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Surprising Science

Want to Nail Your Next Video Job Interview? Preparation is Key.

Interviewing over Skype can be incredibly stressful, especially if you haven’t prepared correctly. The key to nailing the new job is in how you diligently arrange everything can control before the interview starts. 

People who interview well often do so because of an ability to take control of what we can call the “interview atmosphere.” These folks are masters of body language, eye contact, and all forms of interpersonal communication. Like a fine-tuned actor, they are brilliant in live performance.

But what happens if you take that keen ability and can it in a metal box? Video job interviews are on the rise, says Erin Carson of Tech Republic. And while the medium lacks the intimacy of a live meeting, Carson says there are still ways to ensure you come across well through the web.

The key to interviewing well on video? Preparation. You’ve got to be diligent in arranging the things you have control over so the things you don’t — i.e., the awkwardness of Skype — don’t harm you.

The first step is to protect yourself from glitches. Carson explains that a familiarity with the interview software is imperative:

You don’t want to jump on a minute before your interview and find out there’s some plugin you need to download… you’ll look unprepared, and any time you lose from the interview, you probably won’t get back.

Test your mic, speakers, computer, everything. It should be as seamless as a CNN segment. Which leads to…

Step two: dress the room. Whenever you watch cable news, the talking heads who are broadcast in from across the globe always appear before a pristine backdrop. While you shouldn’t project an image of the U.S. Capitol behind you for your interview, making sure the room is tidy is a must. Practice staging yourself and keep an eye on lighting. Just like how dressing well projects something positive to a potential employer, a sloppy setup will only detract from how you’re perceived.

The third bit of advice is to preclude any potential distractions from barging in. Pets are the main culprits here. An HR Director interviewed by Carson explains that you don’t want to be remembered as the interviewee whose dogs went nuts. You want to be remembered for your qualifications, not for something strange that occurred during your interview. “The dog guy/girl” doesn’t get the job.

Finally, Carson stresses professionalism, even in what can seem like an unprofessional setting. She admits that this is a broad bit of advice and that “professional” varies based on what you’re interviewing for, but the same sort of presence that pushes you to the top in a live interview can propel you on video. Most important: be on time. It’s one thing if you run into traffic on the way to a live interview. There isn’t as much of a built-in excuse for being tardy to a Skype conference.

Read more at Tech Republic

Photo credit: carlosseller / Shutterstock


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