bottoms, shorts, beach or loungewear. Dress from head to toe in case you have to stand up to adjust your camera. Dressing up will mentally prepare you for the professional demeanor you’ll need to assume during the interview.
Perform an Audio/Visual Check
Remove any clutter, party photos, music posters or other “I can explain that” stuff your camera may pick up behind you. If you have a bookcase filled with nice books, use that as a backdrop; if not, a blank wall is best. Make sure the light is bright enough to provide a clear image of yourself as you shift positions. Let everyone in the house or apartment know that you’ll be doing a video interview, so no one blasts their stereo, walks in on you, or lets the dog leap on your lap and lick your face during the interview.
Do Some Dry Runs
Conduct a practice interview with a friend or two. Check out a few professional interviews on YouTube. See how the interviewees sit, move their hands, and control their voice. “Conduct a practice interview with a friend, and record it so that you‘ll have an accurate idea of how you come across on video,” advises Cheryl Palmer, career coach and owner of Call to Career, a career coaching service. Practice using a free service like Skype. Record, review and improve your performance.
Use Hidden Props
Surround your computer screen with props (Post-It Notes are ideal) to help you during your interview. Affix talking points, company info, questions you need to ask as close to the camera as possible. This keeps your eyes up and avoids the impression that you’re using props—a trick pro TV newscasters use when they’re reading from a teleprompter.
Don’t Prattle On
Video interviews are not like face-to-face interviews. Peter Harrison, a former executive director at Goldman Sachs who now heads up Harrison Careers, notes that an interviewers’ attention span drops during a video interview. “The potential for boring the interviewer is much higher when video interviewing. Don’t talk for more than 40 seconds without pausing to re-engage the interviewer,” advises Harrison.
Sooner or later, you’ll be asked to do a video job interview. Are you ready? If you want the job, you’ll prepare and practice.
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net