Video interviews usually occur if the candidate is located in another country, state or city from the company. However, any company or organization can conduct video interviews even if they’re located right down the street from you.
If you are freaked out by job interviews via Skype or any other form of video conferencing, it’s really not as stressful as it sounds. Just treat it like any other in-person interview. Here are five common mistakes people make when they’re being interviewed on webcam.
1. Not technologically prepared
Your worst nightmares about job interviews will all come true if you don’t prepare. The worst thing is for your laptop, mic or webcam to not work when it’s time for the interview.
Make sure you test all your equipment a week or two before the scheduled interview so you have enough time to fix it. Test your webcam on Skype with your friend for about an hour (or however long you think your interview will be) and see if your mic works. You should also check the clarity of your camera. The Wi-Fi connection is also very important because the Internet can determine how clear or blurry you will appear on camera. The faster the connection, the less delay your motions and voice will appear.
If you have trouble with all of the above, go to a friend or relative’s house with a good Internet connection or borrow someone’s equipment.
2. Bad surroundings or background
Just because you will be at home during the job interview doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be aware of your surroundings. Yes, the interviewee knows you are home but you should also clean up the background that he or she will be seeing on camera. For example, don’t sit in your bed with the laptop on your lap and your favourite teddy bear beside you with a KISS poster on your wall – that looks unprofessional. A better background to display would be in a room with bookshelves or just a blank wall. Something that will make the interviewer take you more seriously.
3. Inappropriate attire
Just because you don’t have to meet the interviewer in person, doesn’t mean that you don’t have to dress up. Any kind of job interview is just as important as the next so you must wear appropriate attire. (See “How to Decide What to Wear to a Job Interview”)
4. Inappropriate Skype name
Lots of people look over this because they’ve had Skype for so long and they forget that their username is there. Just like your surroundings, your username must be professional and not “Baby_Gurlxoxo”. If you are unsure whether or not your name is professional enough, make another Skype account and use your full name.
5. Bad posture
You will most likely be sitting in a chair with the laptop on your desk in front of you. Slouching or sitting back and rocking your chair is a no-no. It’s unprofessional and disrespectful. Sit up-right with your hands on the table and look straight at the camera lens. This shows engagement and interest in the interview and position you’ve applied for.
You may be an amazing candidate with all the qualifications and experience. But whether you like it or not, the interviewer will most likely judge you based on everything they see in the camera frame. So make sure nothing inappropriate is in view and that you look presentable.