Most of my interviews during my recent job search process were conducted via Skype and Google Hangout. This was a totally new experience for me, and I learned a lot along the way. If you find yourself having a video interview as you look for a new job, here are a few tips I learned during this process. (They’re equally as valuable for companies conducting video interviews, as you’ll see in the last tip at the bottom of the post.)
– Dress for these interviews the way you would for an in-person interview, shoes and all. (I even had my handbag with me!) Taking a line from my theater days – if you want the role, you need to wear the costume and wear it well.
– Know how your video works on your computer or mobile device. I used my laptop, though I could have just as easily used my iPad or mobile phone. Arrive early so that you’re ready to go as soon as the other party logs in.
– Make sure there is a very plain, nondescript background for the interview. Sit in a chair, not the couch nor in bed.
– Make sure the area is free from all distractions and excess noise, including pets, kids, roommates, noisy neighbors, etc. I love my pup, Phin, with all my heart, but he wasn’t at my video interviews.
– Smile, maintain eye contact, and let your personality shine just as you would during an in-person interview.
– And this one is just to add a bit of comedy, as in truth in comedy.Smoking, eating, and cursing during an interview is not professional. Don’t do it, and don’t take a job working with anyone who does. In my case, someone actually did all of these things while interviewing me. I’m glad it happened because it was a big red flag. It changed the way I viewed the company, and was one of the reasons I declined the offer when I received it weeks later. If that’s how they conduct themselves while interviewing me, I couldn’t expect much more from them while working shoulder-to-shoulder in an office.
Have you had any video interviews? What was your experience and what tips do you have for others preparing for them?