More and more employers are choosing to conduct their first-round interviews via Skype or may include video-recorded interviews as part of their application process. I have sat on either side of the computer screen as both interviewer and interviewee. Here are some of my tips for making a great impression in your virtual interview.
1 - Think about the background
What is the hiring manager going to see behind you during your call? What are they going to hear?
Choose a plain and tidy background. Make sure you’re in a quiet space and use earphones for better sound quality. Try to ensure the camera is level with your face and there isn’t any harsh lighting behind you. Simply, try to ensure that you can be seen and heard and that you don’t have any clutter in the background to distract the interviewer.
2 - Dress for an interview
If you want to be considered as a serious contender for the role you want to make sure that you convey yourself as a professional – even if that means getting all dressed up with no place to go!
Dress as though you’re attending an interview in the employer’s office. This way you will look and feel the part. If you’re interviewing for a corporate role, it’s likely the hiring manager will be in the office and wearing a suit—you won’t want to be sitting on your sofa in a T-shirt.
3 - Ensure you have no interruptions
Just like when your phone rings during a face to face interview any interruptions will leave a bad impression with your potential employer.
Please, please, tell your partner, your housemates, your children that you have an interview and ask them to leave you alone. Silence your phone, put the dog out, remove all interruptions.
4 - Don’t forget your body language
It can be difficult to get a full impression of a person when you’re interacting with a picture on your screen rather than face to face.
Try to remain engaged, sit up straight, nod your head at times and don’t forget to smile –this will convey enthusiasm and reassure that the hiring manager that they aren’t staring at a frozen screen. However, make sure you don’t overdo with wild hand gestures. Moving too much will make you appear blurry on screen!
5 - Do a practice run!
Imagine you’re about to log into your Skype account for your interview and you realise that you’ve forgotten your password.
A practice run can alert you to any technical difficulties you might encounter during your interview. Give yourself some time, call a friend before your interview to check that everything is running smoothly.