You have just received word from the human resources manager that your resume has made the cut for your dream job. Next up… the interview! The job interview is your chance to create a positive impression of yourself. It can be the vital game-changer, defining whether the door of opportunity opens for you or slams itself shut.
Technology has made the business world smaller than ever, especially when it comes to hiring. Thanks to tools like Skype and Google Hangouts, out-of-town candidates who may not be able to travel to the job site can enjoy the benefits of a face-to-face interview without having to be physically present
The physical distance between potential employers and job seekers is no longer the impediment it once was. Digital interviewing will never truly replace a face-to-face [meeting], but it is the closest thing we have to the real deal — if it’s done properly.
Here are some of the most important rules for job seekers when faced with an online or video job interview to help create a favorable and memorable impact.
Important Dos and don’ts to empower your success and take your candidacy to the next step. Follow all the standard rules and protocols for job interviews. In fact, do read our Job Interviewing Dos and Don’ts.Do’s:
- Use the best technology and connection for the interview. Buy or borrow equipment, if necessary.
- Do the interview in a place where you will not be disturbed. Make sure you can control the lighting and provide a simple background.
- Set your system up in such a way that you can be seen from the waist up.
- Have a strong comfort level with all the technology you’ll be using for the interview.
- Conduct at least one test of your system with a friend or colleague. Ideally, take a mock interview at the same time as the test, so you can also get feedback on your interviewing skills.
- Complete your preparations beforehand. This should include a thorough research into the employer, preparation of strong responses to expected interview questions and development of queries you would like to put forth to the interviewer.
- Complete a full run-through of the technology and connections on the same day.
- Dress professionally but don’t go overboard in colors or patterns that might interfere on camera. Avoid wearing flashy jewelry.
- Turn off all other devices that might interrupt the process such as your mobile phone.
- Remember to look directly into the camera when speaking so that you can maintain virtual eye contact.
- Keep nonverbal gestures in mind throughout the process. This includes eye contact, smiling, good posture and positive hand gestures.
- Know how to use your software. Most platforms give the option to test your setup or do a practice interview.
- Get a quality camera and microphone so you can look and sound great.
- Adjust your lighting to avoid shadows or over-exposure. Soft, natural lighting is the way to go. Use two lights; one to your right and one to your left, each at a 45-degree angle.
- Clean the camera lens, so you don’t look blurry. An unclean lens may also cut an unprofessional picture in front of the interviewer.
- Instead of relying on off-camera notes, have a few key points ready with you in advance in case you get flustered.
- Expect there to be some glitches, even on the employer’s side. However, don’t let the issues derail you or make you nervous.
- Talk conversationally, as in a face-to-face interview, but do leave a short pause between when the interviewer asks you a question and when you respond. This is especially important if the connection is slow.
- Towards the end of the interview, feel free to ask about the next steps in the process if the interviewer has not already addressed this area.
- Write a thank-you email shortly after the video interview.
- Don’t be a diva. Your online interview is about your professional abilities and whether or not you suit the job requirements. It is not about you as a person.
- Don’t have an unprofessional or juvenile username.
- Don’t move around too much. Stay still and focussed and don’t use a swivel chair.
- Don’t get distracted by other windows or programs on your system. The only thing on your screen should be the other person’s face.
- Don’t dress too casually. Dress in the same professional attire that you would wear to an in-person interview.
There’s no need to get hung up on tough interview questions. Just be sure to practice and be prompt. When you are well prepared with the right responses, you ensure that your answers—and you—stand out in the crowd.