With today’s technology making so many forms of communication available at the push of a button, more job seekers than ever are being asked to hop online for a video interview. Many people Skype or FaceTime with friends and relatives, but these casual conversations won’t prepare you for a more formal job interview. Even if you’re comfortable in front of the web cam, there are still a few steps every job seeker should take before getting online with an interviewer.
Here are our tips for preparing for your next video interview:
You may think your computer’s speakers work just fine, but why risk it? Using headphones will help eliminate echoes and other auditory distractions, and they will allow you to hear your interviewer much more clearly. As an added bonus you can buy a set of headphones with a built-in microphone to ensure that your interviewer can hear you just as well as you hear them. Also remember to check your settings and your sound inputs and outputs.
Download any necessary software and do a test run. Don’t wait until ten minutes before the interview begins to install software or plugins. Download everything in advance, make sure it’s the latest version, and do a test run of the software by calling a friend or family member, if possible. Don’t wait until the last minute – give yourself plenty of time to resolve any technical issues that may pop up.
Test your Internet connection. Video chat requires a fast, stable Internet connection. Not sure how your Internet is running? Use speedtest.net to check your Internet speed. If your WiFi isn’t up to snuff, you may want to pick up an Ethernet cable and plug in to ensure you have a stable connection.
Think about your background. Decide where you will sit for the video call, then take a good look around you. Is there anything embarrassing or inappropriate in view? Your background should be neutral, but not too boring if you can help it. A blank wall is better than one plastered with inappropriate artwork, but sitting in front of a bookcase or another appropriate setting is best.
Position the camera and consider the lighting. Make sure the camera is at your eye level for a more flattering angle. If you feel strange about talking into the camera, try taping a photo of a face just above the lens to give yourself the illusion that you’re looking into someone’s eyes as you’re talking to them. Once the camera is in position, check the lighting. How do you look on screen? If you look washed out or too dark you may need to reposition the camera or adjust the lighting in the room.
Dress professionally. Even though you are not sitting directly in front of your interviewer, this is still a job interview. Wear the same professional clothing you would to any other interview, but be careful to avoid stripes or patterns as they can render badly on screen. (And, yes, wear pants. What if you need to get up to retrieve a paper or other document? Your interviewer would be able to see your pajama pants… or worse, your underwear! When in doubt, wear pants.)
If you are looking to hire an IT, Accounting, or Finance professional, or work in any of those fields and looking to advance your career, you can contact Equis Staffing via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at (818) 444-0100.