Job interviews over video apps like Skype and FaceTime have become a very common part of job hunting, as they provide the flexibility of a phone call with the benefits of meeting in person. In many ways you should treat these just like any face-to-face interview, but here are some specific tips to help you become a video interview pro!
- Choose your environment carefully
Pick an area with minimal distractions and good lighting. Check what will be visible behind you, and aim for a background that is neutral and professional.
- Ensure you have a reliable internet connection
If your connection at home is unreliable, find somewhere else to go like a friend’s house or (if applicable) your college campus. Internet cafés and coffee shops can do in a pinch, but aren’t ideal because of the background noise and distractions.
- Exchange contact information in advance
If using Skype, add your interviewer as a contact ahead of time. If using FaceTime, confirm which number or email address is associated with their Apple ID. Exchange back-up phone numbers in case you experience issues connecting.
- Test your technology
Whether you’re using a computer, tablet or smartphone, make sure your app is up to date and that you can log in to your account. Do a test run with a friend or family member to ensure everything works as expected, including your microphone or headset.
- Double-check your username and profile picture
Just like your email address, an immature or inappropriate username or profile picture gives a bad first impression. Set up your Skype or FaceTime account in the same professional manner as a LinkedIn profile.
During the interview
- Dress professionally
Even though you may be conducting the interview from the comfort of your own home, that does not mean pajamas are appropriate! Wear professional business attire just as you would for an in-person interview.
- Be on time
As with any interview, do not be late. Make sure you give yourself enough time to start up your device and get settled before the scheduled interview time. If the interviewer is in a different location, always double-check your time zones!
- Be aware of your posture and eye contact
Sit up straight and be aware of your body language. Position the camera directly above the screen and look at it as much as possible to create “eye contact” with the interviewer.
- Stay cool
Despite your best efforts and diligent preparation, sometimes technology misbehaves. If you do have a glitch, stay calm and take the necessary steps to remedy the situation, even if that means hanging up and calling back.