There has been a significant increase in the number of job interviews held via videoconferencing. Now job candidates, especially the ones applying for a job at foreign companies, have a possibility to be interviewed directly from home, using a PC and videoconferencing software. If you are looking for a job, you can’t let yourself to be unprepared for such an eventuality. Nowadays, a videoconference can become your first contact with the company offering a position you would like to occupy. Therefore it’s important to make a good impression during your virtual job interview, just as you would do in person. You should be prepared to present yourself in an impeccable way and to make sure your surroundings appear professional on camera. In this article you will find some tips, based on many years’ experience of professional videoconferencing, on how to get the most out of your job interview held by videoconference.
Test your videoconferencing equiment
Familiarize yourself with all the tools and functionalities of videoconferencing in advance to prevent possible problems. If your computer is prone to problems, it’s better to have a backup on hand. Make sure you have an HD webcam (at least HD 120p), while in order to get the best sound quality use a headset instead of devices integrated into your PC. If you don’t have a webcam and/or a headset you will easily find them for only a few euro at any computer store.
Choose a professional location
Make the videoconference in a place with good lighting and make sure it’s free of distractions or anything within view that could be perceived as unprofessional place. Beware of noises (e.g. barking dogs) that may make it difficult to hear. Make sure that a light source is situated in front of you, but not behind your back: windows in the background can cast dark shadows. If you doubt that your environment is suitable for a professional videoconference, ask some your friend to host you at their office. Alternatively, check if there are some special structures (e.g. day offices) in your city that you could use for your videoconference.
The right framing
The webcam should be located at eye-level in a central position in correspondence to your monitor. It may seem obvious, but it’s crucial in order to make your interlocutors feel that you are looking into their eyes during the videoconference. The distance between you and the webcam should be sufficient to frame your face and the upper part of your body.
Take a trial run
Ask a friend of yours to videoconference with you and provide feedback on audio quality, as well as on how close you should sit to the camera. He or she can also recommend adjustments for your surroundings. Test audio in order to find the right distance from the microphone: if you are sitting too close to it, you interlocutors will hear the sound of your breathing.
Dress the way you would for a face-to-face interview, and don’t assume you’ll only be visible from the waist up. Avoid bold patterns and colors that don’t show up well on video. No stripes, squares and reflective fabrics. Solid colors are the preferable ones for a videoconference.
During the interview
Remember to mute your phones and ask non to disturb you during the videoconference. Sit up straight, but try not to appear rigid. Look at the camera when answering questions. Don’t forget to smile. Make sure your responses are audible to the interviewer: speak loudly and clearly into the microphone. Approach the videoconference with all the seriousness and preparation you would give to an in-person interview. At the end of the videoconference smile and thank for the opportunity given. Before leaving your desk or making any comment make sure that your audio and video connection is actually closed.