In our increasingly virtual world, interviews are often being conducted via video chat utilities like Skype. It’s convenient because it gives prospective employers a whole new pool of possible employees. They’re not limited by geography and can find their ideal candidate without flying people in for initial interviews.
Interviewing by video, though, can be tricky. It’s a much different beast than an in-person interview that requires you think about a lot more than what you’re going to wear. So, let’s break down some essential tips for an exceptional performance in a video-based interview.
Troubleshoot Ahead of Time
Do a test call with a friend and make sure your camera is working the day before the interview (at least). If you’re having technical difficulties, this gives you time to troubleshoot without getting frantic 30 minutes before your interview time.
Get a Headset
While your computer’s built-in microphone is convenient, you’ll hear and be heard much more effectively if you conduct your interview with a nice headset.
Check Your Lighting
Be aware of the time of day you’re slated to interview and check your lighting when you’re doing your troubleshooting. Remember: natural light is your friend! It’s the most flattering, so do your best to set up for your interview near a window.
Tidy Your Surroundings
When you interview via video chat, you’re inviting your prospective employers into your home. It may only be a small square of your house, but it can say a lot about what kind of employee you’ll be. Check your visible surroundings and make sure they’re neat and tidy ahead of the interview!
Have a Beverage Handy
Don’t get caught with a dry mouth or a frog in your throat! The nice thing about an interview in the comfort of your own home is that you can have a glass of water or cup of coffee at the ready before your interview even begins.
Dress For an In-Person Interview
Keep yourself in a professional mindset by dressing for an in-person interview, even though they’ll never see anything below your torso. You’ll feel better if you’re in your interview best!
Look at Your Interviewer
We all like to look at ourselves, but remember that you need to look at your interviewer. It takes conscious effort, but don’t let your gaze drift over to the little rectangle with your face. Instead, focus on the eyes of the people on the other end of the call.
Take Notes the Old Fashioned Way
No one on a video call wants to hear the clack-clack-clack of your keyboard. Make sure you have a notebook and pen nearby to take notes by hand.
Have a Hardcopy of Your Resume
Keep a copy of your resume right next to your notebook. Interviewers will often reference it and, if you have it handy, you won’t have to go digging through your documents to find it!
Good luck and happy interviewing.