As technology changes so does the process of interviewing for jobs. It is now commonplace to hold interviews via live communication technology such as Skype. Just like there are proper techniques and etiquette for in person interviews, there are also expectations for video interviews. Don’t worry, Drake & Company has you covered!
Eye contact is a very important part of communication, even if communicating through a live streaming tool like Skype. If you focus on the screen, it appears to the interviewer as if you are looking down and not making eye contact. The trick is to look at the camera not the screen. You may even need to prop up your computer so that it is level with the top part of your body. Ideally, the interviewer should be able to see your entire head, your shoulders and part of your torso. Just think of the standard business head shot.
Take some time to research the culture at the company that you are interviewing for. How do they dress? Dress at least as professionally, if not one step up from that. You should also consider making yourself look extra presentable that day, if necessary.
It may be tempting to only dress the top half of your body in a professional manner. Well, think again! You never know what could happen. The interviewer could ask you to stand up, or you may need to get something during the interview. Dress professionally from the top down to avoid an embarrassing moment.
The interviewer will not only see you during the interview, they will also see your background. Try to find a quiet place in a professional setting, if possible. An office is ideal. Make sure that your family and pets are out of the room. The back drop should also be clean and tidy. After all, you don’t want the interviewer to think that because your house is messy, you will not be organized enough to get the job done.
Get everything set up and do a practice interview with a friend or family member. Don’t forget to record it so that you can review it and change any that needs to be corrected. Take special note of what is visible on the screen, if you are talking loud enough and if the connection and other technical aspects are working correctly, etc. They say that practice makes perfect. You don’t have to be perfect, but you should be prepared.
Close all of the windows on your computer so that any alerts that go off do not distract from your interview. Make sure to let others in your house know that they need to be quiet for the next hour or so because you have an important interview. Make sure that noisy pets are on the other side of the house and that children are being cared for so they do not need anything from you during the interview. Turn off music and remove other loud objects. You want the interviewer to focus all of their attention on how great you are not, on your significant other clanking around in the background.
It is usually acceptable to use notes during a Skype interview. A word of caution however, do not rely on them too much. You want to make sure that you are having a conversation with the interviewer not reading from a script.
All job interviews should be followed up with a prompt thank you letter, preferably within 24 hours of the interview. Unless instructed not to, you can even follow up a week or two later to check in. These thank yous and follows ups will show the interviewer that you are still interested in the position and will endear you to them as a polite and respectful professional.
Most live streaming websites or applications have you set up a profile including a picture, a username and perhaps more. Keep this information professional. It will be seen by the interviewer and you do not want to ruin your chance at the job before you have even opened your mouth. If possible include your name as your user name. This is great professional branding and it will help the interviewer remember you.
One of the most important tips is also one of the easiest. Smile. You want to appear friendly and easy to work with. A person that smiles is seen as more personable than someone that does not. If you need help, just hang up a sticky note right behind the camera reminding you to look at the camera and smile.
Now that you have our tips and tricks for winning your video job interviews, what are some of your tips and tricks?
Angelica Dudenhoefer is the Marketing Coordinator at Drake & Company, a staffing firm based in Madison, Wisconsin. Drake & Company specializes in temporary, temp-to-hire, and direct hire administrative, clerical and legal placements. Since 1978, Drake has reached beyond skills and qualifications to match candidate personalities with a company’s culture. You can connect with Angelica by email or on LinkedIn and you can find Drake & Company on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram and Pinterest.