If you’ve been on the job trail recently for any length of time, chances are you’ve encountered the prospect of a video interview.
More frequently, employers are using such technology as Skype and Google Hangouts to conduct interviews to narrow down candidates during first-round interviews. It’s important to become comfortable with the format to put your best foot forward.
You may already know the fundamentals: Set up in a quiet, neutral area of your home; adjust your seat and monitor to ensure you’re comfortable in front of the camera; and test out your microphone.
Appearing online for a video interview can make many uncomfortable, so it’s a good idea to rehearse with a friend to ensure you’re ready and relaxed. Here’s some more tips to a successful video interview from the experts at the career advice website The Muse.
Dress to impress
It should go without saying, but dress appropriately for your interview — from head to toe, not just to the waist — as if you were appearing in person. Take extra care to understand what works best on screen and tone it down so as not to distract the interviewer. Shades of blue work well on screen. Red and other hot colors, not so much.
Master the digital handshake
Creating an inviting and engaging persona online is part of what’s known as the digital handshake. A slow, confident, professional and firm nod lets the interviewer know you’re greeting them respectfully and you’re excited to be in the digital room. Also, be sure to look straight into the camera to present the illusion you’re looking right at them, not into the camera or around the room.
Don’t freeze up or become motionless. Rather, let your body language express that you’re engaged. Lean forward when communicating, but avoid excessive physical movement or hand gestures to show your engagement and interest. These may result in a blurry display on the interviewer’s end and none of your facial expressions will be visible.
Create a studio
If you find yourself as the subject of routine video interviews, you may want to create a studio in your home. For minimal investment, you can turn a quiet room into a comfortable studio you can use over and over. Buy a roll of professional background paper in a neutral color to hang behind you and position your chair and lighting appropriately. This will allow you to take the focus off presentation and turn it toward your interviewer. If you’re able to spend more, invest in a high-quality webcam and microphone.